In the ‘define’ phase, it is recommended that in­formation be gathered on the situation of women and men in a particular area. This means looking for sex-disaggregated data and gender statistics, along with checking for the existence of studies, programme or project reports, and/or evaluations from previous periods.

Examples of gender and internal security statistics

At the EU level, relevant databases and indices have been developed to address the dimension of gender in security through Eurostat. At the in­ternational level, the UNODC is a useful resource. Databases may also exist at the level of individual Member States.

Examples of studies, research and reports

The European Commission 2017 ‘Operational guidelines on the preparation and implemen­tation of EU financed actions specific to coun­tering terrorism and violent extremism in third countries’ represent an example of a policy that has successfully embedded a gender-sensitive approach. In line with EIGE’s approach, gender is considered at all stages of the policy cycle. The document recognises the different pathways to radicalisation and draws links between gender, empowerment and human rights. Specifically, the document calls for programmes aimed at wom­en’s empowerment, linking security objectives to education, engagement and participation within local communities. Deep understanding of the local context is also a necessary precondition for the effective operationalisation of the principles and to avoid the co-optation or instrumentalisation of gender equality as a principle.

The European Parliament Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality study draws attention to the impact of gender stereotypes on the op­erationalisation of key policies. The report found that the focus of European and national policies on the active perpetrators of political violence, i.e. mostly men, has overlooked women’s role in and support for violent extremism. Although women still represent the minority of individuals travelling to join jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria (approximately 17 % of the total in 2016), it raises important questions about the role of gender in radicalisation.

A few examples at the UN and Member State levels are included below, looking at violent extremism, organised crime and cybercrime. These studies help to highlight the unconscious biases of traditional research methods in the harvesting of data that are gender sensitive and help to mainstream gen­der within policy domains traditionally perceived to be gender free.

International Alert and the UN Development Pro­gramme provide a 2018 toolkit for improving the impact of PVE programming, which is a good example of a mainstream document that seeks to move beyond gender stereotyping in the area of terrorism and CVE. This document highlights the impact terrorism has on men through profiling and on women whose vulnerability, particularly in the context of the private sphere/family, is often marginalised. This document adopts a gen­der-sensitive approach, as it helps to break down assumptions underpinning policy decisions that have contributed to women’s disempowerment and the increased securitisation of men in the context of armed conflict by inadvertently reproducing gender stereotypes.

Examples of gender analysis


In the ‘plan’ phase, it is relevant to analyse budgets from a gender perspective. Gender budgeting is used to identify how budget allocations contribute to promoting gender equality. Gender budgeting shows how much public money is spent for wom­en and men respectively and therefore it aims to ensure that public funds are fairly distributed between them. It also contributes to accounta­bility and transparency about how public funds are being spent.

When planning, monitoring and evaluation systems must be established, along with indicators that will allow for the measurement and comparison of the impact of the policy or programme on women and men over the time frame of its implementation. It is necessary to establish appropriate moments for monitoring and evaluating the policy.

Examples of gender budgeting in security

The 2015 European Parliament study The EU Budget for Gender Equality analyses the EU budget from a gender perspective to reveal how revenue and spending decisions impact gender equality. It includes the operational expenditure of six policy areas, including that of justice. The study also includes an in-depth presentation of the ‘capability’ approach used to carry out the gender analysis of the EU budget in the selected policy areas, including internal security. In 2019, the European Parliament published an update to the 2015 study, assessing the progress made in gender budgeting since 2015.

Examples of indicators for monitoring gender and security

Duke Law International Human Rights Clinic and the Women Peacemakers Program

The Duke Law International Human Rights Clinic and the Women Peacemakers Program produced a report in 2017 entitled ‘Tightening the Purse Strings: What countering terrorism financing costs gender equality and security’. This report high­lights the importance of monitoring and evaluat­ing existing policies. It finds rules for countering terrorism financing have been both designed and implemented in a way that takes no account of the way in which women’s organisations function, and works against them. For example, the regulatory frameworks for countering terrorism financing often restrict transnational financial flows, involve heavy compliance requirements, block receipt of funds, favour established and also often in­ternational organisations, require extensive and detailed information on civil society organisations’ activities, and decrease the risks donors and banks are willing to take. Such a response to terrorism and violent extremism may then in practice work against gender equality. In practice, prohibitions support both indirect and direct discrimination based on sex and gender, guaranteeing freedom of association, assembly, and expression, which necessitated ensuring access to resources.


In the implementation, or ‘act’ phase of a policy or programme, it is necessary to ensure that all those involved are sufficiently aware of the relevant gen­der objectives and plans. If they are not, briefings and capacity‑building initiatives should be set up according to staff needs. Researchers, proposal evaluators, monitoring and evaluation experts, scientific officers and programme committee members should all be taken into consideration.

Examples of capacity‑building initiatives about gender and security

Examples of gendered language in security

UN Development Programme Lebanon – ‘Guide Note to Gender Sensitive Communication’

The UN Development Programme’s gender-sen­sitive communication guide is an important tool for ensuring a transformative approach to gender equality and women’s empowerment with wider applicability. It calls for all staff to be attentive to their language and vocabulary because the use of specific words can reinforce or subvert gender inequalities. It highlights how language plays a key role in understanding behaviour and lines of thinking. The gender communication guidebook helps individuals avoid stereotypes and common mistakes when talking about gender in all audio­visual and written communication, be it in articles, media, field visits, reports or emails. It promotes gender awareness, which requires critical thinking, sensitivity and receptiveness.


A policy cycle or programme should be checked both during – i.e. monitored – and at the end – i.e. evaluated – of its implementation.

Monitoring the ongoing work allows for progress to be followed up and for unforeseen difficulties to be remedied. This exercise should take into account the indicators delineated in the planning phase and realign data collection based on those indicators.

At the end of a policy cycle or programme, a gen­der‑sensitive evaluation should take place. The evaluation should be made publicly accessible and its results strategically disseminated to promote its educational potential.

Stakeholders (e.g. gender experts, civil society organisations) could be consulted on the topic at hand, to share and validate findings and improve the policy or programme proposal. This will enhance the learning process on the subject for all those involved and will improve the quality of the work done at EU level. The stakeholder consultation process will start in this phase, but could also be considered as an important method to be applied along all the phases of the policy cycle.

Examples of monitoring and evaluation of gender and security

Examples of stakeholders that could be consulted

  • The European Network of Policewomen. An EU-wide network aiming to facilitate positive changes with regard to gender mainstreaming and the management of diversity, as well as improving the position of women within European police and other law enforcement organisations.
  • The European Peacebuilding Liaison Office. An independent civil society platform of 16 European non-governmental organisations, non-govern­mental organisation networks and think tanks that work to build peace and prevent conflict, founded in 2001.
  • The European Women’s Lobby. The largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the EU, representing more than 200 organisations and working to promote women’s rights and equality between women and men.

Practical examples of gender mainstreaming in security