Gender and landmines - from concept to practice

Gender and landmines - from concept to practice

Incorporating gender into mine action programmes

The relevance of gender has taken time to impose itself clearly to anti landmine programmers, decision-makers, implementers, donors, and stakeholders working in the area of mine action.The main treaties regulating general mine action activities (the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and its additional Protocol II) are gender blind and do not explicitly discuss the different impact landmines can have on women, men, girls and boys. Moreover, mine action belongs to a traditional “masculine”, technical sector, one of war and weapons, in which the relevance of gender might not appear clearly at first sight. This report, with five country profiles, examines how issues of gender might better be incorporated into mine action.

Key findings of the report suggests that whether it is a woman herself or her husband who is injured through mines, it is women who were most burdened, either as a victim or as a caretaker. It also found that women were not as well represented in demining and clearance as in mine risk education (MRE) and informing men on the risks of landmines was challenging: due to their daily activities, men are both highly vulnerable to landmines and difficult to reach for awareness raising sessions.

The publication also suggests a series of recommendations with regard to gender under four selected pillars mine action:

Demining

  • collect and analyse all data, whether from casualty rates or in assessments, technical surveys or tracking the beneficiaries of cleared land, in a disaggregated manner by sex and age
  • consult each component of the society – women and men – for assessments and surveys
  • consult both women and men in the process of prioritising the land to be cleared
  • train and hire both women and men in all demining activities.

Mine risk education (MRE)
  • train and hire both female and male MRE trainers
  • ensure quantitative participation of both women and men in MRE sessions: ensure suitable timetables and locations for women and men
  • link with women’s grassroots organisations to organise childcare support at the community level to enable women to attend meetings, training sessions and other activities outside home.

Victim assistance

  • Make sure that all services for victim assistance are available and appropriately targeted to women, men, girls and boys. Ensure sex segregated accommodations for women and men in medical facilities and training/education opportunities
  • when possible, ensure free transportation for victims to overcome financial obstacles
  • when possible, favour mobile clinics to overcome mobility obstacles.

Advocacy
  • train staff at all levels on the importance of gender mainstreaming in mine action. Highlight concrete examples on how integrating gender is possible, including facilitation techniques to ensure that all voices are included
  • use existing structures, policies, guidelines or channels and incorporate them into the mine action context. Do not hesitate to replicate successful methods or programmes.
  • mainstream gender into all laws, policies, planning activities and documents, including sector-wide efforts.
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