Gender, Peace and Security
On 8 December 2008, EU Ministers for Foreign Affairs and the EU Commissioner for External Relations adopted the joint Commission and Council ‘Comprehensive EU Approach to the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 on Women, Peace and Security’. This document, drawing on previous experiences and lessons identified, outlines common definitions and principles, and includes a series of specific measures to move forward.
The document adopts a holistic approach, recognising the close links between peace, security, development and gender equality. There is not only the need to promote the participation and the protection of women in conflict situations and peace building but also the need to ensure that these actions are supported by wider development considerations, such as the promotion of women’s economic security and opportunities and their access to health services and education.
2. Practical example of implementation
EU Police Mission and EU advisory and assistance mission for security reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Gender mainstreaming is an essential aspect of the mandates of the EU missions in support of Security Sector Reform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. EUPOL and EUSEC gender experts integrate multidisciplinary teams working on human rights, sexual violence and child protection. These teams are based in Kinshasa, Goma and Bukavu, where they participate actively in the global strategy against sexual and gender based violence in co-operation with national and local actors as well as international NGO’s.
EUPOL provides technical advice to the Congolese National Police on integrating gender issues in its daily procedures. Much of this assistance is carried out by supporting the Follow up Committee for the Police Reform in DRC, in particular its working group on sexual violence and human rights. The mission also aims at eradicating impunity for sexual and gender based violence by strengthening penal procedures.
EUSEC assists Congolese authorities in the reform of the national army, and to complement its primary advisory role, the mission supports projects that aim at raising the awareness on human rights and gender among the Congolese armed forces (FARDC). It assists the army in sensitising its soldiers and officers on human rights, gender and sexual violence, and also in the provision of better and more stable living conditions for the soldiers and their families.
3. EU Policy documents on this issue