Sofia Patel and Jacqueline Westermann
This paper discusses Western women’s involvement with Islamic State terrorism, to evaluate how governments and civil society can comprehensively develop countering violent extremism (CVE) strategies that are inclusive of gender perspectives. The paper’s overarching goal is to demonstrate that existing approaches to CVE do not adequately incorporate the challenges posed by women and for women, and that much more empirical research is required to develop a holistic understanding of women’s experiences with violent extremism. CVE initiatives must engage women at all stages including design, implementation, operation and evaluation, and engagement must comply with human rights standards, and in advancement of gender equality. A set of policy recommendations for Australia will be provided based on assessing existing national and international practices.