Better insights into gender and small arms in South East Europe

SEESAC launched the Gender and Small Arms: Fast Facts, covering Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Moldova, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Kosovo*

The Gender and Small Arms: Fast Fact series document the multiple linkages between gender and small arms in South East Europe (SEE), shed light on the highly gendered nature of small arms and outline the specific risks that women and men face with respect to firearm use and misuse.

Fast Facts provides an extensive overview of sex-disaggregated data related to ownership, access, demand for firearms and their impact on women and men, including the misuse of firearms in the context of domestic violence. Through improved access to sex-disaggregated data, Fast Facts strives to increase knowledge and awareness of both professionals and the general audience of the highly gendered aspects of small arms. In addition, it provides policy makers in SEE with an easy-to-use tool for evidence-based policymaking and mainstreaming gender in small arms and light weapons control legislation and policies.

Fast Facts have been developed in for each jurisdiction in SEE in cooperation with the Small Arms and Light Weapons Commissions. Data was extracted from diverse sources such as SALW Survey and Armed Violence Monitoring Platform and spans from 2012 to 2018.



  • 97.2% of all legally owned firearms are owned by men, while only 2.8% was owned by women;
  • Between 2012 and 2016, men acquired 97% of all licenses, compared to 3% women;
  • Men dominate professions with access to firearms such as police, armed forces or private security companies;
  • The misuse of firearms is heavily gendered - men account for 98.4% of perpetrators of firearm-related criminal offences, and 98% of firearm-related homicides, while women only exceptionally misuse firearms;
  •  Men also make up the majority of victims of firearm-related homicides (83.8%) but are proportionately more frequently perpetrators than victims of firearms misuse. Women, on the other hand, own only a minor share of firearms (2.9%), make up 1.6% of perpetrators of firearm-related criminal offences and but are disproportionately represented among  homicide victims -16.2%;
  • Patterns of women’s victimization are primarily related to the misuse of firearm in domestic violence. 61% of all killed women were killed by a family member, compared to 12.4% of all killed men;
  • 43.5% of all women killed by intimate partner in SEE were killed with firearms;
  • Men significantly more often than women said they own a gun (35% and 19% respectively).


The Gender and Small Arms: Fast Facts are available in the Publications section, here.


*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).