Megan Bastick

Thesis title: Military responses to sexual violence in conflict


Megan Bastick has worked for the last decade with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), an intergovernmental foundation mandated to support good governance and reform of the security sector. Megan’s work is focused on the integration of gender perspectives in the security sector, in particular in armed forces.  She has written and edited a range of publications for security practitioners and policymakers. Megan has also trained and worked with the UN, OSCE, NATO and government officials, armed forces and local women's organisations in a range of countries and contexts.

Megan's doctoral research examines how the evolving international norms concerning protection of civilians in armed conflict, in particular as regards sexual violence, are understood and enacted by militaries.


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Master of International Law (LLM, First class), University of Cambridge                        

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (BA LLB), University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Responsibilities & affiliations

Member of: the University of Edinburgh's Empirical Legal Research Network, Centre of Security Research (CeSeR),  International Law Discussion Group and Gender Politics Research Group; the British International Studies Association (BISA); the Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP); the International Network to Promote the Rule of Law (INPROL) and the Defence Research Network.

Research summary

International human rights and humanitarian law

Security sector reform

Gender and feminist theory

Armed forces

Knowledge exchange

2016-2018             Trained participants in the Women in Conflict 1325 Fellowship from Syria, Yemen, Libya, Iraq and Palestine in addressing security sector reform in peace processes

2016       Established military/academic Knowledge Exchange Network on “The Women, Peace and Security Agenda in the British armed forces,” the inaugural workshop of which was held at the Ministry of Defence, London, 11 March

2015/6    Trained British armed forces personnel on gender and international humanitarian law, gender and security sector reform

 2015/6   Facilitated workshops for Georgian armed forces personnel on gender and security sector oversight

2015       “Integrating gender in security and justice sector reform,” presented at the workshop Women, Peace and Security: Opportunities and Pitfalls of a Global Gender Norm, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London, 10 December

2015       “Gender related complaints” presented at the conferences of women in the Swedish Armed Forces and  the Bulgarian Armed Forces Women Association

Current project grants

2018-19 Lead researcher of project on Gender and Security, between DCAF, UN Women and OSCE ODIHR

2017-2019 Co-Director of project on Women, Peace and Security in the Georgian Armed Forces, awarded 150,000 Euro by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme

Past project grants

2015-2016 Lead researcher of project on handling of gender-related complaints in armed forces, awarded 72,000 Euro by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Megan Bastick & Claire Duncanson (2018) Agents of Change? Gender Advisors in NATO Militaries, International Peacekeeping, 25:4, 554-577, DOI: 10.1080/13533312.2018.1492876

Bastick, M. (2008) "Integrating gender in post-conflict security sector reform", SIPRI Yearbook 2008: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, 149, Oxford University Press, Oxford


Book chapters

Bastick, M. (2018) “Gender and Security Sector Reform” in Gentry. C.E, Shepherd, L.J., Sjoberg, L. (eds) Routledge Handbook on Gender and Security. Routledge, London

Bastick M. (2017) “Gender, Militaries and Security Sector Reform” in: Woodward R., Duncanson C. (eds) The Palgrave International Handbook of Gender and the Military. Palgrave Macmillan, London

Bastick, M. and Valasek K., “Converging Agendas: Women, peace, security, and small arms” in Graduate Institute of International Development Studies (2014). Small arms survey 2014 : Women and guns.



Inclusive Security and DCAF. A Women’s Guide to Security Sector Reform: Training Curriculum. Washington, D.C.: Inclusive Security and DCAF, 2017 (lead editor)

Bastick, M. Gender and Complaints Mechanisms: A Handbook for Armed Forces and Ombuds Institutions, DCAF, Geneva, 2015

Bastick, M. Integrating a Gender Perspective into Internal Oversight within Armed Forces, DCAF, OSCE, OSCE/ODIHR, Geneva, 2014

Bastick, M.  Integrating Gender into Internal Police Oversight, DCAF, OSCE, OSCE/ODIHR, Geneva, 2014

Bastick, M. Integrating Gender into Oversight of the Security Sector by Ombuds Institutions & National Human Rights Institutions, DCAF, OSCE, OSCE/ODIHR, Geneva, 2014

Bastick, M. and T. Whitman, A Women’s Guide to Security Sector Reform, The Institute for Inclusive Security & DCAF, Geneva, 2013

Bastick, M., Gender Self-Assessment Guide for the Police, Armed Forces and Justice Sector, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, Geneva, 2011

Bastick, M., "The role of penal reform in security sector reform", DCAF Occasional Paper No.18, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, Geneva, 2010

Bastick, M. and Valasek K. Eds., Gender and Security Sector Reform Training Resource Package, DCAF, Geneva, 2009

Bastick, M. & Townhead, L., "Women in prison: a commentary on the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners", Quaker United Nations Office, Geneva, 2008

Bastick, M. and Valasek K. Eds., Gender and Security Sector Reform Toolkit, DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN-INSTRAW, Geneva, 2008

Bastick, M., Grimm, K. and Kunz, R., Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict: Global Overview and Implications for the Security Sector, DCAF, Geneva, 2007

Bastick, M. and Grimm, K., "Security sector responses to trafficking in human beings", DCAF Policy Paper No., DCAF, Geneva, 2006

Bastick, M. ‘Mères et enfants en prison dans le monde’ 193 Revue Quart Monde, 2005 [written in English and translated by editors]

Bastick, M. and Brett, R., “Children in prison with their mothers”, 105 Early Childhood Matters, 2005

2018                                            Fran Trust grant, Foundation Scotland

2015-2019                                 Cameron PhD Studentship, University of Edinburgh

2004                                            Foundation Scholarship, Queens’ College, Cambridge

2003-2004                                 Chevening Scholarship & Honorary Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship

2003                                            Herbert John Cable Memorial Prize of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law (for work done as part of an Australian Red Cross ‘Women and War’ project)