From Policy to Action: Advancing an Integrated Approach to Women and Countering Violent Extremism

Rafia Bhulai and Christina Nemr of the Global Center on Cooperative Security, and Allison Peters of Inclusive Security   •   June 2016


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Women and women-led organizations have worked globally, through formal and informal channels, to resolve conflicts, build peace, promote development, and strengthen security sectors. These powerful roles were formally recognized more than 15 years ago with the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and follow-on resolutions. Experts and practitioners working to advance women’s inclusion in peace and security processes—a practice referred to as women, peace, and security (WPS)—can provide valuable insights to strengthen policy and practice on preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) at the international, national, and local levels.

For decades, researchers and practitioners have documented the role of women in enhancing the effectiveness and long-term sustainability of conflict prevention and resolution efforts. Yet within national debates and strategies on P/CVE, women continue to be systematically excluded despite their possibly critical insights into the underlying drivers and dynamics of violent extremism and terrorism. Inclusive approaches are more vital than ever, particularly as women and girls across the globe continue to bear the brunt of extremist violence.

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