Misogyny & Violent Extremism: Implications for Preventing Violent Extremism

Authored by: Melissa Johnston and Jacqui True

Categories: Human Rights, Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Countering Violent Extremism, Violent Extremism
Country: Philippines
Region: South and Central Asia
Year: 2019
Citation: Johnston, Melissa and Jacqui True. "Misogyny & Violent Extremism: Implications for Preventing Violent Extremism." United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. 2019.

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Executive Summary

Many analysts see terrorism and violent extremism as a part of a “man’s world”. Mostly men engage in violent acts; men lead groups like Islamic State or the Ku Klux Klan and tend to be the main protagonists of “lone wolf” attacks. As a result, men’s extremist violence is normalised, while women are stereotyped as non-violent. Because of this bias, violent extremism conducive to terrorism has been insufficiently analysed from a gender perspective.

The research reported here examines why and how radicalisation to violence occurs from a gender perspective. This policy brief analyses the underexplored relationship between attitudes and practices indicating misogyny (defined as both fear and hatred of women and/or the feminine) and support for violent extremism. Gender analysis of survey data collected in four countries (Indonesia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Libya) provides evidence of a mutually reinforcing dynamic of misogyny and violent extremism.