Gender and Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration: Building Blocs for Dutch Policy

Authored by: Tsjeard Bouta

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR), Post-Conflict Reconstruction
Country: Netherlands
Region: Europe and Eurasia
Year: 2005
Citation: Bouta, Tsjeard. Gender and Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration: Building Blocs for Dutch Policy. The Hague: Netherlands Institute of International Relations, 2005.

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Executive Summary

With the United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1325 the topic of gender and armed conflict is firmly placed on the international agenda. Most attention so far has been paid to women’s roles in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict rehabilitation. Less consideration is given to women’s roles in active warfare and to women who operate as combatants in (ir)regular armies in conflict. This is despite the fact that paragraph 13 of Resolution 1325 encourages all those involved in the planning for disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) to consider the different needs of female and male ex-combatants and to take into account the needs of their dependents. Only recently have multilateral organizations, and to a lesser extent bilateral donors, started to address the topic of gender and DDR in their policies. The Netherlands is becoming increasingly active in the field of DDR, and for this reason a policy on DDR and gender has been developed in this paper. Section 2 of this policy paper depicts how both women and men are actively involved in warfare via (ir)regular armies. In Section 3, it touches on gender-specific roles of women and men in armies. Section 4 examines changing gender relations in armies. Section 5 discusses the challenges for DDR programmes in targeting female ex-combatants. The last section outlines the main policy considerations and options for a Dutch policy on gender and DDR. The annex provides a checklist for donors on the key gender considerations in the planning and implementation of DDR programmes.