Gender perspectives on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR)

Gender perspectives on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR)

How and why are gender perspectives relevant to DDR of former combatants?

Paper presents general trends of armed conflict, including: that men may have been more active in organised fighting, while women may have had to flee to refugee camps, been subjected to violence, had to assume non-traditional responsibilities and seen their domestic responsibilities intensified in their efforts to secure food, shelter and security for their families. Paper asserts that these different experiences need to be recognised in order to construct DDR programmes that respond to the actual (rather than assumed) needs of all those involved.

Gender Perspectives within DDR initiatives:

  • ex-combatants are a heterogeneous group
  • both women and men have taken up arms
  • there are groups of people who were directly involved with armed fighters but are not seen as soldiers
  • a broad perspective of the socio-economic situation is required
  • psychological rehabilitation needs are important
  • human rights violations and persecution

Concrete Implications:

  • what are the goals of the initiative?
  • who is eligible?
  • who is consulted and involved?
  • what is offered?
  • how are others affected by the initiative?
  • what is the timeframe?
  • what is the legal, political, economic and social context of the initiative?
  • how can local capacities and organisations be strengthened?
  • how can greater learning and understanding of the gender dimensions of DDR be encouraged?


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