10 - 11 May 2022
A GCTF workshop on the importance of a gendered approach to P/CVE and CT in East and West Africa
Advancing gender equality and mainstreaming gender perspectives in global counterterrorism (CT) efforts, in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) conducive to terrorism, and in criminal justice responses to terrorism, are all crucial for the development of more effective policies that contribute to strengthening international peace and security.
The GCTF Capacity-Building in the West Africa Region Working Group Co-Chairs, Algeria and Germany, jointly with the GCTF Capacity-Building in the East Africa Region Working Group Co-Chairs, Egypt and the European Union, convened a two-day workshop focused on the importance of a gendered approach to CT and P/CVE. It brought together East and West African policymakers and practitioners and representatives from think thanks and civil society organizations, as well as GCTF Members, the GCTF Inspired Institutions, and United Nations entities. Hosted by Senegal, this was the first GCTF activity to be organized in person since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As GCTF implementing partners, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for West and Central Africa and CT Morse supported the successful delivery of this activity.
Women in CT and P/CVE
As different institutions and organizations recognize the importance and added value of combining a hard approach to CT with a softer one for P/CVE, more programs seek to mainstream a gendered approach in their work and activities. Yet, women continue to be an underutilized resource in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism. Overtime, those gender-responsive policies have become more and more present in security processes, including several areas of law-enforcement and judiciary. Despite these efforts, and while exceeding the targets set by the United Nations, UN Women reports that as of December 2020, women worldwide made up only 29.1% of individual police officers, 13.7% of formed police units, 34% of justice and corrections government-provided personnel globally. Women represented also only 23% of conflict parties delegations in UN-supported peace processes in 2020. In addition to the low number of women’s involvement in security processes, their contributions and participation are not sufficiently recognized. The promotion of gender equality is, therefore, a critical component for ensuring international peace and security. To craft programs and national CT strategies recognizing women’s added value, it is also important to understand better the roles of women in CT and P/CVE. If on the one hand, women took more and more active roles in recruitment and propaganda over the years, training of other women and children, engaging in combat, etc., on the other hand, they can also be catalysts for change. Understanding women’s roles in communities will contribute to ensuring sustainable impacts of CT and P/CVE programs.
This GCTF activity encouraged open discussions among regional actors and shed light on roles of women and girls as victims and as perpetrators of terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism. Participants also considered what roles women and girls can play in CT and P/CVE. Moreover, the various sessions examined how to effectively consider a more gendered approach in the various phases of the criminal justice response to terrorism, gender equality in law enforcement agencies involved in CT, and gender responsive approaches to CT and judiciary.
Group Photo in Dakar, Senegal
Related GCTF resources:
Since 2011, the GCTF has developed Framework Documents outlining recommendations and good practices on various important aspects of counterterrorism and preventing and countering violent extremism conducive to terrorism, taking into consideration the roles played by women. These include: