As a policy field largely characterised by handbooks and manuals, gender and Security Sector Reform (SSR) has been insufficiently studied and analysed. Analytical discussion of what gendering SSR means is quite rare, as is the study of the already gendered nature of the security institutions that are the subject of intervention. This policy dialogue unpacks aspects of the discourses and practices regarding gender and SSR. It highlights limitations and problems both in the conceptualisation of gender and its incorporation into practical SSR work. The publication also demonstrates how researchers and policymakers often have divergent views of what gendering SSR means. Finally, it calls for closer and more constructive dialogue between researchers and practitioners, a dialogue which ackwledges the conditions and constraints in these two spheres of work.