The Other Half: The Role of Women in Preventing Extremism

fightersIn the field of countering terrorism and violent extremism, women tend to be viewed as victims in the global sector.  Groups, particularly Boko Haram and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have performed atrocities against women in pursuit of their extremist goals. However, a recent publication from the Global Center on Cooperative Security seeks to investigate the critical roles women play in detecting, intervening, and delegitimizing violent extremist narratives.

“A Man’s World? Exploring the Roles of Women in Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism” is a collection of perspectives by various authors displaying the importance of women in countering, mitigating, and responding to violence from terrorist activities. First recognized at the international level over 15 years ago through United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, the “role of women in prevention and resolution of conflicts” coincides with the UN’s current preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) strategy.  This publication documents the social factors involved, strategies developed, and attempts at implementation of P/CVE in vulnerable areas around the globe.

This work concludes with several policy recommendations around a “common theme” of the “gap between potential roles of women in prevention efforts” and the “current obstacles and limitations they face in realizing this potential.” Overall, “A Man’s World?” is a valuable first step in exploring the unique role women can play in a predominately male-oriented arena.

The Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) offers publications on the various roles played in countering violent extremism.  Through our Featured Topics section, we focus on many issues pertaining to radicalization in both domestic and international fields. Furthermore, we have subject areas exploring terrorism in society and possible threats.  (Some documents may require HSDL login).