Women's Advocates Include Gender and Guns in UN Initiative
Monday, July 28, 2008 11:18 AM

Thanks to the work of advocates for women’s rights, the issue of violence against women has been included in the UN’s program of regulation of the small arms trade. The Programme of Action on small arms, or PoA, was reviewed last week at the UN’s Third Biennial Meeting of States (BMS). When the program was first begun in 2001, women were only mentioned once in its document. At this meeting, advocate lobbyists convinced governments of the need to include gender in their discussions. The final document now references both gender and civilian possession of weapons.

It is the hope of women's advocates that this success will create inroads for the inclusion of other issues, specifically armed domestic violence, in the future. Members of the Women’s Network for the International Network on Small Arms (IANSA) brought up many concerns regarding armed domestic violence at the meeting, where over 15 of its members were present. In many countries, men use guns to maintain control over and even to kill their wives. The IANSA Women’s Network also released a statement this year which called on states to take a more firm stance against armed domestic violence and to include gender data in their reports on the PoA.

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Compiled from: “Women Advocates Place Gender and Guns on the UN’s Agenda,” The Advocacy Project, 23 July, 2008.