Event Summary: 'Preventing Gender Based Violence Through Arms Control' Report Launch

By Nela Abey


Speakers Marren Akatsa-Bukachi, Mia Gandenberger and Rebecca Gerome ( Photo: Grace Jennings-Edquist)

On 6 June, WILPF launched a report, “Preventing Gender Based Violence Through Arms Control,” as a side event to the Sixth Biennial Meeting of States (BMS6).

The report discusses tools and guidelines for effective implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (UNPoA) provisions related to gender-based violence (GBV). It builds on WILPF’s advocacy work in pushing gender criterion in the ATT. It offers an overview of current practices in export license, documentation, risk assessment, information-sharing, monitoring and transparency. It further analyses current practice and thus offers guidelines for assessing GBV. Building on WILPF’s successful advocacy to push for the ATT and its gender criterion, which commits states to assessing the risk of GBV of arms transfers, WILPF’s recent report shows how this commitment can be turned into action.

The speakers– report author Rebecca Gerome, along with Mia Gandenberger of WILPF/Reaching Critical Will programme and Marren Akatsa-Bukachi of the IANSA Women’s Network– presented the key findings in the report and addressed the link between gender and disarmament.

They highlighted how GBV is rooted in violent masculinities and gendered and unequal power relations. They showed how inconsistent requirements of states conducting risk assessments, and lack of expertise in GBV by arms export officials were among the obstacles to effective implementation of the ATT. They also called for ongoing consultation with women’s and civil society to ensure gender mainstreaming into the implementation of the UNPoA.

Read our full report on the launch here. You can also read the Swedish case study on arms trade and feminist foreign policy made in collaboration between international staff and grassroots activists in arms exporting here.