Gender has an impact on the fate of children in armed conflict, which must be taken into account. This is the conclusion delivered by the UN on the basis of a study published by the main expert of the United Nations in charge of issues related to children in armed conflicts.
In this new analysis which highlights the importance of taking into account the gender differences on young people during armed conflicts in order to better protect them, Virginia Gamba indeed highlights the different risks that children of different sexes face. and how to reduce them.
“Through this first study, we find that the integration of a gender perspective in the implementation of the Children and Armed Conflict mandate [Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC)] can contribute to a better understanding of the impact of invisible gender norms and biases when it comes to the protection of children,” said UN Special Representative for Children in Conflict.
The prism of gender
According to the study, titled The Gender Dimensions of Grave Violations Against Children In Armed Conflict [Les dimensions sexospécifiques des violations graves contre les enfants dans les conflits armés]it is important to understand the interconnected nature of grave violations against children in order to develop holistic approaches to prevention and responses that are age and gender appropriate.
“The study further shows that devoting adequate resources to analyzing grave violations from a gender perspective can help to highlight how gender is instrumentalized in different conflict contexts – and so that we are better equipped to respond to and prevent serious violations,” added the expert.
The report calls for supporting the United Nations and its partners on the ground to provide appropriate resources and capacities to analyze grave violations against children from a gender lens.
It provides hard evidence and highlights how children are affected differently by conflict based on their gender and other identity-based characteristics, including ethnicity, race, religion, economic status and education. sexual orientation.
“For example, the proportion of girls associated with armed groups tends to be greatly underestimated because girls are generally less visible than boys and are often released informally, which blocks their reintegration and has, in the end. account, an impact on the numbers of girls recruited and used,” explained the senior official.
Follow-up is essential
In recent years, significant progress has been made in compiling sex-disaggregated data in most of the countries on the agenda.
However, a thorough gender analysis requires more than numbers, notes the Office of the Special Representative.
Data alone will not improve our understanding of the risk factors – individual, group or environmental – that victimize children in different ways, nor the profile and motivation of perpetrators.
The document argues that the greater the UN’s monitoring capacity on the ground, the better it will be able to conduct gender analysis and integrate a gender perspective into its monitoring, reporting and response to grave violations. .
This analysis could also inform international policy, advocacy and accountability.
Call for support
Gamba called on the international community to continue to provide political and financial support, for greater child protection expertise on the ground.
Integrating a broader gender perspective into the Children and Armed Conflict program would allow responses to grave violations to be more context-specific and inclusive of diverse population groups, which would support and strengthen the mandate and would expand its partnerships, Ms. Gamba said.