All over the world, women and girls are disproportionately impacted by both immediate and long-lasting consequences of conflicts, including the related insecurity in both the public and private realms. This often includes the different types of harm caused by the illicit circulation, diversion, and possession of small arms and light weapons (SALW), which is often fuel criminal activities and gender-based violence.
This report summarises ongoing and planned gender mainstreaming activities across programming in the West Africa region and draws lessons learned from MAG’s efforts in this area. It is intended for a range of stakeholders engaged in arms control, weapons and ammunition management (WAM) and broader armed violence reduction (AVR), who are also making efforts to deliver more inclusive programmes of work, including other implementers, security sector stakeholders, policymakers, and donors.
Considering gender leads to an inclusive approach that takes into account the different needs, perspectives, and lived experiences of women, girls, men and boys, and has a series of positive effects. A gender inclusive approach allows access to different sources of knowledge overlooked by a gender-blind approach. Research demonstrates that the inclusion of women allows us to go beyond the realm of power to understand the realities of people. In fact, women have access to spaces, actors, and communities often restricted to men. Equal participation of women captures a wider range of early warning signs leading to conflict and facilitates addressing root causes of violence. This leads to longer and more effective conflict-prevention measures, and long-lasting peace and security.