How Does the EU Mainstream Gender within its Security Sector Reform (SSR) Programmes?

Toni Haastrup, Nadine Ansorg

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the EU has contributed to 31 SSR programmes under the aegis of its development policies and its Common Security and Defence Policy framework. These programmes have been executed in 21 countries. Like others, the EU has committed to including a gender perspective within its security practices and so we assume that this translates into a better representation of gender issues within its SSR programmes. While researchers and practitioners recognise the importance of the integration of gender issues into SSR for operational effectiveness, local ownership and strengthened oversight, there is limited knowledge about how this functions within the EU's security architecture. Existing evidence suggests attention to gender issues in security through increased representation of women, and collaborating with women's organisations contribute to creating an efficient, accountable and participatory security sector, while responding to the specific needs of men, women, girls and boys. This paper combines feminist theorising with institutionalist approaches to understanding and assessing the execution of the EU's SSR programmes. Using three cases of SSR programmes, it asks what have been the implications of the (failure of) inclusion of gender for the outcome of SSR programmes, especially on the people in recipient countries?

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