14 April 2016

Gender dimensions in preventing violent extremism

With 21st century wars impacting women both as victims and perpetrators, the Gender Centre at the Graduate Institute and the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) co-hosted a public event on “Gender Perspectives in Preventing Violent Extremism”.

Carol Bellamy, Chair of the Governing Board of GCERF, regretted the lack of empirical research on gender perspectives in preventing violent extremism (PVE). “Decisions are being made out of thin air; we just don’t have the information. More empirical research on PVE with a gendered lens will allow for the formulation of a more holistic approach to the development of policies and programmes.”

Professor Elisabeth Prügl, Director of the Gender Centre, said “viewing either women or men as a group with generalisable characteristics fails to grasp the very different and sometimes gendered roles that people play in promoting or resisting violent extremist agendas.”

Ms Bellamy noted that gender mainstreaming had yet to bring about significant change at either international or national levels of politics and peacebuilding. Greater commitment and funding should be given not only to mainstreaming gender, but also to the prevention of violent extremism.