The illicit use of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs) in conflict zones, urban areas and even within households, stands in the way of reducing violent deaths – the first target of SDG16. Their presence contributes to impeding development, driving irregular migration and pushing entire regions into conflict and instability. It further aggravates sexual and gender-based violence both within and outside of conflict contexts. During its Security Council presidency Germany highlighted this nexus in Security Council Resolution 2467.
Women’s meaningful participation in arms control and disarmament efforts is a crucial component of the Women Peace and Security Agenda. Similarly, broader efforts for reaching the 2030 Agenda goals include emphasis on full and effective participation of women (SDG5). Yet, the gendered nature of armed violence as well as women’s meaningful participation in arms control efforts remain insufficiently addressed. This undermines women’s differential contribution to reduce illicit trafficking and to contribute to SALWs control.
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