Geneva, 27 November 2018, offside event to the 17th Meeting of States Parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention
In November, the International Gender Champions (IGC) Disarmament Impact Group held its first briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. 19 States and dozens of civil society representatives attended a briefing on how a gender perspective can inform the work of a disarmament treaty, specifically the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.
The event took place on the margins of the 17th Meeting of States Parties (17MSP) to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. Ahead of the 2019 Review Conference, this afforded States Parties an opportunity to identify concrete measures that can be taken to ensure that the different needs of women and men, boys and girls effectively inform mine action, from demining to victim assistance, risk education and reintegration.
To facilitate this, the Disarmament Impact Group and GMAP collaborated in the production of a factsheet on gender in the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention that was presented and distributed at the side event, to support Member States in integrating gender perspectives in their work at the 17MSP and beyond.
What is the IGC Impact Group?
The Impact Group is an expert forum that seeks to promote dialogue, shared knowledge and the pursuit of concrete opportunities to advance gender-responsive action within distinct disarmament processes. The Impact Group is co-chaired by the Ambassadors of Canada, Ireland and Namibia, and the Director of UNIDIR.
Colin Namalambo, Disarmament Advisor (Namibia) moderated the event, opening with the positive news that Canada had joined the Impact Group.
Arianna Calza Bini (Director, Gender and Mine Action Programme) presented a factsheet with key information and recommendations about integrating a gender perspective into multiple areas of mine action.
She noted that it is useful to focus on the gendered contexts and impacts of landmines. For example, 88% of landmine & explosive remnants of war (ERW) victims are boys and men, because higher mobility and risk-taking behaviour of men and boys results in higher casualty rates. In addition, only 20% of those currently employed in the mine action sector are women. These examples highlight that gender-responsive mine action programmes are essential.
Donors should increase support for victim assistance, advocating for integration and recognizing the different needs of men, women, girls and boys.
Renata Dalaqua (Researcher, UNIDIR) reminded the audience that gender is socially constructed. It is a common misunderstanding that when we talk about gender, we are only talking about women, but this falls short of realizing how gender roles and responsibilities impact on mine action. Gender responsive actions have a positive and effective impact on disarmament. For example, the collection of data for mapping mine contaminated areas is more effective when including all actors in society.
She stated, “governments can agree on clearer guidelines on how to include gender in mine action. We would like to see concrete actions in next action plan about gender.”
Ambassador Hans Brattskar of Norway made closing remarks. He noted that Norway will host the review conference next year and wants to strengthen to the gender dimension in the APMBC going towards the 2025 goal.
How you can get involved
Download the factsheet and share it on social media.