Policy cycle in security
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.
Eurostat – on crime
The Eurostat section on crime and criminal justice is a relevant source. The database provides demographic contextual information. All data are disaggregated by sex and include the following areas:
- recorded intentional homicides and sexual offences,
- persons in the criminal justice system,
- court processes,
- prison and prisoner characteristics,
- crime – historical data.
However, the data sets are limited due to a lack of sex-disaggregated data collected in a rigorous and methodical way by some Member States. Comparing countries may not be possible and could lead to misleading inferences or wrong conclusions. Adherence to European norms on data collection, storage and analysis requires a buy-in from national statistical agencies. Additionally, different criminal justice systems rely on different definitions, reference times, norms and counting and calculation methods. It may therefore be challenging to identify gender-related patterns in crime.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime – on cybercrime
The cybercrime repository brings together, in a central location, all national-level cybercrime laws (including legislation and case-law) and lessons learned, in order to facilitate ongoing assessment of needs and criminal justice capabilities. The database is searchable, which means that references to gender, women and men in national legislation can be identified.
European Commission - data collection on trafficking in human beings (THB) in the EU
The final report from Lancaster University published in 2018, presents EU-wide data on THB with sex and age breakdown on victims and perpetrators (suspects, prosecutions and convictions), on forms of exploitation and nationality.
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.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime – resource on terrorism
In 2017, UNODC produced the ‘Handbook on Children Recruited and Exploited by Terrorist and Violent Extremist Groups – The role of the justice system’. This document provides a detailed assessment of strategies for preventing the recruitment of children by terrorist and violent extremist groups. The report draws attention to the importance of integrating a gender and cultural dimension into such mechanisms and is therefore an important resource for considering a gender perspective.
EIGE’s report Gender-Specific Measures in Anti-Trafficking Actions provides a gender analysis of the provisions and obligations under the anti-trafficking directive and the victims’ rights directive, identifying strengths and opportunities for improvement in the protection and response to the needs of victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation.
European Commission - study on the gender dimension of trafficking in human beings (2016)
The study is situated within the law and policy environment in the EU on anti-trafficking in human beings and on gender equality. This includes analysis of the gender dimension of each of the fields that are identified as priorities in the EU Strategy (COM(2012) 286 final) towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings (victim assistance, law enforcement, prevention by demand reduction, coherence and coordination, and knowledge and emerging concerns).
FRA - “Children deprived of parental care found in an EU Member State other than their own - A guide to enhance child protection focusing on victims of trafficking”
Examples of gender analysis
The dangerous women project
In the dangerous women project, Professor Liz Campbell provides a comprehensive overview of the literature on organised crime from a gender perspective. The report identifies the limited consideration of the roles women adopt and play and the lack of attention given to the gendered impact of policy measures – such as, at a national level, the Criminal Justice and Licensing Act 2010, which makes it an offence for a person to fail to report to the police their knowledge or even suspicion that another person is involved in, or directs, organised crime. This crime of omission is categorised as such because it is an individual’s failure to act or to prevent harm, rather than a positive action, which constitutes the offence. Knowledge of organised crime can come from employment or from personal relationships. The latter has significant gendered implications. For example, in Scotland, the majority of those involved in organised crime are men (89 %). This means that the burden of reporting falls on partners (the majority of whom will be women). The report draws attention to how this encroaches on private and family life (protected by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights). This places an unjustifiable and dangerous burden on partners, spouses and children.
Feminist triangles and coalitions for advancing gender in security institutions
Professor Roberta Guerrina, Dr Katharine Wright and Dr Laura Chappell have been examining the impact of feminist triangles on generating institutional buy-in for gender in the area of European security and defence. Two studies highlight the importance of feminist constellations in supporting the inclusion of this agenda in a policy domain traditionally reluctant to work towards, or resistant to, the full operationalisation of gender mainstreaming as a policy strategy. This work identifies three groups of critical actors: experts operating within the institutions, advocacy groups holding the organisations to account and, finally, epistemic communities. The development of the EU’s role as a feminist foreign policy actor overlaps with the emergence of a feminist constellation in this broader policy field.
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
UN Women ‘empowered women, peaceful communities’ programme
This programme seeks to understand women’s diverse roles in violent extremism, from promoters to preventers. UN Women is working directly with women at the community level to support their empowerment as a key strategy for supporting and building community cohesion. This has contributed to increasing women’s knowledge of violent extremism and as a result improved their confidence to engage in initiatives to prevent it. Both women and men in the programme recognised that the economic empowerment of women reduced tensions within the family and the community and thereby contributed to more peaceful and resilient societies.
The DCAF, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and UN Women Gender and Security Toolkit is a series of practical and policy guides to promote gender equality and integrate a gender perspective into the security and justice sector. The toolkit focuses both on advancing gender equality within security and justice institutions and on how the security and justice sector can help achieve gender equality and WPS goals within society. Drawing on the past decade of policy innovation and best practices, the tools highlight what success in this area looks like and how it can be achieved.
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
The responsibility for the implementation of UNSCRs related to WPS lies first and foremost with UN member states and the UN itself, in addition to civil society organisations and international and regional security institutions. To support this, the UN Security Council has encouraged member states to develop national action plans detailing their implementation plans, including goals and timetables, to enable monitoring. UN Women has also produced useful toolkits and resources for planning and monitoring.
OSCE – Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in the OSCE Region
By analysing the national action plans on WPS of the OSCE participating states, this report illustrates the progress made in the implementation of the WPS agenda in the OSCE region. It highlights main trends and challenges, including in the monitoring and evaluation of the national action plans.
Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) – Gender self-assessment guide for the police, armed forces and justice sector
In 2011, the DCAF produced its Gender Self-Assessment Guide for the Police, Armed Forces and Justice Sector for assessing the gender responsiveness of security sector institutions. While it can be used by other security sector institutions, it is designed for use by police services, armed forces and justice sector institutions in particular. The guide includes a specific section on monitoring and evaluation.
Europol – ‘The Female Factor – Gender balance in law enforcement’
In 2012, Europol launched its own gender-balance project to explore the causes of the gender imbalance in its staff base, in particular at senior levels. The project aimed to address the gender imbalance, raise awareness of gender equality and ensure that gender equality became integral to the working environment of Europol. Europol interviewed delegates at the European Police Chiefs Convention in The Hague, with a key question in mind: ‘why are there so few women at a senior level in law enforcement compared to other professions?’ The report concluded: if ‘we [Europol] are to remain competitive in the fight against international organised crime and achieve the desired successes, then we must embrace gender diversity, bringing together talent, skills and knowledge from all sides to create the most effective workforce’.
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
2014 Global Counterterrorism Forum – ‘Good Practices on Women and Countering Violent Extremism’
This report of good practices highlights practical examples of the benefits and the necessity of mainstreaming gender in the security sector. This includes discussion of working methods, training of security bodies and improving the inclusivity of institutions, which improves operational effectiveness and oversight of CVE measures. In particular, it points to the benefits of the full and active engagement of men and boys in supporting gender mainstreaming and advancing the roles of women and girls in CVE. It highlights how engaging male leaders can support the creation of spaces for women and girls in otherwise male-dominated settings, including communities and government.