Related Tools

Key tools

Last edited: December 30, 2011

This content is available in


The table below provides a checklist of questions to inform the development and design of a specific security policy or to assess a draft policy document or revise existing policy.

Assessment for integrating violence against women and girls
into security policy



Step 1:

Define issues and goals


  • What is the security policy trying to achieve, and who will it benefit?

  • Does the policy meet the security needs of women and girls? Are different forms of violence against women being addressed? Is prevention included?

  • Is the emphasis on national or human security? To what extent are the security concerns of women and girls addressed?

  • Is the policy in line with international, regional and national legal frameworks on violence against women and girls?

  • What do women, including women’s civil society organizations or the Ministry of Women, say about the issues and outcomes where they relate violence?

Step 2:

Collect data


  • How are stakeholders and different groups of women and girls including female survivors of violence going to be consulted for drafting and/or implementing policy?

  • Do representative organizations truly reflect the voice of the women and girls expected to benefit from the policy? If not, what is the strategy for reaching them?

  • What groups of women and girls will be affected by the policy?

  • How can data and statistical information on violence against women and girls be collected by sex, ethnicity, disability, age, religion and sexual orientation?

  • What are the risks of early consultation – how are expectations and conflicting interests going to be managed?

Step 3:

Develop options


  • How does the recommendation or each option impact positively or negatively on women and girls?

  • Do the recommendations or any of the options reinforce or challenge traditional or stereotyped perceptions of women and girls, particularly female survivors of violence?

  • Which option gives women and girls real choice and an opportunity to achieve their full potential in society without the threat of violence?

  • Is there a need to consider mitigation where there will be a negative impact on one particular group of women and girls and what action can be taken to reduce the impact?

Step 4:



  • What message needs to be communicated and to whom?

  • How will the message reach different groups of women and girls and boys and men?

  • How does the policy reflect the government’s commitment to respond to and prevent violence against women and girls? 

Step 5:



  • How will the policy or service be experienced or accessed by different groups of women and girls, and will the difference be affected by ethnicity, disability, age, religion or sexual orientation?

  • What arrangements are in place to reach those women and girls who may be excluded?

  • Can the service be delivered jointly – i.e. involving other government departments, local, national and international organizations to support the targeted women and girls?

  • Do those implementing/delivering the policy or service represent the diversity of the community being served? Are women equally involved in implementation?

  • Have specific and sufficient resources (financial and human) been allocated to enable the achievement of relevant objectives?

  • Are the implementers familiar with violence against women issues?

Step 6:



  • Is a baseline on violence against girls and women available?

  • Do female beneficiaries participate equally in the monitoring process?

  • Do monitoring requirements include a specific measure on violence against women and do they reveal the extent to which the policy is successfully addressing the needs of female survivors of violence?

  • How can external organizations representing different groups of women and girls in the community help monitor policy outcomes?

  • Are measures in place to initiate an investigation or amend the policy if it is not delivering on its defined objectives?

Step 7:



  • Is the policy promoting and delivering equality of opportunity for women and girls as well as men and boys?

  • Have the objectives been met for women and girls, particularly female survivors?

  • Did one group receive greater benefit than others – if so how will the imbalance be addressed? Were inputs allocated equitably?

  • What was the overall impact on the status and quality of life for women and girls?

    • Did the process involve women and girls, including female survivors of violence? Did it seek out and value their views equally?

    • Is there a need for additional data collection and do targets and indicators need adjusting in the light of experience?

    • What lessons are there for improving future policies and services, who needs to be informed and how is the information to be presented?

 Adapted from: Valasek, K. 2008. “Chapter 10: Gender and Democratic Governance” Cole, E., Eppert, K. and Kinzelbach,K. (eds.). Public Oversight of the Security Sector: A Handbook for CSOs, Bratislava: UNDP/ DCAF. 


‘National Security Policy-Making and Gender – Tool 8’, Gender & Security Sector Reform Toolkit (Albrecht, P. and Barnes, K. 2008). The tool is designed to be a resource for staff responsible for initiating security policy-making processes within the executive branch of government, including those responsible for drafting, implementing and evaluating security policies. It provides guidance on how gender issues can be integrated into existing security assessment and monitoring and evaluation frameworks, as well as how specific gender audits and impact assessments can be undertaken. Available in Arabic; English; French; and Indonesian.  

National Security Policy-Making and Gender – Practice Note 8’, Gender and Security Sector Reform Toolkit (Takeshita, M. Eds. Megan Bastick and Kristin Valasek, 2008). This practice note provides a short introduction to the benefits of integrating gender into national security policy-making, as well as practical information on doing so and is an abbreviated version of the guidance available in the Tool 8 of the full Toolkit. Available in Arabic; English; French; Indonesian; Montenegrin; and Russian.    

Handbook on National Action Plans (UN Women, 2011). This handbook is for government officials, policy-makers, civil society and United Nations personnel. The handbook presents a model framework and provides detailed recommendations to support the development, implementation and monitoring of national action plans on violence against women and girls, based on the Expert Group Meeting on the subject held in 2010. The guidance is accompanied by illustrative examples of promising country practices. Available in English; 79 pages.