Small arms and light weapons and their illicit trade and misuse continue to impede sustainable peace and development. Given the differentiated impacts of armed violence on women, men, girls and boys, addressing gender dimensions is a critical factor in ensuring national, regional and international peace and security.
Particularly, when dealing with small arms and light weapons, incorporating a gender-responsive approach to policies and programmes is required for effective and sustainable interventions. This includes both taking a gendered approach to analysis and policy-making, but also ensuring that women have equal, full and effective participation in decision-making.
There is growing recognition that, in implementing small arms regulatory instruments and other relevant global frameworks such as the Programme of Action (PoA) on small arms and light weapons in all its aspects, the Firearms Protocol, the Arms Trade Treaty, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda states must take into account the gender dimension that, although not systematically referenced in some of these instruments, has, in practice, proven to be vital to the implementation processes.
The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs is committed to ensuring the systematic and effective mainstreaming of gender aspects in all small arms and light weapons regulatory instruments, policies and measures at the global, regional and national levels. This approach, in our view, can directly contribute to the elimination of all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls as governments and other stakeholders strive, in the words of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to significantly reduce the illicit flows of arms that obstructs development prospects.
One of the major outputs of the project we have executed on mainstreaming gender perspectives in small arms control over the past three years and in more than 18 countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia and the Pacific has been this training manual on gender-responsive small arms control. This manual is intended to guide the integration of gender dimensions into national small arms projects, programmes, and policies. Through coverage of relevant normative agendas, international and national policies, and operational aspects, this manual can assist in training all relevant stakeholders on the need for and methods to ensure that gender dimensions form an integral part of the analysis, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of small arms control actions, particularly at the national level.
It is my hope that this manual will contribute not only to the normative discussion on the need for genderresponsive small arms control but also to its practical implementation to ensure success at the local, national and regional levels.
I wish to extend to the European Union our gratitude for its generous contribution that has made this work possible. I also thank all partners that have contributed in the production of this manual
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