This paper provides a brief overview and analysis of the causes, manifestations and consequences of rising conservatism and extremism, particularly religious extremism and its implications for women. It reflects on how and why women may be drawn to the ideologies and movements that spread extremism and provides insight on the global women’s rights movement’s activism and resistance to emerging threats. The paper offers recommendations for action by the international community.

By Sanam Naraghi Anderlini and Madeline Koch
Commissioned by UN Women, Jan 2015


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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