Symbiosis of Misogyny and Violent Extremism: New Understandings and Policy Implications

Authored by: Pablo Castillo Díaz and Nahla Valji

Categories: Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Countering Violent Extremism, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Violent Extremism
Country: United States
Year: 2019
Citation: Díaz, Pablo Castillo, and Nahla Valji. "SYMBIOSIS OF MISOGYNY AND VIOLENT EXTREMISM: NEW UNDERSTANDINGS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS." Journal of International Affairs 72, no. 2 (2019): 37-56. Accessed January 15, 2020.

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Over the past few decades, feminist academics and advocates have amassed a wealth of evidence to argue that the empowerment of women con- tributes to peace, that gender inequality exacerbates conflict and insecurity, and that the full catalogue of violence against women in conflict-affected settings deserves the attention of international policymakers and peace and security actors. These claims form the basis of what has been known in the United Nations as the women, peace, and security agenda since the turn of the century. Yet more recent examinations of the gender dimension in acts of terrorism, violent extremism, and mass killings with unclear motivations have provoked questions about the role of misogyny that should further elevate the relevance of gender equality in international peace and security. On one hand, we have a growing list of findings about the personal histories of domestic abuse or documented misogyny in most perpetrators of acts of violent extremism in recent years. In Western countries, this factor has become more visible because of feminist journalists and activists. On the other hand, we have more detailed analyses about the role that the subordination of women has in both the ide- ology and tactics of many of the most active extremist groups. This article explores the recent data on the correlation between misogyny and violent extremism across the world; the role of misogyny as the gateway, the driver, or the early warning sign of most of this violence; and the implications that these findings should have for advocacy and policymaking.