Making Room for Improvement:
Gender Dimensions of the Life-cycle Management of Ammunition

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In recent years, the international arms control agenda has become more aligned with that of sustainable development and the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda. As a result, two important synergies have emerged. The first is a focus on disaggregating, assessing, and addressing the various ways in which arms and ammunition impact different stakeholder groups through tools such as gender analysis and the sex disaggregation of data. The second is the need to gender mainstream relevant policies and procedures––that is, to institutionalize meaningful participation in all work processes and structures.

The rationale for these approaches is that they will lead to control efforts that are more equitable for those who do the work and more effective and sustainable for beneficiaries. The UN Secretary-General first drew attention to the importance of these considerations in his Securing our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament in 2018, and subsequently in his 2019 Report on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

This paper considers how gender considerations can be conceptualized and addressed in the context of the Life-cycle Management of Ammunition (LCMA). It describes the normative basis for gender mainstreaming LCMA, provides indications of the gender dimensions of ammunition throughout the management of its life cycle, and outlines a framework for promoting further work in this area. It also identifies research questions whose elaboration would advance gender mainstreaming efforts.

A co-publication with the Small Arms Survey. An associated podcast is available at

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Publication date: October 2020