Mine action does not happen in a vacuum. It takes place in a context where there are differences and inequalities between women, men, boys and girls in responsibilities assigned, activities undertaken, access to and control over resources, as well as decision-making opportunities.
Mainstreaming gender within mine action policies, programmes and operations ensures that the contributions, concerns and needs of all members of affected communities are acknowledged and addressed without bias. It also benefits the community as a whole by ensuring a more coherent, holistic, multi-dimensional response to the different needs of mine-affected women, girls, boys and men. Gender mainstreaming in mine action is not only about equality, but also about quality.
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In addition to gender and age, other criteria that characterise different groups of people need to be taken into account to make sure that mine action benefits everyone equally. Roles, mobility patterns, and knowledge of contamination differ due to gender and age, but are also influenced by other aspects, such as class, job, language, race, ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, education, sexual orientation, literacy, disabilities, residency status/migration history, etc. We refer to these and other aspects as “diversity”.