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Mine clearance is one of the mine action pillars that is probably best known to the general public, but it is also less intuitively connected to "gender". However, despite the obvious technical and military aspects of de-mining activities, an overall positive impact is more likely to be achieved by taking into account social, economic and political characteristics of the mine-affected communities.
Until recently, mine action was widely perceived as a military and technical field where activities were un-problematically planned and implemented by almost exclusively male staff. A decade after the Mine Ban Convention has become effective and the United Nations Security Council has emphasised "the need for all parties to ensure that mine clearance and mine awareness programmes take into account the special needs of women and girls", the mine action community has become more and more sensitised about the need to include both a gender perspective and women in mine action.
The Mine Ban Convention requires that "[e]ach
State Party in a position to do so shall provide assistance for the care
and rehabilitation, and social and economic reintegration, of mine victims
and for mine awareness programs." This makes it the first multilateral
disarmament treaty requiring states to take responsibility for victim assistance.
This report discusses the significance of gender in the impact and the effectiveness of mine action. It gives the reader an overview, together with concrete examples, on how gender can be mainstreamed in mine action. The report comes as a result from an electronic consultation on gender and mine action and from field interviews in Colombia, Lebanon, Mozambique, Sri Lanka and Sudan. The report also includes a collection of good practices from various actors of mine action.
On this, International Women's Day 2007, the Swiss Campaign to Ban Landmines announces the launch of a global survey to gather comprehensive information on the significance of gender in the impact of mines and in the effectiveness of mine action. This is the first time that comprehensive global information on the significance of gender in mine action has been collected.