Extremism as Mainstream: Implications for Women, Development & Security in the MENA/Asia Region. (Spring 2014)

In 2013, ICAN, in partnership with the MIT Center for International Studies and the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), hosted a two-day roundtable to better understand rising religious extremism from a gendered and grounds-up perspective, highlighting the essential yet often overlooked implications for women and the efforts of civil society on the ground. The meeting included civil society practitioners, scholars and journalists with expertise from Canada, Pakistan, Malaysia, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, the United States, and Iran. The roundtable addressed a range of questions.

The statements and perspectives included here reflect views shared during the roundtable, and related research and analysis by ICAN. While this brief cannot do justice to the depth and complexity of the discussions, it is intended as a catalyst to widen the space for discussion, research, policy and practice among international and national level scholars and practitioners.

What The Women Say

“ We are not a project. It is a matter of life for millions of people.”

— Woman peacebuilder

What The Women Say

“ Help us talk, don't just arm us to kill.”

— Syrian woman activist

What The Women Say

“Do not tell us that it’s not time to fight for our rights. There’s no convenient time; we have to always be fighting.”

— Pakistani women’s rights activist

What The Women Say

“State prisons are feeding the pool of foreign fighters… many are radicalized during incarceration.”

— Tajik woman lawyer

What The Women Say

“I say Jihad is not spilling or wasting blood in the streets, it is giving blood in hospitals to people who need it.”

— Iraqi woman peacebuilder

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