Etudes de cas

Gender and Security Sector Reform: Examples from the Ground

Selected Resources

Training Resource Package: Guide to Integrating Gender in SSR Training- DCAF

Video: Gender in SSR-Stephen Jackson, Chief of Staff at the UN Office in Burundi

The Examples from the Ground are concrete illustrations of ways in which a gender perspective has been integrated in different security sector institutions around the world. They range from measures to counter human trafficking in Kosovo, to women’s organisations’ involvement with security institutions in Nepal, to female parliamentarians’ contribution to post-conflict reconstruction in Rwanda. These examples can help policymakers, trainers and educators better understand and demonstrate the linkages between gender and SSR.

The examples are organised around the following nine themes, for which a short introduction is provided:

• Police Reform and Gender
• Defence Reform and Gender
• Justice Reform and Gender
• Penal Reform and Gender
• Border Management and Gender
• Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• National Security Policy-Making and Gender
• Civil Society Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• SSR Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender

For downloading individual examples and case studies in Integrating Gender into SSR Training on Kosovo, Liberia, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Hungary, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the Central African Republic, Indonesia, Peru, Somalia, Afghanistan, the Russian Federation, Tajikstan, Rwand, Brazil, Israel, Jamaica, Nepal, the United States, and the regions of West Africa and the Pacific, kindly follow the link. 

case study

Documents de recherche et de stratégie

Security Sector Reform in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan: what Role for Europe?

The security sectors of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are to different extents corrupt, lack democratic control and can even be a threat to the population. They differ in terms of both size and quality, as well as with respect to their willingness to reform. Security Sector Reform (SSR) based on democratic principles is urgently needed but not always welcome. The Western concept of SSR is not very well-known in Central Asia. States are mainly interested in military training and equipment, and less so in long-term measures to democratise and strengthen their security agencies and institutions. European actors hesitantly support Security Sector Reform in Central Asia. Is Europe on track? Should it do more, or less?

To view this article, please follow this link.


Local Security-Making in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan


In cooperation with researchers in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) is conducting a three-year research project on everyday security practices in Central Asia, which is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. The project was launched in July 2015. While security has become an important focus of academic work on and in Central Asia, most studies highlight the geo-strategic importance of the region and underline the threats to states posed by non-state armed groups and transnational criminal organizations. The research project proposes a radically different approach to studying security in Central Asia. As a point of departure, it understands security as an everyday practice of people that consists in identifying and engaging perceptions of existential threat. It asks: How do various groups of people deal with security issues in their daily lives? For the purpose of addressing this question, it develops and applies the innovative concept of securityscapes, which is partly inspired by the work of the anthropologist Arjun Appadurai as well as recent debates in sociology and political science on studying security as a constitutive practice and in a less state-centric manner.

To access the BICC Working Paper Local Security-Making in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, kindly follow the link.


Central Asia: Climate-related security risk assessment

The Expert Working Group on Climate-related Security Risks, hosted by SIPRI, launched a new report on Central Asia.

The report, entitled ‘Central Asia: Climate-related security risk assessment’, is the final in the series produced by the Expert Working Group during 2018. It identifies four priority climate-related security risks in Central Asia such as border conflicts intensifying as climate changes reduce access to natural resources.

Previous reports in the series have focused on the Lake Chad Region, Iraq and Somalia respectively. Each report builds on research and insights from the field in order to provide integrated assessments of climate-related security risks—as well as social, political and economic aspects.

To read the full report, Central Asia: Climate-related security risk assessment, please follow the link provided. 


Security Sector Reform in Central Asia

This report intends to show the latest developments in security sector reform (SSR) legislation in four Central Asian states. Kazakhstan’s open sources offer the most comprehensive overview of the latest legislation adopted between 2005 and 2011. Kyrgyzstan’s resources are accessible as well, but following the violent regime change in April and the ethnic violence in June 2010, the Parliament and government have started revising many of the laws related to the Interior Ministry and Judicial sector. Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have only few pieces of legislation available to the public. The report does not analyse whether changes in the law translated into more democratic and more open control over the military.


Tajikistan Evolution of the Security Sector and the War on Terror

This paper is concerned with the functioning of the security sector in Tajikistan. It argues that many aspects of security are outsourced to external players – most notably Russia, - while the regime can concentrate on the tasks it is most interested in. According to the author, heightened attention of other players has made this tendency even more pronounced, as offers to "share the burden" have started to come in. The paper concludes with a reflection on prospects for change and what they might mean for stability in Tajikistan.


Tajikistan's Domestic and Regional Priorities and Challenges

This paper summarizes a roundtable discussion on the domestic, regional and international political context of Tajikistan and various challenges it faces in the realm of state and human security.


Tajikistan: Revolutionary Situation or Resilient State?

Since 2008, after a period of relative growth and social stability, the situation in Tajikistan has been steadily deteriorating, leading to increased speculation that the country could emerge as a failing state. Given its proximity to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the role it plays in the Northern Distribution Network (a line that funnels military supplies from Europe to NATO ISAF troops in Afghanistan), the ramifications of potential instability in Tajikistan would resonate beyond the country. The current briefing assesses to what extent such danger is in fact real by outlining developments in the key areas of economy and security, and examining the regime’s capacity to cope with emerging challenges. The briefing concludes with recommendations for the EU and an outlook for future.

For full access to Tajikistan: Revolutionary Situation or Resilient State?, please follow the link. 


The EU Strategy for Central Asia says 'security'. Does this include Security Sector Reform?

This policy brief assesses in what aspects of Security Sector Reform the EU is engaged in with Central Asia andin what context these possible activities should be viewed. The main focus will be on direct engagement on security topics such as the EU Border Management project BOMCA.
However, indirect activities such as education programmes that might be beneficial to security and stability in Central Asia will not be ignored. After an exposé on EU security interests in Central Asia, in the second paragraph attention is devoted to national and regional threats to the security of Central Asian republics and engagement of the EU. The paper concludes with a few recommendations for EU institutions and member states that could help to strengthen EU–Central Asia security cooperation including aspects of Security Sector Reform.