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A little girl shows a placard reading "Not In my Name" during a demonstration of muslims to speak out against terrorism a week after Paris attacks, on November 21, 2015 in Rome. Hundreds of Muslims rallied in Rome and Milan on Saturday to show solidarity with the victims of jihadist attacks, condemning violence in the name of religion and chanting "we are not the enemy."

Gender perspectives in countering violent extremism

What About the Women?

July 2017, Number 08.03

“Human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment are often considered secondary issues to be dealt with once a state or region has achieved security. However, there is increasing recognition that these are actually a critical part of security — and that lasting peace and security cannot be achieved without addressing gender discrimination.

Although many states seem to have an inherent instinct to fight extremism with more violence, unless they get to the root causes of radicalization they will continue to perpetuate the emergence of violent extremist groups. Militarized responses can foment support for these movements, and conflict and instability create power vacuums in which extremist groups can operate. Violent extremism thrives where human rights have been degraded and gender inequality prevails. It is a highly gendered phenomenon that requires more nuanced and targeted understanding and efforts...”

Excerpt from Julie Arostegui LeMaster, “What About the Women?” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 8, No. 3, 2017: 18-23.

Julie Arostegui LeMaster, J.D., is a lawyer and international human rights, gender and security expert with extensive experience in the issues of peace and security. She serves as an international advocate, advisor, trainer, researcher and writer for the civil society, political, security and justice sectors. She has worked with many nongovernmental and government agencies and has been a guest lecturer at the Marshall Center.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.