A Women’s Guide to Security Sector Reform

A Women’s Guide to Security Sector Reform seeks to encourage and empower women to take part in shaping and transforming the security sector in their communities and countries.

The Women’s Guide provides both information on the security sector and tools for action. It draws on the rich and varied experiences of women in civil society from across the world and shares examples of practical, and sometimes innovative, ways to influence reform from the grassroots.

The Women’s Guide to Security Sector Reform includes three sections:

  • Section 1:Understanding Security

Introduces key concepts in security, explaining SSR, and discusses why women’s contributions in civil society are vital to transforming the security sector.

  • Section 2:Get Involved

Outlines concrete ways in which women’s organisations can engage and influence reform: how to research security issues, form coalitions, plan strategically, develop recommendations, advocate and engage directly.

  • Section 3:Tools for Action

Presents an array of practical activities and tools for women’s organisations to take action, including activities to identify local security needs, sample letters to security officials, talking points for meetings with policymakers and media and definitions of security jargon.


Gender Training for the Security Sector: Lessons identified and practical resources

On 4-6 June 2012, DCAF hosted a three-day workshop on gender training for the security sector in Geneva, Switzerland. The workshop brought together thirty-six gender training experts from around the world to share and discuss good practices and lessons learned in delivering gender training to defence, police and other security audiences.


The topics covered during the workshop were:


   - Gender training needs assessment

   - Importance of gender – debating different approaches

   - Simulation exercises and role plays

   - Favourite gender training exercises

   - Exchange and analysis of gender training agendas

   - Gender training for men

   - Gender and diversity training

   - Exchange and analysis of case studies

   - Gender training exercises to promote attitude change

   - Follow-up and evaluating the impact of gender training


The workshop was held as part of DCAF’s ongoing project on Gender and Security Sector Reform Capacity Building. The report provides an invaluable resource to anyone involved in training in the field of gender and security as it includes numerous lessons identified as well as useful tips and pointers on how to overcome some of the greatest challenges that gender trainers currently face. Furthermore, the report contains a sizeable collection of tried-and-tested gender training exercises as well as an extensive list of additional resources such as publications, short videos and other electronic training materials.


Sample Lesson Plans for Teaching Gender to the Military

Three lesson plans for teaching gender to the military developed by experts on military education, gender training for the military and integrating gender in military operations developed at the 17th meeting of the Security Sector Reform Working Group of the Partnership for Peace Consortium, hosted in Garmisch-Partenkirchen from 12 to 14 December 2012 in collaboration with the Education Development Working Group and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.


Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Resolutions in Security Sector Reform (Tool 13)

Reflecting the text of the resolutions, the Tool focuses on reforms in the defence forces, police and the justice sector. Issues examined include: DDR, vetting, specialised services for victims of sexual violence, prosecution of violence against women in armed conflict, measures to increase women’s leadership in police and defence organisations and to promote deployment of women in peacekeeping, peacekeepers’ training , operational strategies to prevent sexual violence, and gender justice. The Tool will also examine progress made in promoting the participation of women in security decision-making, and in integrating Security Council Resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888 and 1889 in national security policy-making, including through national action plans.



1. Introduction

2. What is security sector reform?
2.1 Security sector reform
2.2 Why women and girls?

3. What are the women, peace and security resolutions?
3.1 Overview
3.2 What do the women, peace and security resolutions mean for UN Member States?

4. How can the women, peace and security resolutions be implemented in security sector reform?
4.1 In national and regional security policies and Action Plans
4.2 Through women’s participation in SSR processes
4.3 In defence reform
4.4 In police reform
4.5 In transitional justice and justice reform
4.6 In preparation for the deployment of personnel to peacekeeping missions
4.7 By Countries involved in armed conflict

5. Key recommendations

6. Additional resources