Why Civil Society and Security Sector Partnerships Matter

A Brief on Policy and Practice to Inform National Strategies for Preventing Violent Extremism and Promoting Sustainable Peace.

In February 2017 the Global Solutions Exchange (GSX) meeting on the nexus of security, gender and extremism was held in London bringing members of the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) and other women and youth-led organizations engaged in the prevention of violent extremism efforts together with military and security personnel, representatives of governments and multilateral organizations to analyze the impact of security interventions in contributing to and mitigating extremist violence. They also highlighted their own practical experiences in engaging the security sector to prevent and counter violent extremism including through trust building with communities, respect of human rights, and gender sensitivity as well as the provision of training to the police and military. Their experiences, combined with desk research on the state of current policy and practice, and consultations with over 70 women peacebuilders from 30 countries at ICAN’s 2015 and 2016 annual Women, Peace and Security forums inform this report.

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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