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Title: Security Sector Reform and the Paradoxical Tension between Local Ownership and Gender Equality
Authors: Gordon, Eleanor
Welch, Anthony Cleland
Roos, E.
First Published: 4-Nov-2015
Publisher: Ubiquity Press
Citation: Stability : International Journal of Security and Development, 2015, 4 (1), pp. 1-23 (23)
Abstract: This article analyses the tension or conflict that can exist between the principles of local ownership and gender equality that guide Security Sector Reform (SSR) programmes when gender discrimination and patriarchal values characterise the local environment (and ‘locals’ do not value gender equality). In these situations, international actors may be reluctant to advocate gender equality, regarding it as imposing culturally alien values and potentially destabilising to the SSR process. It is argued, however, that the tension between local ownership and gender equality is deceptive and merely serves to protect the power of dominant groups and disempower the marginalised, often serving to disguise the power relations at play in post-conflict environments and avoid addressing the security needs of those who are often at most risk. The paper concludes that rather than a tension existing between the two principles, in fact, local ownership without gender equality is meaningless. Moreover, failing to promote gender equality undermines the extent to which SSR programmes result in security and justice sector institutions that are representative of and responsive to the needs of both men and women. It can also perpetuate structural inequalities and conflict dynamics and, ultimately, limit the success of SSR and broader peacebuilding processes.
DOI Link: 10.5334/sta.gj
ISSN: 2165-2627
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2015 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Criminology

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SSR Gender and LO - final draft - published version.docPost-review (final submitted)197 kBMicrosoft WordView/Open
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395-2040-2-PB.pdfPublished (publisher PDF)502.68 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
SSR Gender and LO - final version.docPost-review (final submitted)196 kBMicrosoft WordView/Open

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