What We're Reading
March 2019 | Gender

This March, RESOLVE directs the spotlight on gender and women. The What We Are Reading digest features studies on the role of gender and women in violent extremism,  P/CVE, and peace processes. The publications analyze the implications of returning foreign fighters, questions of statelessness and radicalization, possibilities of counter-messaging against ISIS propaganda targeting women, and the workings of the Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ). Click the links to read more.

Publication
Perspectives on the future of women, gender, and violent extremism
Audrey Alexander
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Policymakers, practitioners, and scholars are increasingly aware of women's participation in terrorist and violent extremist groups; this affects how members of the international communit...
Publication
Gender dimensions of the response to returning foreign terrorist fighters: research perspectives
UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate
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The available data paints a complex picture of the women who traveled to the conflict zone of Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic, with respect both to their regions of origin and demograph...
Article
The West Needs to Take the Politics of Women in ISIS Seriously
Kanisha D. Bond, Kate Cronin-Furman, Meredith Loken, Milli Lake, Sarah E. Parkinson, Anna Zelenz
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In recent weeks, the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have closed in on the last remaining Islamic State holdout in eastern Syria. The remains of the so-called caliphate occupy less...
Article
Bring Hoda Muthana and other ISIS members home — but for trial
Leanne Erdberg and Chris Boseley
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Hoda Muthana left the United States to join ISIS, burned her passport, contributed to daily life in the so-called caliphate, and lived there until there was no longer any place left to li...
Article
ISIS Cases Raise a Question: What Does It Mean to Be Stateless?
Megan Specia
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Shamima Begum was 15 when she became radicalized, left her home in London for Syria and joined the Islamic State, marrying one of its fighters. As the grous's grip on its last pieces of t...
Article
Female terrorists: On the front lines and behind the scenes
Jessica Trisko Darden
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Between April 2013 and June 2018, women from 51 countries lived in ISIS-held territory in Syria and Iraq. According to estimates, at least 9,401 women and children joined the group. Yet m...
Publication
Gender and the role of women in Colombia’s peace process
Dr. Virginia M. Bouvier
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Through desk research, literature review, and personal interviews, this paper provides an overview of the Colombian internal armed conflict and the peace process currently underway to tra...
Partner Article
Afghanistan Talks: No Women, No Peace
Belquis Ahmadi
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Negotiations with the Taliban must include Afghan women to protect their progress and build a sustainable peace. As talks between the U.S. and the Taliban raise hopes for peace in Afgh...
Publication
Empowerment or subjugation: an analysis of ISIL’s gendered messaging
Dr. Nelly Lahoud
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This study explores how ISIL, a group that explicitly espouses a worldview that promotes womens's subjugation and sexual slavery could appeal to and seemingly offer women tools of empower...
Article
U.S. Strategy to Support Women and Girls at Risk from Violent Extremism and Conflict
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The efforts of the U.S. government and our partners to address the adverse effects of violent extremism, terrorism, and conflict are more effective and sustainable when influential actors...
Article
A short history of Kurdish women on the front lines
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Kurdish women first took up arms in the early 1990s, as members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a decades-long war for self-rule in Turkey. Inspired by Murray Bookch...
Article
Debunking Myths on Gender and Extremism
Rachel Bryson
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The Tony Blair Institute has commissioned a series of papers to bust the myths on women, gender and extremism that act as a roadblock to constructive policy. These papers show how the rol...
Publication
Invisible Women
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The global study, Invisible Women: Gendered Dimensions of Return, Reintegration and Rehabilitation, conducted in partnership with the International Civil Society Action Network, responds ...
Article
Next Steps for Scholarship on Gender and the Far-Right
Kathleen Blee
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This working paper considers the state of scholarship on gender and the far-right and suggests some next steps. I argue that scholars are ready--and obliged--to make bigger claims about g...