Academic Paper: A Gender Sensitive Approach to Empowering Women for Peaceful Communities

Melissa Johnston, Jacqui True, Eleanor Gordon, Yasmin Chilmeran, and Yolanda Riveros-Morales

This report presents research findings on gender and violent extremism in the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. The aim of the research is to examine women’s roles in supporting, countering, and preventing violent extremism and how gender identities and relations may be used to garner support for intolerant social attitudes and groups as well as recruitment to violent extremist groups.

Key findings include: 

  1. Hostile sexist attitudes toward women and support for violence against women are the factors most strongly associated with support for violent extremism based on survey research in four countries in 2018-19. In three countries in Asia (Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Philippines) individuals who support violence against women are three times more likely to support violent extremism. More than any other factor, support for violence against women predicted support for violent extremism.
  2. There was no correlation at all between common factors thought to affect support for violent extremism – such as the degree of religiosity, age, gender, level of education achieved, employment, and geographic area.
  3. Quantitative and qualitative analysis reveals misogyny to be integral to the ideology, political identity, and political economy of current violent extremist groups.


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