In April 2020, the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) launched a new initiative to advance a Gender and P/CVE Policy Toolkit. Building on the Good Practices on Women and CVE and its Addendum, with a focus on mainstreaming gender , the Policy Toolkit will provide practical, action-oriented guidance for governments on designing, implementing, and monitoring and evaluating gender-inclusive P/CVE policies and programs. The Policy Toolkit will draw on critical lessons learned and inputs from those with practical and expert knowledge on gender-inclusive policies, as well from good practices developed by the GCTF, United Nations, European Union, and other international and regional organizations. As policymakers and practitioners increasingly recognize the importance of investing in preventive measures that complement counterterrorism operations, it is critical to integrate gender-sensitive analyses when developing related national action plans, strategies, and programs to address the threat, whether by terrorist groups, families, returning or relocating foreign fighters, or lone actors. For instance, a gender-sensitive analysis of engagement in violent extremism considers if and how men and women follow different pathways to joining and supporting terrorist groups, and understanding how gendered ideologies, narratives, and dynamics inform recruitment and mobilization efforts.

In addition, violent extremism and P/CVE should be considered within the broader context of gender inequality and restrictions on women’s freedoms and rights, as well as instances of gender-based violence and general criminality. Furthermore, sexual and gender-based violence needs to be considered as it is increasingly used as a terrorist tactic and can also be an early indicator of the spread of violent extremism. It is critical, however, to acknowledge that women have long been playing essential roles in peace and security efforts, as they have in terrorist groups. In helping to safeguard their communities against violent extremism, they are recognizing early signs of radicalization, intervening to dissuade individuals from supporting or joining terrorist groups, and rehabilitating and reintegrating violent extremist offenders back into society.

The Global Center will work closely together with Dr. Jacqui True, Professor of International Relations and Director of Monash University’s Centre for Gender, Peace and Security and a Project Advisory Council, comprised of eleven gender and P/CVE experts. To inform the development of the Policy Toolkit, the Global Center is leading a consultation process, including the organization of a series of virtual meetings from October 2020 to February 2021. These meetings will bring together experts and practitioners from government, academia, civil society, and non-governmental organizations.

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