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Tool 1: Security Sector Governance, Security Sector Reform and Gender

27 February, 2020



This Tool is part of the DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN Women Gender and Security Toolkit.

Awareness of and attention to gender and women in the security and justice sector have increased greatly over the past decade. Nonetheless, major challenges remain for achieving gender equality and overcoming gender discrimination within the security and justice sector and in broader society.

The Tool introduces why gender matters in the security and justice sector, in security sector governance (SSG) and in security sector reform (SSR) processes, and outlines the benefits of integrating a gender perspective. It presents a vision of what integrating a gender perspective and promoting gender equality mean for security and justice providers, for management and oversight of sector and justice services, and for SSG and SSR processes.

The Tool presents five pathways for the security and justice sector to integrate a gender perspective into SSG and SSR processes and advance gender equality:

  • Defining security needs in an inclusive, gender-responsive manner.

  • Adopting policy frameworks to integrate gender equality into justice and security governance.

  • Gender training for security and justice providers.

  • Using staff with specialized gender expertise.

  • Changing masculine institutional cultures to increase women’s participation and diversity.

It offers advice on how to overcome resistance to working on gender equality within the security and justice sector and includes an institutional self-assessment checklist.


Megan Bastick, DCAF