Emile LeBrun

Gender-responsive Small Arms Control: A Practical Guide

Small Arms Survey


The last two decades have seen the steady convergence of global agendas on small arms control; women, peace, and security; and sustainable development. For small arms control programmers, policymakers, and donor governments, this convergence requires a shift in thinking and a new approach to project implementation. It is now broadly accepted that significant reductions in armed violence will not be achieved without the full and equal contributions of people of all genders––and a better understanding of the gendered underpinnings of violence and insecurity. The challenge now is to reflect these understandings in practical programming. Disarmament efforts, for example, will miss the mark if they do not take account of the gendered dynamics of arms acquisition, use, and misuse in affected areas. Similarly, community violence-reduction initiatives will lose credibility–– and effectiveness––if they do not incorporate the contributions of community members of all genders in their design. Once the effort is made, the benefits are considerable. Enhancing the gender responsiveness of small arms programs makes them more effective and furthers the aim of gender equality. Gender-responsive programming, however, is not yet the norm.