'EU and gender - security sector reform in Ukraine and Mali: A picture is worth dozens of policies!'

Dr Shyamika Jayasundara-Smits

Dr Shyamika Jayasundara-Smits Identifies the discrepancies between EU’s proclaimed policy goals about gender equality and its visual representations of women and men.

In this article, Assistant Professor Shyamika Jayasundara-Smits focuses on the ways in which the EU engages with its own gender equality policies in external Security Sector Reform (SSR) missions.

She identifies the discrepancies between EU’s proclaimed policy goals about gender equality and visual representations of women and men in the missions’ newsletter photos. These representations reflect a lack-lustre approach and suggest a lack of commitment to practices of gender equality and positive role modelling in SSR’s day-to-day activities.

Jayasundara-Smits suggests that the EU-SSR missions should overhaul their public communication strategies to focus first on 'how' to communicate gender equality norms and only then on 'what' to communicate. Her study also illustrates one concrete opportunity and space where this can be achieved.

Read the article online

Assistant professor