National security policy-making and gender

National security policy-making and gender

As part of the Gender and Security Sector Reform Toolkit, this tool provides an introduction to the benefits and opportunities of integrating gender issues into national-level security policy making.

As strategic documents, security policies are critically important in establishing a coordinated response to security threats, and can serve as a platform for security sector reform (SSR) processes. This includes national security policies (NSPs) as well as sector-specific policies, such as a white paper on defence.

This toolkit is designed to be a resource for staff responsible for initiating security policy-making processes within the executive branch of government, including those responsible for drafting, implementing and evaluating security policies. It may also be useful to a variety of other actors involved in security policy-making processes, including parliamentarians and parliamentary staffers, ministerial staff, civil society organisations, municipal-level government, international and regional organisations, and donor countries supporting the development of security policies.

Specifically, this tool provides:

  • a brief introduction to security policies, including NSPs and sector-specific policies
  • discussion of the significance and benefits of applying a gender perspective to security policy making
  • practical actions to integrate gender dimensions into security policy-making
  • an introduction to the development of security policies in post-conflict, transitional, developing and developed countries
  • key recommendations
  • additional resources

The focus of this tool is policy-making, and how gender may best be incorporated into the process. It should be mentioned that a policy of itself has little value. Only when it is implemented will it impact on how security and justice are provided in a given country.