What role does gender play in preventing and countering violent extremism?

Women and girls play crucial roles in the prevention and countering of violent extremism.

While these distinct roles are increasingly recognized, considerable gaps remain between the enthusiastic commitments set out to empower women and girls, and the inadequate support provided for women, women leaders and women’s groups in this fight. The difficulty of mainstreaming gender for the security community is not shared by many violent extremist groups themselves, who have used gendered strategies to recruit members for decades.

For the third episode of ECDPM's podcast series 'Minding the gap: conversations on gender', Sophie Desmidt is joined by Aleksandra Dier, who coordinates the work on gender at the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), to discuss the latest trends and developments in what is needed to ensure that women and girls’ perspectives and roles are matched with the necessary support.   

Aleksandra discusses how the perception or understanding of the role of women and girls evolved and changed over the past two decades, why it is so important to integrate and mainstream gender across interventions that address violent extremism, and where there is a need for stronger political action and commitment to advance this agenda. ​​​

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    About the podcast series


    'Minding the gap: conversations on gender' is ECDPM's podcast series entirely devoted to shedding light on topics in which gender is often overlooked, but where promising lessons are emerging. 

    Who is a gender expert? Why is it important to engage men and boys in fighting for gender equality? How are women empowerment, climate action, and urban development interlinked?

    Throughout the episodes, you will hear from researchers, activists and experts working in Europe, Africa and the MENA region to gain insights into what we can collectively do to build a society based on gender equality.


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