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Tool 7: Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender



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

Parliamentary oversight is of key importance in establishing an effective and accountable security sector which is responsive to the needs of the whole citizenry. Gender-responsive oversight is the responsibility of all members of parliament, regardless of their gender, partisan affiliation or professional background.

The Tool lays out a vision and offers strategies by which to integrate a gender perspective and advance gender equality in parliamentary oversight of the security sector. It looks at how parliaments can ensure that:

  • security and security needs are defined in an inclusive manner and with a gender perspective

  • effective legislation and structures address gender-based violence

  • gender is mainstreamed into budgeting

  • parliament plays a role in national action plans on women, peace and security

Drawing examples from a wide range of contexts, the Tool offers models and guidance by which parliaments can: undertake gender analysis of the security sector, including in budgetary scrutiny; involve  parliamentary gender structures in security sector oversight; reach out to civil society; co-operate with NHRIs and ombuds institutions in ensuring effective security sector oversight; and achieve gender equality within the parliament itself. The Tool syntheses a set of key recommendations and includes a self-assessment checklist for parliaments.


Graziella Pavone, OSCE/ODIHR, and Megan Bastick, DCAF