History offers plenty of examples of female involvement in political violence, but a certain fascination and disbelief continue to surround female violent extremists because women are often still viewed as homemakers and mothers, surprising society by the number of young girls and women joining the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. This policy brief explores the drivers of radicalization to and engagement in violent extremism and the factors of disengagement and desistance among women and girls by examining cases of individuals that went through the United Kingdom’s Channel program. Channel cases were chosen for this analysis because it is one of the longest running (since 2007) and most documented early intervention programs developed specifically to prevent engagement with terrorism and violent extremism. The policy brief aims to enhance understanding of the need for gender-sensitive interventions that address the specific needs of women and girls. Several key themes have emerged that should be considered when designing or revising early-intervention programs aimed at preventing and countering violent extremism to account for the needs of women and girls.

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