A Women’s Guide to Security Sector Reform

Megan Bastick and Tobie Whitman   •   February 2013


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Despite a range of international laws and policies mandating women’s participation in security sector reform (SSR), women’s experiences are often discounted or overlooked. Women in civil society can also find themselves outside of discussions about security because they are not sure how they can engage. To address this gap, The Institute for Inclusive Security and The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces (DCAF) published this innovative guide for women in civil society that provides concrete steps on how to develop a security sector that is effective and accountable to the people.

The Guide is written for women who have not formally studied security or worked with the security sector and draws on varied experiences of women in civil society from across the world. In addition to introducing key concepts in security and SSR, it outlines concrete ways for women in civil society to get involved and influence reform from the grassroots. Included are specific steps on how to research security issues, form coalitions of like-minded citizens, plan strategically, develop recommendations, advocate, and engage directly with security actors. A majority of the Guide contains practical tools for women to take action, such as talking points for meetings with policymakers, group activities to identify local security risks, and definitions of security jargon.

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