Around the world, armed forces are recognizing the important contribution that women make within their ranks, and the fact that increasing the representation of female personnel is fundamental to future capability and operational effectiveness. In tackling barriers to women's full participation in armed forces, a key priority is to prevent gender-related discrimination, harassment, bullying and abuse to ensure that all personnel, men and women, serve in an environment that is healthy, safe and respectful, and upholds their human rights. Effective and trusted complaints mechanisms are a crucial component of such an environment.
This handbook brings together knowledge and experience as regards prevention of misconduct, and handling and monitoring of complaints within armed forces, with particular regard to gender. It is a resource for armed forces, ministries of defence, ombuds institutions and others that manage and oversee armed forces in:
establishing a safe and non-discriminatory environment for men and women in the armed forces;
dealing with instances and complaints of gender-related discrimination, harassment, bullying and abuse in the armed forces; and
monitoring and overseeing the handling of instances and complaints of gender-related discrimination, harassment, bullying and abuse in the armed forces.