Security for All: West Africa's Good Practices on Gender in the Security Sector

Friday, January 1, 2010
Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
Western Africa

Despite ongoing efforts to improve the accountability and effectiveness of the security sector in West Africa, the different security and justice needs of men, women, boys and girls are often marginalised and women remain largely excluded from security and defence decision-making processes. Nevertheless, there are examples of innovative initiatives taken across West Africa to integrate gender issues into security sector reform (SSR) processes and security sector institutions (SSIs).

This report highlights the lessons identified and country-specific examples shared during the regional conference "Security for All: West Africa's Good Practices on Gender in the Security Sector" held in Saly, Senegal, 22 -24 June 2010. Organised by UNOWA and DCAF in partnership with the ECOWAS Gender Development Centre, MARWOPNET and AMLD, this working-level conference brought together over seventy gender and security sector practitioners and researchers from West Africa. The report includes guidance and examples on eight interconnected topics:

1. Gender assessments of the security sector

2. Provision of security and justice services to women and men

3. Civil society oversight: collaboration between women's organisations, gender machineries and SSIs

4. Gender and security policies

5. Internal oversight mechanisms

6. Recruitment, retention and advancement of female security sector personnel

7. Female security sector staff associations

8. Gender training

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Security for All: West Africa\'s Good Practices on Gender in the Security Sector