Gender and the Security Sector: Towards a More Secure Future

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Connections: The Quarterly Journal, Volume 14, Issue 3, p.7-30 (2015)
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The way we conduct war and peace is completely changed.
We need a more diverse core of soldiers.
Ine Erikson,
Minister of Defense of Norway [1]
In recent decades, the nature of war has changed dramatically. Internal conflicts are be­ing waged by opposing armed groups, often divided along ideological or ethnic lines that increasingly target civilians and wreak havoc on society with severe physical, psychologi­cal, social, political, and economic consequences.
With the changed nature of conflict has come an increasing demand to consider its var­ied effects on women and girls, men and boys, and to address their specific needs be­fore, during, and after conflict. There is also an increasing awareness of the importance of including women in peace and security processes. Women are 50 percent of the popula­tion and a critical part of society and, without them, real and sustainable peace cannot be achieved. They are not merely victims of conflict; they also play active roles as combatants, peace builders, politicians, and activists, and are often in the strongest posi­tion to bring about peace in their communities. Women around the world have emerged as voices of peace, mobilizing across communities and using their social roles and networks to mediate and mitigate violence. They have demanded attention to the com­plex issues of peace and peace building, and the needs of the communities involved, rather than to just cease-fires and power sharing.
The international community has responded with a framework for addressing women, peace, and security, which includes United Nations (UN) Security Council resolu­tions and binding international law. Regional bodies such as the European Union, NATO, and the African Union have also developed strong frameworks around gender equal­ity and women’s rights in order to build sustainable peace, driven by advocacy by women’s groups and the experiences of conflict.
With these changes has also come a paradigm shift in the concept of security from one of state security to human security. Whereas traditionally security involved the protec­tion of borders and state sovereignty, the modern concept of security addresses the se­curity of individuals and communities. It broadens both the nature of security threats such as poverty, discrimination, gender-based violence, lack of democracy and marginaliza­tion, and the actors involved, including non-state actors and civil society. It means creating societies that can withstand instability and conflict. It is more than the ab­sence of armed conflict; it is an environment where individuals can thrive.[2]
A security sector that is based in human security takes into account the differing needs of men, women, boys, and girls, and ensures that the full and equal participation of women addresses the needs of all of the population and helps to establish a more peace­ful and secure society.
Integrating a gender perspective into the security sector is essential: 1) to abide by univer­sally accepted human rights principles; 2) because when both men and women are in­volved in decision-making processes, there are better outcomes; and 3) using gender perspectives and mainstreaming increases operational effectiveness.
The Women, Peace and Security Framework
United Nations Security Council Resolutions and International Law
The civil wars that raged in the 1990s showed the world how conflict was transforming. The genocide in Rwanda and the rape camps of Bosnia proved that the nature of conflict and its ravaging effects on women needed to be addressed urgently. At the 1995 UN-spon­sored Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, women from around the world came together and, for the first time, there was a concerted focus on women’s experi­ence in war. This resulted in a dedicated chapter on Women and Armed Conflict in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. It was a turning point and a call to ac­tion for women. In the years that followed, a global network of women, especially those who had been affected by conflict, worked at local, national, and international lev­els to call for peace and security for women. In 2000, a global group of nongovernmen­tal organizations (NGOs) launched a worldwide appeal for the UN Security Council to formally recognize women’s rights, to promote their participation in all peace and secu­rity processes, and to protect them in times of conflict. With the support of UN Secre­tary General Kofi Annan and the governments of Bangladesh, Jamaica, Canada, and eventu­ally the United Kingdom, women’s advocacy resulted in the Security Council’s passage of Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (2000).
UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and its companion resolutions UNSCR 1820 (2008), UNSCR1888 (2009), UNSCR 1889 (2009), UNSCR 1960 (2010), UNSCR 2016 (2013), and UNSCR 2122 (2013) (collectively referred to herein as 1325, the 1325 framework, or women, peace, and security framework) provide an interna­tionally-recognized legal framework for promoting gender equality in peace and secu­rity, ensuring the participation of women in all levels of decision-making, protecting women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence, improving the prevention of vio­lence against women, and integrating gender perspectives in all processes. They stress the need for better security sector responses to the effects of modern conflict and address all aspects of peace and security processes including peace negotiations, peacekeep­ing, political participation, response to sexual violence in armed conflict, judi­cial and legal reform as well as security sector reform. Entry points for implementation in the security sector include national and regional security policies and action plans, women’s participation in security sector reform processes, defense reform, police re­form, transitional justice, justice reform, and peacekeeping operations.
UNSCR 1325 calls at all times for all parties in conflict to respect all international law applicable to the rights and protection of women and girls. It incorporates binding inter­national law on the rights and protection of women and children such as the Conven­tion on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CE­DAW), Geneva Conventions, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Rome Statute of the International Court, which criminalizes sexual violence in conflict, among other laws, such as the United Nations Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Eco­nomic, Social and Cultural Rights, Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhu­man or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Convention on the Prevention and Punish­ment of the Crime of Genocide, and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Traffick­ing in Persons, Especially Women and Children. It also specifically recognizes the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which is an agenda for gender equality and women’s empowerment that aims to remove all obstacles to women’s active participa­tion in public and private life through a full and equal share in economic, social, cultural, and political decision-making.[3]
All UN Member States are bound by UNSCR 1325 and the international human rights treaties to which they are party. The Security Council itself has made clear, by pass­ing six women, peace and security resolutions, that it is issuing a direct call to action to States, the UN itself, and to all parties involved in armed conflict.
Regional Policy Initiatives
In addition to the UN, regional bodies in Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas have adopted treaties, laws, policies, and action plans in support of women, peace and secu­rity.
The African Union’s (AU) Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, known as the Maputo Protocol, guarantees comprehensive rights to women. In­formed by the experiences of women in countries affected by conflict, it also contains spe­cific provisions on the participation of women in peace processes and the protection of women in armed conflicts.
The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) [4] has a strong, le­gally binding framework that specifically names and addresses the principles of 1325 on the protection and promotion of the rights of women and children as critical to peace and security. The ICGLR especially views sexual and gender-based violence as a prior­ity, crosscutting issue affecting peace, security, development, and good governance. Its policy framework includes the Great Lakes Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region (2006), which includes ten protocols that are legally binding, several of which address issues of gender equality and sexual and gender-based vio­lence.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) adopted a Conflict Pre­vention Framework in 2008 to serve as a strategic framework for improving conflict pre­vention and human security with a component on women, peace and security.
The European Union (EU) has developed a normative framework that includes the Coun­cil Conclusions on Promoting Gender Equality and Gender Mainstreaming in Cri­sis Management (2006); the 2008 Comprehensive approach to the EU implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 [5] on women, peace and security and EU Council Secretariat operational paper “Implementation of UNSCR 1325 as reinforced by UNSCR 1820 in the context of ESDP (European Security and De­fense Policy).” In July 2010 the Council adopted indicators to measure progress on the imple­mentation of 1325 and 1820.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has an Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality on 1325 (2004) and included elements of 1325 in its 2003 Strategy to Address Threats to Security and Stability in the Twenty-First Century. The Ministerial Council Decision No. 14/05 on Women in Conflict Preven­tion, Crisis Management and Post-Conflict Rehabilitation (2005) reinforces the Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality and calls for measures related to imple­mentation of 1325.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has established a policy framework on women, peace and security. After a series of recommendations from the Committee on Women in NATO Forces (now Committee on Gender Perspectives), in September 2009 it adopted a Directive on integrating UNSCR 1325 and Gender Perspectives in the NATO Command Structure Including Measures for Protection During Armed Conflict. This included the creation of gender advisors in all missions and pre-deployment train­ing. The Secretary General established the position of Special Representative on Women, Peace and Security in 2012 to raise awareness, coordinate efforts, and enhance cooperation on the women, peace and security agenda. In April 2014 NATO released its re­vised Policy on Women, Peace and Security, developed with the Euro-Atlantic Partner­ship Council (EAPC). Afghanistan, Australia, Japan, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates also participated in its development. It builds on the previous NATO/ EAPC policy and on experiences and lessons learned from, in particular, cooperative secu­rity and NATO-led operations.
The Pacific Community’s Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2012-2015 provides a framework at the regional level for Forum Members [6] and Pacific Territories to enhance women and young women’s leadership in conflict prevention and peace building, mainstream gender in security policy-making, and ensure women and girls’ human rights are protected in humanitarian crises, transitional contexts, and post-con­flict situations.
The Organization of American States, while not having a normative framework specifi­cally on women, peace and security, does have the InterAmerican Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (Convention of Belem do Para) (1994).
National Action Plans
The UN and advocates have called for countries to create National Action Plans (NAPs) in order to address implementation of the 1325 framework. These are national policy docu­ments that detail how government bodies and stakeholders tasked with security, for­eign policy, development, and gender equality will actually carry out the 1325 principles both within their own countries and in their foreign policies during times of both peace and conflict. To date, 48 states have enacted NAPs and Afghanistan is preparing to launch its own.[7] Comprehensive NAPS establish a multi-sector strategy for implementa­tion of the 1325 framework and assign specific responsibilities to government bodies, civil society organizations, private sector institutions, and development partners; cover the four pillars of 1325, which are participation, protection, prevention, and gender main­streaming; provide for the coordination, follow-up, and evaluation of implementa­tion activities; and include budget estimates for activities to be integrated into institu­tional plans of actions and budgets.
Security and Gender
When we undercut the contributions of one gender we do so at our on peril… denying ourselves half the talent, half the resources, half the potential of the population. And as we approach future challenges we must think rather than fight our way through, we need to be able to leverage all of the best thinking out there.
General Martin E. Dempsey
Chairman, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff [8]
Sex is the biological difference between men and women. Gender refers to the societal con­struction of roles, personality traits, and behaviors ascribed to them, as well as the different power relations between men and women.Gender mainstreaming recognizes the role of gender integration in peace and security, as well as the understanding of differ­ences that policies and programs might have on men and women.[9] It means identify­ing the different insecurities facing men, women, girls, and boys and the way in which gender relation and power inequalities fuel insecurity. This understanding of gen­der leads to better policies and outcomes. It is key to the effectiveness and accountabil­ity of the security sector and necessary to comply with international and regional laws. Its ultimate goal is to promote gender equality in society by ensuring that both men and women are represented in all processes and that all programs integrate the human rights of all persons.
Men, women, boys, and girls have different experiences and different security needs. For example, in the United States more than 85 % of victims of gun homicide are male,[10] a statistic that is echoed throughout the world. On the other hand, approximately 95 % of vic­tims of domestic violence are women.[11] Globally, at least 35 % of women have experi­enced intimate partner violence, up to 60 % in some countries.[12] In many coun­tries, women are vulnerable to attack near water points, in agricultural areas and during elections.
Gender-based violence (GBV) is violence related to gender differences that result in un­equal roles and power relations. It includes domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, human trafficking, and anti-gay violence. It is widespread in many countries due to cul­tural norms that perpetuate the subordination of women and vulnerable groups. It is one of the greatest threats to human security.
The medical, physical, and psychological effects of sexual and gender-based vio­lence are enormous. Unwanted pregnancies, intentionally transmitted HIV/AIDS, perma­nent physical scarring, medical and emotional trauma, as well as stigma are all re­sults of the sexual and physical violence perpetrated against women. In countries such as Uganda, where the clan system is strong, the community often shuns women who were abducted and impregnated by rebels, and their children are left without a clan. In coun­tries that apply strict Sharia law, women are often punished or killed to “protect their honor.”
During war, civilians are most affected by violence and insecurity. Women, espe­cially those heading households, are most vulnerable when public security diminishes and the security forces that exist become abusive. Corruption and impunity lead to many hu­man rights abuses, and often result in sexual violence against women. After conflict, women continue to suffer spousal violence, sexual abuse, rape, physical assault and vio­lence, and psychological abuse. Economic violence is often included under the rubric of GBV. This includes denial of access to food and property, husbands withholding re­sources for family care, inheritance disputes between a widow and her husband’s family over his property, as well as acute economic dependence of women on their husbands. Many women are unable to support themselves and are less able to escape violent rela­tionships. Sexual violence has been a major factor in the spread of HIV/AIDS. Women who are HIV positive are also at a greater risk of becoming victims of domestic vio­lence.[13]
GBV has a major effect not only on women but also on families and communities, and on national development. The effects of violence often keep girls out of school or pre­vent women from participating in the community or workplace.
Men and boys are also victims of GBV, and may face even greater barriers than women in reporting it and seeking justice.
Despite the prevalence of GBV and its threat to national and global security, security sec­tor initiatives to address it are usually not prioritized and are underfunded. Gender sensitive security improves prevention and response to GBV by including women and train­ing personnel on issues of gender and gender-based violence.
There is also a growing recognition of the need to address the particular experience of men and boys, both as victims and sources of insecurity. Increasingly groups are examin­ing masculinity: the characteristics and behaviors expected of men and the way that they are socialized. This includes analyzing the factors that lead men to violence and the factors that help prevent it. Conditions such as male youth violence, gangs, and child abuse influence the way that men behave. Both inside and outside of armed con­flict, gun culture is overwhelmingly associated with cultural norms of masculinity, includ­ing men as protectors and warriors.[14] Men themselves become victims of their own mentalities as they are most affected by gun violence. Military environments have perpetuated these notions of masculinity and war exacerbates them, leading to extreme violence. Nuclear weapons are also an emblem of strength and dominance.
In addition, a militarized society puts women more at risk. According to Reaching Criti­cal Will, a program of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom:
Irresponsible transfers of weaponry, munitions, armaments, and related equipment across bor­ders have resulted in acts of GBV perpetrated by both state and non-state actors. Thus in the recent negotiations of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), civil society organizations and like-minded governments worked together to ensure that the treaty included a legally-bind­ing provision on preventing armed gender-based violence.[15]

Engaging Men [16]

Successful programs run by organizations such as CARE, Promundo, and the Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre (RWAMREC) in the region have programs targeted specifi­cally at men that aim to deconstruct typical ideas of masculinity and educate men on gender equality and women’s rights. CARE works to involve men in joint strategies with their wives to manage resources and share domestic, parenting, and income earn­ing roles. Role model families show their communities that they are living well be­cause they have equality and peace in their homes. In several countries, including Rwanda, Promundo has carried out the International Men and Gender Equality Sur­vey (IMAGES), a comprehensive household questionnaire on men’s attitudes and prac­tices—along with women’s opinions and reports of men’s practices—on a wide variety of topics related to gender equality, which has been used to inform programs to engage men in gender equality and GBV prevention, also in post-conflict settings. Promundo has also implemented a program that promotes men’s support of women’s economic empowerment. RWAMREC mobilizes men to change perceptions of masculin­ity and promote gender justice through programs of men-to-men education, com­munity mobilization, radio programs, working with religious leaders, and through pro­grams engaging men to support women in microfinance.

The ATT, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on April 2, 2013 and en­tered into force December 24, 2014, is the first international treaty to recognize the link between weapons and gender-based violence. Article 7(4) of the treaty obligates export­ing state parties to take into account the risk of the conventional arms, ammunition, muni­tions, parts, or components under consideration being used to commit or facilitate acts of gender-based violence. States shall not be permitted to authorize the transfer where there is a risk of gender-based violence that would constitute a violation of inter­national humanitarian law or international human rights law, undermine peace and secu­rity, or form part of transnational organized crime.
Men and women also have different access to resources such as land, money, educa­tion, healthcare, and political power, which can affect their individual security. In many countries women do not have equal rights to men to own land, have limited access to credit, face barriers to education and adequate healthcare, and are excluded or marginal­ized from political life, all of which make them more dependent and vulnerable.
Including both men and women in security policymaking is critical to policies that are comprehensive in their assessment of security threats and in their understanding of secu­rity providers, and thus provide more secure and stable environments. Dialogues with local groups might identify the need for specific initiatives such as installing more streetlights and enacting community policing to larger scale programs such as training po­lice and military personnel on GBV prevention and response, implementing zero toler­ance policies for sexual harassment and abuse, increasing female participation, and col­laboration with civil society organizations.
A New Paradigm of Security
The world can never be at peace unless people have security in their daily lives. Fu­ture conflicts may often be within nations rather than between them – with their ori­gins buried deep in growing socio-economic deprivation and disparities. The search for security in such a milieu lies in development, not in arms.
1994 Human Development Report [17]
Conflict is no longer merely about securing borders and maintaining sovereignty; it is also about human security. Nations cannot be secure if their people are not secure. Where there is inequality and discrimination, violence, poverty, lack of education, lack of economic opportunity, political oppression, and other destabilizing factors, there is a risk of conflict.
The human security approach broadens the scope of security analysis and policy from territorial security to the security of people.[18] It was introduced in 1994 by the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report (HDR) and highlights two major components of human security: freedom from fear and freedom from want. It recognizes that states will not be able to achieve their major goals—including peace, human rights and democratization—without human security. The threats to human security are no longer just local or national, but rather global. Drugs, HIV/AIDS and other health epidemics, human trafficking, gender-based vio­lence, poverty, environmental disasters, displacement of populations, nuclear prolifera­tion, terrorism, and violent extremism do not respect national borders. They affect the world.
In 2012 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on human security [19] that recog­nizes the links between development, human rights, and peace and security, stating that human security calls for people-centered, comprehensive, context-specific, and preven­tion-oriented responses that strengthen the protection and empowerment of all peo­ple and all communities.
For most people today, a feeling of insecurity arises more from worries about daily life. Job security, income security, health security, environmental security, and security from crime: these are the emerging concerns of human security all over the world.
A critical regional and global concern is the growing rise in violent extremism. A lack of personal security is an important element in this phenomenon. Extremist groups such as Da’esh (ISIS) have capitalized on recruitment methods that prey on individu­als—people who have been marginalized and oppressed, and lack economic opportuni­ties and hope—by distorting religious tenants, playing on religious and ethnic divides, and offering money, food, shelter, cell phones, protection, women, and glory in the after­life.
An inclusive, accountable security sector that integrates gender can promote develop­ment, rule of law and good governance, strengthen human security, and reduce the risk of armed conflict. The creation of a professional security sector that is democrati­cally accountable, well-managed, and responsive to the needs of all citizens leads to better provision of security and justice for all.
Effective security operations establish a safe and secure environment that is condu­cive to economic development, education and health care, and the growth of a vibrant civil society. These goals can only be achieved if women are as equally involved as men in shaping policies and programs.
Why Women?
UNSCR 1325 calls for an increase in the participation of women at all levels of decision making, including in national, regional and international institutions, and in peace opera­tions as soldiers, police, and civilian personnel, as well as for women’s participation in mechanisms for the management and resolution of conflict. Around the world women have been agents of change, peacemakers and peace builders bringing perspectives to the table that address the root causes of insecurity. Women have a fundamental role to play in increasing the operational effectiveness of the security sector and establishing sustain­able peace and security globally.
Women in Security Forces
Women in the security forces—military, police, paramilitary, and intelligence—can af­fect institutional and cultural change from the inside. Research in the U.S. and around the world shows that uniformed women are more likely than their male counterparts to de-escalate tensions and are less likely to use excessive force.[20] Their increased pres­ence and leadership also tends to lessen the culture of sexual exploitation that is preva­lent in many military and police forces. Therefore, it is important to have a strong pres­ence of women, especially in leadership positions, to bring a gender perspective to discus­sions on security processes.
Increasing the number of women police officers also improves responses to crimes in­volving domestic and sexual violence, which are among the most prevalent crimes in both post-conflict and non-conflict affected societies. Afghanistan, Kosovo, Liberia, and Si­erra Leone have established specialized police forces to address family violence.[21]
In many instances, especially where women have been part of liberation struggles, such as in Rwanda and Uganda, women have skills and understanding of issues that can benefit security institutions, especially with regard to forces’ relations with the commu­nity. It would therefore be valuable to recruit and support them in various areas of the sec­tor.
Moreover, women security personnel are often more trusted by local communities, which perceive them as less threatening. A 2012 study by the Institute for Inclusive Secu­rity commissioned by NATO’s Committee on Gender Perspectives reported that inter­viewees in Congo and Chad were more accepting of European Union (EUFOR) pa­trols that included women, evidenced by fewer residents throwing stones at passing troops comprised of both men and women. They also observed that British units using Fe­male Engagement Teams (FETS) were less frequently ambushed and experienced fewer improvised explosive devices (IED) attacks than male patrols.[22]
Some cultures limit women’s interaction with men outside of their families. Because fe­male personnel are often uniquely able to communicate with women in the general commu­nity, police and military forces with female members can gain a more compre­hensive picture of the entire community’s needs. They can learn about the nature and ex­tent of threatening situations such as gang violence and recruitment, arms build­ups, troop movement, discrimination and marginalization in communities, gender-based vio­lence, human trafficking, intimidation and extortion by organized crime, and drug use in schools.
Female police, border guards, and military officers can also perform critical duties that may be difficult for men for cultural reasons, such as searching women at security check­points, searching for weapons by entering homes and talking to women, searching and interrogating women, and assisting survivors of sexual violence.
Many documented cases also illustrate that women are often better able to engage men. A 2009 study of five of NATO’s Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghani­stan found that negotiations conducted by female soldiers are more successful than those conducted by male soldiers, that informants in some places divulge more informa­tion to Western women than to Western men, and that it is often more appropri­ate for female soldiers to address issues related to women with local tribal leaders than for male soldiers to do so.[23]
Women in Government
Parliaments provide democratic oversight of the security sector. Women parliamentari­ans can play a key role in demanding accountability and transparency of the security sec­tor, determining budgets and policies to ensure that military expenditures do not take re­sources from developmental issues, ensuring inclusive representation in security struc­tures, and including public debate and dialogue on these issues.
In many countries, military laws discriminate against women, prohibiting them from com­bat and imposing barriers to advancement in rank. In 2000 the Israeli Parliament adopted an amendment to the Security Service Law drafted by women parliamentarians, which granted women equal rights to men to serve in any role in the military. In the United States, women lawmakers have been at the forefront of passing reforms in recent defense authorizations laws that address issues of sexual assault in the military.
Women parliamentarians have also been instrumental in many countries in passing legis­lation addressing human security as required by the women, peace and security frame­work and international law, such as legislation related to political participation, gen­der-based violence, family, children, land rights, education, health care, employment, citi­zenship and nationality, and refugee and internally displaced persons laws and poli­cies.
In Rwanda, for example, in 1996 women parliamentarians formed the Rwanda Women Parliamentary Forum (FFRP), which was the first parliamentary caucus to reach across party lines and include Hutus and Tutsis at a critical time of healing after the geno­cide. It focused on issues of women’s security, passing laws on women’s rights to inherit property [24] and on gender-based violence. In Uganda, women parliamentarians have also been active in promoting legislation specifically related to obligations under the country’s National Action plan on UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 and the Goma Declaration on Eradicating Sexual Violence and Ending Impunity in the Great Lakes Region (2008-2014). In 2010, Uganda adopted laws on domestic violence, female genital mutilation (FGM), trafficking in persons, and allowing Ugandan Courts to try crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide, including sexual violence as de­fined under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Women in ministries and high-level government positions can also influence security and defense policy and bring together women and men from the security sector, as well as engage civil society in dialogues and ensure that national policies related to security integrate gender perspectives.
Women in the Justice Sector
The increased participation of women in the justice sector as judges, prosecutors, de­fense attorneys, paralegals, and court administrators strengthens the legitimacy of the judici­ary and make courts more accessible to the communities they serve. In cases of gen­der-based violence, female victims may be more comfortable dealing with women lawyers and judges. Women also often promote principles of equality and nondiscrimi­nation. Women’s lawyers groups, for instance, have been instrumental in assist­ing women, promoting gender equality and challenging discriminatory laws in coun­tries around the world. The Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Uganda), for exam­ple, established legal aid clinics in Northern Uganda where clients pay only case registration fees and are assisted with mediation or, if necessary, court filings. This in­cludes mobile clinics that go out to communities to register and, where possible, mediate cases. In other instances they engage in strategic litigation or public interest litigation, which involve cases brought on behalf of the public or a broad group of people alleging rights violations and seeking legal reform.
Women’s participation in transitional justice processes that seek to promote justice and reconciliation is an important factor in addressing human rights abuses after con­flict. In countries such as Sierra Leone, East Timor, and South Africa, women have been in­volved in dialogues to establish truth commissions that are gender sensitive and inclu­sive, and address women’s needs.[25]
In countries where customary or local justice systems are prevalent, women have been instrumental in working with community and religious leaders to sensitize them to gender equality and women’s rights principles, applicable domestic laws, and regional and international instruments.
Women in Civil Society
The 1325 framework mandates that women’s civil society groups be consulted in peace and security processes in order to adequately address the needs of communities. Women in civil society play critical roles in building inclusive and sustainable security. They can serve as a link between the realities of community insecurities that men and women experi­ence and the police and military forces as well as defense policymakers, parlia­mentarians, and others conducting oversight and implementation of security pro­grams. Women help sensitize them to security issues and provide information about how pro­grams and policies impact women and their families. Women and groups working on gen­der also provide important technical expertise. Increasing collaboration between secu­rity sector institutions and civil society organizations can help build capacity through training, research, and technical assistance on gender.
Women provide important knowledge about security issues within their communi­ties. Because of their position and relationship in families and communities, they know what is going on. In performing their daily duties—caring for children, observing hus­bands and men in the community, traveling on foot to gather water or firewood—they of­ten see and hear things that are happening in the community. They may be aware of weapons buildups, meetings of armed groups, and the recruitment of youth. They know when there are barriers to health care or education, or health risks within the community. They understand when their own security is at risk through limited mobility, discrimina­tion, and gender-based violence.
Additionally, because women are typically perceived as being less threatening than men, they frequently have access that is denied to male leaders.[26] In Uganda, Betty Bigombe was the chief point person in talks between the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army headed by Joseph Kony. A member of the Ugandan Parliament, in 1998 she was tasked with seeking a peaceful end to the violent conflict in Northern Uganda. Bigombe reached out to Kony and initiated talks that brought the rebel leaders and government ministers face to face for the first time.[27] She was able to initiate con­tact with Kony by working through women associated with the LRA to build trust with his commanders. More recently, in countries like Somalia and Syria, women have been able to go between clans or through checkpoints to negotiate local ceasefire agreements to allow humanitarian aid to pass through and enable students to return to school.
Women’s civil society organizations also provide necessary services to victims in partner­ship with the security sector, such as shelter, legal advice, health care, and psychoso­cial services. For instance, the Rwanda Women Network has established sev­eral Polyclinics of Hope throughout Rwanda, adopting a holistic approach to the plight of women survivors of sexual and gender-based violence by addressing their health, psycho­social, shelter, and socio-economic needs in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide. Bene­ficiaries include current cases of sexual and gender-based violence, widows, or­phaned and vulnerable children, and people living with HIV/AIDS. Women’s organiza­tions also help implement security sector reform in their communities and have been impor­tant partners in programs of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of combat­ants into communities (DDR). In Liberia, the Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET) stepped in when the UN system was overwhelmed. Because of their trust in local women, many combatants decided to disarm for them.[28]
Women also play a critical role in combating the current rise in political and reli­gious extremism. In countries such as Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan women have been at the forefront of advocating for peace, reaching across political, ethnic, and religious divides to bring communities together and addressing the root social causes that are leading to a rise in violent extremism, such as poverty, marginalization, lack of opportunity, and insecurity. In addition, because of the influence they have within their families, in many instances they are able to keep their sons and husbands from joining ex­tremist groups. Women are also working with communities, religious leaders, and mili­tants to rewrite the narratives that are used by groups such as Da’esh and the Tali­ban, which distort Islam for their own purposes.
Integrating Gender into the Security Sector
Security sector reform (SSR) is necessary to promote peace and good governance, pre­vent conflict, and rebuild societies after conflict. The term “security sector reform” is most often used in post-conflict contexts. However, security sector reform also takes place in developing countries and countries in transition from authoritarian rule. It is also applicable to developed countries that need to change or improve policies and pro­grams to ensure that women and gender perspectives are included in all of their diplo­matic, development, and defense efforts. Security sector reform is about making the secu­rity sector more effective, accountable, transparent, and compliant with international standards on human rights, democracy, and governance.
Enacting reforms to integrate gender perspectives into the security sector through gen­der mainstreaming and equal participation are a critical part of security sector reform in all countries.
Three components make up the security sector: (1) groups with the authority and instru­ments to use force such as the military, police, paramilitary, and intelligence ser­vices; (2) institutions that monitor and manage the sector including parliament, govern­ment ministries, and civil society; and (3) structures responsible for maintaining the rule of law such as the judiciary, ministry of justice, prisons, human rights commissions, and local and traditional justice mechanisms.[29]
Example of Gender Integration: Genderforce Sweden
Sweden has shown success in incorporating gender-sensitive policies into its security reform. In 2003, the Swedish Armed Forces established a national project based on imple­mentation of UNSCR 1325 called Genderforce, which facilitated a partnership of a range of Swedish groups from various sectors focusing not only on increasing women’s participation in security forces, but also on incorporating gender perspec­tives into security training, strategy, and operations.[30]
Partners included:
  • · Swedish Armed Forces
  • · Swedish Police
  • · Swedish Rescue Services Agency
  • · Kvinna till Kvinna (“Woman to Woman,” a women’s civil society organiza­tion)
  • · Association of Military Officers in Sweden
  • ·  Swedish Women’s Voluntary Defense Organization
The initiative consisted of eight projects to promote gender balance and integrate gen­der:
  1. Increasing female recruitment in partner organizations through altering rec­ruitment methods.
  2. Carrying out a gender analysis of government policies and enacting changes to ensure that missions have clear directives on gender equality and participa­tion of women, including working with local women’s organizations and assess­ingsecurity threats to women.
  3. Conducting a study of civil-military relations in the field and making recom­mendations to improve cooperation.
  4. Developing a gender advisory training program in order to create a pool of gen­der advisors for international operations.
  5. Implementing a gender coaching program for twelve senior officials.
  6. Providing training for personnel in international operations on how to recog­nize signs of human trafficking.
  7. Developing gender training for the armed forces.
  8. Carrying out a study of best practices of including local women in the plan­ning, implementation, and evaluation of military and humanitarian operations in order to integrate the findings into pre-deployment training.

There are four dimensions of security sector reform: political, institutional, eco­nomic, and societal.[31] Factors to be measured include: the number and percentage of women in the police and military forces and in the judiciary and court system, the num­ber of staff trained on gender issues, the status of women within security personnel (in terms of pay, benefits, advancement potential, sexual harassment, etc.), the number and percentage of operations with gender advisors or focal points, the number of cases of sex­ual abuse by security personnel investigated and acted upon, mechanisms for over­sight of the security sector both by the government and civil society, budget allocations that address the different needs of women, the number and percentage of women and girl combatants during conflict, and the number and percentage of women and girls in demobili­zation, disarmament, and reintegration (DDR) processes.[32]

Supporting Women in the Afghan National Security Forces
In the U.S., civil society groups working on gender and security have worked with mem­bers of Congress to include funding and support for the recruitment of women into the Afghan National Security Forces through defense authorization and appro­priations bills.
In response to a recent New York Times article on the challenges confronting women in the police forces, Afghan activist Wazhma Frogh wrote:
Despite the cultural barriers, lack of services, and inadequate facilities, we still have over 3,000 women serving in the police force and Ministry of Interior. These women chose to become police officers despite the risks that this job entails. Women’s organiza­tions, activists, and civil society have pushed for reforms and support mecha­nisms for the female police. The Ministry of Interior has its first Female Police Integra­tion Strategy accompanied by a five-year implementation plan. We were behind the crea­tion and development of the Strategy, and now we’re monitoring the implementa­tion so that the challenges of female police are addressed at the highest level.
I want to thank the US Congress for allocating fifty million dollars to support the women in our country’s security forces. That financial support, together with continu­ous backing from the European Police Advisory Mission and international mentors, will take the Afghan National Police to a new level of competence.[33]
Political Reform
The political dimension is the principle of civilian control over military bodies, ensuring de­mocratic processes and parliamentary and civil society oversight of the security sec­tor. Security institutions should be transparent, respectful of the rule of law and human rights, and accountable to democratic civilian authority, such as parliament and the jus­tice system. There should be a constitutional and legal framework for civilian oversight and management of the security sector. The defense forces must operate within the legal framework and be held accountable through democratic structures.
Parliaments play an essential role in the security sector in their legislative and over­sight capacity. They approve budgets, review and implement related legislation, and shape national dialogue on security. Gender-responsive parliaments can ensure inclu­sive, needs-based security policies, strengthen the operational effectiveness of security sec­tor institutions, and hold them accountable for equitable budgeting and gender respon­sive budgeting. Oversight must include initiatives to prevent, respond to and sanc­tion human rights violations and gender-based violence including torture, sexual harass­ment, domestic violence, sexual assault, forced prostitution, and human trafficking in compli­ance with international human rights law, introducing and strengthening gender budget initiatives and conducting gender impact assessments of security policy, request­ing sex disaggregated data on gender mainstreaming and the composition of security sec­tor, monitoring peacekeeping missions, ensuring that women are included in peace processes and transitional justice, and reforming the judicial system and laws.
Gender responsive political reform related to security also requires the increased partici­pation of women, gender experts, and women’s organizations in official oversight bod­ies and processes in line with international obligations under the women, peace and secu­rity framework. Women must be included in parliamentary committees on defense, for­eign operations, and budgets. However, it is not enough just to have women there; they must have the capacity and knowledge to engage on the issues. It is also important to build the gender capacity of all parliamentarians, both men and women, to address gen­der issues. Establishing gender caucuses and working with civil society experts can help to support gender initiatives.
Civil society organizations including men and women must be consulted in order to en­sure that policies and programs are adequately responding to the needs of all groups. Par­liamentarians can ensure participatory national security processes through engaging in public debate and consultations and by holding hearings to facilitate civil society’s in­put, encouraging women’s organizations to participate in policy consultation processes, and making themselves available to hear concerns expressed by women’s organizations and constituents through town hall meetings and individual or group constituent meet­ings.
Similarly, government ministries involved in maintaining national security and over­sight of the security sector, such as ministries of defense and national security councils, must include women and integrate gender perspectives. The gender capacity of security policymakers should be built through training, mentoring, and information sharing. Policy­making processes should include consultations with civil society at all levels to assess national and local security needs. Policies must include gender responsive monitor­ing and assessment. Ministries and executive offices should establish mecha­nisms for the participation of civil society. Initiatives should also be taken at the local level to ensure that community insecurities are addressed by municipal governments, lo­cal security sector institutions, and civil society.
Institutional Reform
Institutional reform involves the physical and technical transformation of security enti­ties.
Physical transformation is defined as changing institutions to be diverse and reflect soci­ety, including through increased recruitment and retention of women in line with interna­tional obligations. Women have traditionally been extremely underrepresented in the security sector due to cultural norms that have generally regarded it as “men’s work.” Women who work in military and police forces may be discriminated against or shunned in conservative communities. They also often face inhospitable work environ­ments that include inadequate or lack of separate facilities for women, discriminatory hir­ing practices, lesser benefits, minimal training, limited opportunities for advancement, lit­tle access to recruitment programs, and atmospheres of sexual harassment.
Efforts to ensure the equal participation of women should include measures to in­crease female recruitment, retention, and advancement in the security sector, human re­source policies and practices that are gender responsive and family friendly to promote an environment conducive to employing women, review of recruitment and selection crite­ria to eliminate bias, outreach to women in communities for recruitment, provision of training, and establishing female staff associations.
Hungary successfully raised the number of women in its armed forces from 4.3 % in 2005 to 17.56 % in 2006. Its strategies to increase the recruitment, retention, and deploy­ment of women include a Military Service Law that upholds the equal rights of men and women in the armed services, an Equal Opportunity Team and Equal Opportunity Plan created by human resources, a Committee on Women of the Hungarian Defense Forces that conducts research on the status of gender equality and makes recommendations for change, a network of women’s focal points established at unit level, and measures to im­prove resting and hygienic conditions in the units.[34]
Technical transformation involves the professionalization and modernization of forces, reorienting their focus, and teaching new skills such as respect for human rights and gender. Gender mainstreaming activities include establishing and improving policy frameworks to support gender equality and women’s empowerment in the work of the de­fense sector, enhancing staff capacity to apply a gender-sensitive approach to their work through gender awareness training, improving capacity to prevent and respond to gender-based violence through technical training on GBV, and initiatives to prevent, re­spond to, and punish GBV, preventing GBV perpetrated by defense sector personnel by providing sexual harassment training and establishing codes of conduct and mechanisms for the investigation and punishment of violations including gender focal points and gen­der advisors in forces and missions, establishing gender responsive policies and ensuring funding commitments for implementation through gender budgeting, training, and sup­porting reformed judicial and penal systems and ensuring transparency and accountabil­ity, and building the capacity of institutions and civil society organizations (CSOs).
The Defense Sector
The defense sector—including the armed forces, intelligence, relevant ministries of de­fense, executive offices, and military justice mechanisms—should be under civilian con­trol, abide by principles of accountability and good governance, maintain an appropri­ate-sized force, be of representative composition in terms of gender, ethnicity, and other factors, be appropriately trained, and abide by international law.[35]
Today’s defense forces must also be equipped to deal with the realities of conflicts that include sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon of war, mass human rights viola­tions and humanitarian crises, health epidemics such as HIV/AIDS, and sexual abuse and exploitation by defense sector personnel themselves. Incorporating principles of human rights, democracy, and gender in trainings, programs, and missions is essential in preparing forces to meet these challenges. In addition, due to the changed nature of con­flict, national armed forces now spend less time and resources on protecting their own borders and more on international peacekeeping missions, which go beyond tradi­tional security activities to tasks such as providing services to local communities, engag­ing in development projects, providing health services, rebuilding institutions, and ensur­ing free elections. Diversity and gender mainstreaming allows forces to better per­form these tasks.[36]
Police Forces
Gender perspectives must also be integrated into police forces. Because police are responsi­ble for the maintenance of public order, protection of people, and enforcement of the law, they must understand and be able to address all security threats facing the commu­nities they serve, recognizing that men and women are affected by violence and discrimination in different ways.
Common challenges in policing include poor response rates to crimes, excessive use of force against particular groups, exclusion of particular groups within police institu­tions, misconduct and abuse of function, refusal to register complaints, poor investiga­tion skills, lack of accountability, and lack of civilian trust.[37] Applying a gender pers­pective to all aspects of police operations helps improve effectiveness. In addition, be­cause police officers respond to crimes including GBV, which is one of the most preva­lent crimes and greatest threats to security in all parts of the world, they must be sensi­tized, trained and equipped with the necessary skills to deal with both female and male survivors and to carry out investigations in a sensitive and effective way.
Research has also shown that police operations are more effective at combating insurgen­cies and terrorism than military forces due to their presence in local communi­ties, which better equips them to gather local intelligence and work with citizens to counter militant groups. However, for police forces to fill this role they must be ade­quately equipped, properly trained, and representative of the populations they are charged with protecting.[38]
Peacekeeping Operations
The 1325 framework mandates that the UN and Member States increase the number of women and incorporate gender perspectives into peacekeeping operations in order to pro­mote gender equality and combat sexual and gender-based violence. Peacekeeping operations include serving troops and military observers, police personnel, international civilian personnel, local civilian personnel, and UN volunteers. The UN does not have its own military force, but rather depends on contributions from Member States. Cur­rently 128 countries contribute military and police personnel to missions in 19 coun­tries.[39]
In addition to maintaining peace and security, peacekeepers are increasingly charged with assisting in political processes, reforming judicial systems, training law enforce­ment and police forces, disarming and reintegrating former combatants, and supporting the return of internally displaced persons and refugees.
Multiple reports over the past fifteen years have evaluated efforts to implement UNSCR 1325 in peacekeeping operations.[40] Evaluation has included three broad areas of efforts to: 1) incorporate more female personnel into peace operations and more women in decision-making and peace processes overall; 2) improve investigation of cases of sex­ual violence and accountability for perpetrators; and 3) develop gender sensitivity in peacekeeping forces. All reports identify minimal improvements on the ground and high­light the overall failure of initiatives to achieve their goals.
As of February 2015, women comprised just fewer than 4 % of UN peacekeeping mis­sions,[41] far short of any representative number.
Sexual exploitation in peacekeeping operations has been identified as a major prob­lem. A UN report completed in 2005 by Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein found wide­spread sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeeping personnel. It made recommenda­tions in four main areas of concern: current rules on standards of conduct, the investigative process, organization, managerial, and command responsibility, individ­ual disciplinary, financial and criminal accountability.[42] That same year, the UN De­partment of Peacekeeping Operations established conduct and discipline units to up­hold standards of conduct in UN missions.
In October 2014, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon announced a High Level Independ­ent Panel on Peace Operations to consider a broad range of issues facing peace op­erations, including the changing nature of conflict, evolving mandates, good offices and peace building challenges, managerial and administrative arrangements, planning, part­nerships, human rights and protection of civilians, uniformed capabilities for peacekeep­ing operations, and performance. It is expected to be presented to the General As­sembly in September 2015.
Justice Sector
Integrating gender into the justice sector is critical. The 1325 framework stresses the need to end impunity and ensure access to justice for women in order to maintain peace and security. It is a recurrent theme throughout the resolutions, especially in relation to sexual violence. Most recently UNSCR 2106 (2013) stresses the need for justice sector reform and calls on States to undertake initiatives including legislative and policy re­forms that address sexual violence, training in sexual and gender-based violence of jus­tice and security sector professionals, and the inclusion of more women at professional levels in these sectors. It also calls for judicial proceedings that take into account the dis­tinct needs and protection of survivors, family members and witnesses of sexual vio­lence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations in order to ensure safe court environ­ments for women to come forward and seek justice.
In order to comply with the principles of 1325 and international obligations relating to women’s participation in decision-making and to safeguard women’s interests and main­tain security and stability, judiciaries must include women. Furthermore, judges, lawyers, and other court personnel must be adequately trained in gender equality and women’s rights principles, including international law.
“Transitional justice” refers to the set of judicial and non-judicial measures that are im­plemented in order to redress legacies of massive human rights abuses during a coun­try’s transition from conflict or authoritarian rule. They address and heal divisions in soci­ety, provide justice to victims and accountability for perpetrators, create a historical re­cord, and restore the rule of law and promote co-existence and sustainable peace.[43] Measures include criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations programs (that generally involve monetary or other compensation), and various kinds of institutional re­forms – for instance reform of the judiciary, legal, police, penal, and military sectors to promote the rule of law and end human rights violations and systematic discrimination.[44] It can also consist of more community-based programs, run either by the government or by civil society groups, which promote peace and reconciliation. Transitional justice is an important part of the healing and reconstruction process. For women, this often means seeking justice for the sexual violence, displacement, and loss of property that they suffered during conflict, as well as reparations for such crimes and lack of access to so­cial services and other entitlements due to discriminatory policies or practices. Integrat­ing gender perspectives is an important part of the process.
Human rights institutions such as human rights commissions play an important role in promoting and protecting human rights principles and monitoring compliance with interna­tional standards. Duties of human rights commissions may include: receiving and in­vestigating complaints of human rights violations, monitoring jails, prisons, and other places of detention, monitoring government compliance with international human rights treaties, sensitizing government institutions regarding international human rights treaties and integrating them into existing national law, submitting reports to relevant interna­tional human rights treaty monitoring bodies, publishing findings, submitting reports to parliaments on the state of human rights and freedoms in the country, establishing hu­man rights educations programs, and raising public awareness of human rights and constitu­tional protections. In order to be effective and equitable, human rights commis­sions must be knowledgeable about international law related to women, peace, and secu­rity, sensitized to gender issues and equipped to address violations of women’s rights.[45]
The penal system is an important part of the justice sector, which ensures that the law is enforced. The differing needs of men, women, boys, and girls must be taken into ac­count. Gender integrative measures should include appropriate laws and nondiscrimina­tory sentencing, effective oversight and monitoring, complaint mechanisms, adequate facili­ties for both men and women, protection from GBV, comprehensive health care for both men and women, including reproductive and maternal health care when necessary, proper recruitment and training of prison staff to ensure gender sensitivity, and access to civil society organizations that provide services and support to inmates. In many coun­tries, human rights commissions play an important role in monitoring detention facili­ties.
Economic Reform
The economic dimension involves transparent public financial management of the secu­rity sector and gender sensitive budgeting. In many countries, the defense sector repre­sents a large percentage of the national budget. In the U.S., defense spending constitutes 53 % of the president’s requested budget for fiscal year 2016.[46] Trailing a very distant sec­ond are education, labor, and social services at 8.6 %, with requests for other social, hu­man, justice, international assistance, and environmental needs at even smaller propor­tions. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action recognizes that excessive mili­tary expenditures, including global military expenditures, arms trade and trafficking, and investments in arms production and acquisition have reduced the resources available for social development. It calls on governments to reduce excessive military expendi­tures and control the availability of armaments to support women’s economic develop­ment and security. In order to foster human security and achieve long-term stability, govern­ments should redirect spending to focus more on human, economic, and environ­mental needs such as education, health care, food security, and economic opportunity.
Additionally, in order to achieve human security at large, and gender equality in particu­lar, funding must be attached to policy commitments. Gender budgeting for the defense sector must take into account to what degree men and women benefit from de­fense spending in programs providing security, in recruitment and conducive human re­sources policies, and for gender related activities such as training.
Societal Reform
Importantly for true and lasting change is the societal aspect of security sector reform, which includes changing social stereotypes and attitudes and collaborating with civil soci­ety to develop, implement, and monitor security policies and programs. This means trans­forming culture so that excluded groups such as women and religious minorities are in­cluded and making security forces and institutions sensitive to their needs. Gender main­streaming policies and mechanisms in and of themselves are critical but insuffi­cient. They will not work unless there are changes in the structural and institutional forces that bring about inequality in the first place. This means working not only with pol­icy makers, but also with community leaders, including traditional, cultural, and reli­gious leaders to sensitize them to gender issues. These individuals are also often the gate­ways to their communities and to changing perceptions at the local level.
The empowerment of women at the grassroots level is critical in operationalizing the women, peace, and security agenda in order to ensure that laws and policies relating to their rights actually reach them and make a difference in their lives. It is important to build grassroots structures for capacity-building on women’s rights and peace-building.
It is also critical to engage men in order to change power structures and promote gen­der equality and peace within communities. Men generally control institutional, govern­mental, and community structures, and thus are important allies for women to gain access to power and decision-making. In addition, working with men at the grass­roots level helps them understand the value of treating women as equals and changes percep­tions and practices. Identifying males in the community who support women al­lows them to serve as role models to change family dynamics, sensitize their peers through an understanding of gender issues and women’s rights, and support the eco­nomic empowerment of women, which in the end improves the security of families and communities. Inclusive security is the only true path to sustainable peace and security.

*    Julie L. Arostegui, J.D., is a lawyer and international human rights, gender and security expert with extensive experience in the rule of law, access to justice, peace building, combating gen­der-based violence, women’s political participation and security sector reform. She serves as an international advocate, advisor and trainer for the civil society, political, security and jus­tice sectors. Julie currently leads the Women, Peace and Security Program at Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND’s), which empowers women politically both in the U.S. and abroad as leaders on critical issues of conflict prevention, peace building, violence against women, and national and global security.
[1]    Address at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, Washington, D.C., 3 Decem­ber 2014.
[2]    Megan Bastick and Tobie Whitman, A Women’s Guide to Security Sector Reform (Washing­ton, D.C.: The Institute for Inclusive Security and DCAF, 2013), 4.
[3]    For more on Security Council Resolutions and International Law, see Julie L. Arostegui and Veron­ica Eragu Bichetero, Women, Peace and Security: Practical Guidance on Using Law to Em­power Women in Post-Conflict Systems (Washington, D.C.: Women in International Secu­rity, 2014), available at
[4]    A sub-regional inter-governmental organization of the countries in the African Great Lakes Re­gion composed of eleven member states: Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Repub­lic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Tan­zania and Zambia.
[5]    UNSCR 1820 deals specifically with sexual violence in conflict.
[6]    The RAP covers all members of the Pacific Islands Forum: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Repub­lic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu as well as Pa­cific Territories.
[7]    For a list of states and action plans, see PeaceWomen’s Action Plan Initiative,
[8]    Department of Defense Implementation Guide for the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, September 2013.
[9]    Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, “UNSCR 1325 – Conundrums and Opportunities,” International Inter­actions 39 (2013): 615–616,
[10]  “Gun Homicide and Violent Crime,” Pew Research Center’s Social and Demographic Trends, accessed 27 March 2015.
[11]  Shelby Quast, “Justice Reform and Gender,” in Gender and Security Sector Reform Toolkit, ed. Megan Bastick and Kristin Valasek (Geneva: DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN-INSTRAW, 2008), 8.
[12]  Claudia Garcia-Morena, et al., Multi-Country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Vio­lence Against Women (Geneva: World Health Organization, 2005), xiii. World Health Organiza­tion Fact Sheet No. 239, Violence Against Women: Intimate Partner and Sexual Vio­lence Against Women, available at, last modified Novem­ber 2014.
[13]  Arostegui and Bichetero, Women, Peace and Security, 44.
[14]  Ray Acheson, “Money, Masculinities, and Militarism: Reaching Critical Will’s Work for Disarma­ment,” in Gender and Militarism: Analyzing the Links to Strategize for Peace (The Hague: Women Peacemakers Program (WPP), 2014), 15.
[15]  “Gender and Disarmament,” Reaching Critical Will, available at resources/fact-sheets/critical-issues/4741-gender-and-disarmament (accessed 5 March 2015).
[16]  Arostegui and Bichetero, Women, Peace and Security, 82.
[17]  United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 1994 (New York: Ox­ford University Press, 1994), 1.
[18]  Oscar A. Gómez and Des Gasper, Human Security: A Thematic Guidance Note for Regional and National Human Development Report Teams (United Nations Development Programme, Hu­man Development Report Office, 2013), available at
[19]  A./Res.66/290, 10 September 2012.
[20]  Kristin Valasek, “Security Reform and Gender,” in Gender and Security Sector Reform Tool­kit, 8.
[21]  Megan Bastick, “ Integrating Gender in post-conflict security sector reform,” in Gender and Secu­rity Sector Reform Toolkit, 163, available at 526435/file/pp29.pdf.
[22]  Tobie Whitman and Jacqueline O’Neill, Attention to gender increases security in operations; Examples from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (Washington, D.C.: The Insti­tute for Inclusive Security, April 2012), 6, available at
[23]  Louise Olsson and Johan Tejpar, eds., Operational Effectiveness and UN Resolution 1325 – Prac­tices and Lessons from Afghanistan (Stockholm: Swedish Defense Research Agency, 2009).
[24]  In the aftermath of the genocide, which destroyed and scattered families, women’s right to in­herit land was critical also because it had a direct impact on issues such as food production and security, the environment, settlement patterns and the livelihoods of families and children left behind.
[25]  Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, et al., “Transitional Justice and Reconciliation,” in Inclusive Secu­rity, Sustainable Peace: A Toolkit for Advocacy and Action (London and Washington, D.C.: Hunt Alternatives Fund/The Initiative for Inclusive Security and International Alert, 2004), 9.
[26]  “Why Women?,” (accessed 28 February 2015).
[27]  Arostegui and Bichetero, Women, Peace and Security, 2, available at
[28]  Bastick and Whitman, A Women’s Guide to Security Sector Reform, 8.
[29]  Sanam Naraghi Anderlini and Camille Pampell Conaway, “Security Sector Reform,” in Inclu­sive Security, Sustainable Peace, 31.
[30]  Charlotte Isaksson, “Genderforce: Why didn’t we do this before?,” Open Democracy, 29 Novem­ber 2012, available at genderforce-why-didnt-we-do-this-before.
[31]  Anderlini and Conaway, “Security Sector Reform,” 32.
[32]  Nicola Popovic, et al., Planning for Action on Women and Peace and Security: National-Level Implementation of Resolution 1325 (2000) (New York: United Nations, 2010), 47–48.
[33]  Institute for Inclusive Security, “Network Member Responds to New York Times Article on Afghan Policewomen,” 5 March 2015, available at
[34]  Cheryl Hendricks and Lauren Hutton, “Defence Reform and Gender,” in Gender and Security Sector Reform Toolkit, 13.
[35]  Ibid., 1.
[36]  Ibid., 3–4.
[37]  Tara Denham, “Police Reform and Gender,” in Gender and Security Sector Reform Toolkit, 2–3.
[38]  Allison Peters, “Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Pakistan: Why Policewomen Must Have a Role,” Policy brief (Institute for Inclusive Security, 31 March 2014), available at
[39]  “About Us,” United Nations Peacekeeping, available at about/.
[40]  Official UN reports include Lakhdar Brahimi’s (2000), Prince Zeid’s (2005), and a “Ten-year Impact Study” (2010) on implementing UNSCR 1325 in peacekeeping.
[41]  “Gender Statistics for the Month of February 2015,” UN Peacekeeping, en/peacekeeping/contributors/gender/2015gender/feb15.pdf, last modified 9 March 2015.
[42]  A/59/710, 24 March 2005.
[43]  Anderlini, et al., “Transitional Justice,” 1.
[44]  “What is Transitional Justice?” International Center for Truth and Justice (ICTJ),
[45]  Arostegui and Bichetero, Women, Peace and Security, 64–65.
[46]  The President’s budget request, submitted in February each year, must be approved by Con­gress annually through its appropriations process. For details on budget percentages, see Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND’s) Factsheet on the Federal Budget, February 2015, available at
Last updated: Friday, 15 April 2016