On Tuesday April 9th, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, in cooperation with Global Action to Prevent War launched the publication, “Applying a Disarmament Lens to Gender, Human Rights, Development, Security, Education, and Communication: Six Essays”, with a panel discussion at the United Nations. The panelists discussed the crosscutting nature of human rights, gender equality and disarmament, which are oftentimes treated as separate issues both within the UN and civil society. There is a dire need to shift the framework from the status quo of separating them towards emphasizing their interconnectedness.
Ray Acheson of WILPF's Reaching Critical Will, highlighted WILPF's work on the linkages between military spending, trade in arms and the lack of funding for gender equality, poverty reduction and development initiatives. Acheson also stressed the significance of the inclusion of gender-based violence as a legally binding criterion within the ATT – and how this was achieved by cooperation between governments and NGOs. Sarah Taylor, NGO Working Group on WPS, spoke about understanding disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) from a gender perspective, using the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Taylor argued that integrating women and gender to DDR processes really means a whole new way of thinking about it.