Gender equality is an international norm that stipulates the equal right of women, men and gender minorities to access opportunities and resources, regardless of the sex with which they were born and the gender with which they identify. In the context of the security sector, this means that women and men should have equal opportunities to participate in the provision, management and oversight of security services, and that the security needs of women, men, boys and girls should be equally considered and effectively responded to.
While ECOWAS recommends that the specific security and justice needs of men and women, boys and girls are fully integrated into all reform processes and governance mechanisms applicable to the security sector, the transition from theory to practice often proves challenging.
Tool 8 of the Toolkit for Security Sector Reform and Governance in West Africa is designed to provide practitioners with action-oriented guidance for tackling this challenge. It may be most useful to national actors involved in the governance of security institutions and to those who partake in democratic oversight. This Tool aims to facilitate the identification of effective entry points for integrating the aims of gender equality in national legislation, strategies and budgets for security; in the management of security institutions; in the delivery of justice and security services and in national defence; as well as at all stages of internal and external oversight of the security sector.
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