Women in extremism and terrorism – the reason behind and way ahead

Frustration is the way to violence – we all know, but are very little concerned. The policymakers often overlook the roles that women play in violent extremism—including as perpetrators, and rarely enlist their participation in efforts to combat radicalization. This omission puts the national interest at a disadvantage. 

There’s a misconception among all, that women are not a part of the violent extremism all over. But, the frustration owing to domestic violence, societal misadventure, and abusive lifestyle among women compel them to put guns on their shoulders and take extreme ways out. 

Reasons can be multifarious but primarily concerns the domestic setup of the woman. To avoid poverty and extreme domestic abuses from their husbands and in-laws, they consider guns as the only way forward to liberation. 

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, “Extremist groups rely upon women to gain strategic advantage, recruiting them as facilitators and martyrs while also benefiting from their subjugation.” Given this, there’s a need to identify their motives and to resolve the issues pertaining, which eventually force them to take such measures. 

Although it can be well-argued that this phenomenon is more prominent in the middle east or prevalent in the so-called ‘failed-states’, we must not forget that many Indian women do work as lone wolves post joining terrorist organizations. In fact, according to 2012 US State Department figures, the highest number of civilian deaths by terror attacks occurred in Afghanistan. India’s rank here lies in 8th position just after Yemen and Somalia. And what’s the reason behind this abnormal surge in death rates? 

Perhaps it’s worth questioning that do only political and religious issues drive terrorism or even social reasons also fuel the same? Well, 53.26% of women all across, join terrorist organizations simply because of the persisting dynamics of the social fabric. 

But, there’s always an open door if properly searched for it. Preventing violent extremism has always been a motto of UN Women. Often, women shoulder unique responsibilities in combatting both violent extremism and terrorism. On top of that, they are now involved in noble activities, for instance, working as mitigators of the ongoing problem. 

There’s no need to analyze more in order to get into the crux. The need of the hour is identifying the day to day issues faced by women and resolving them by hook or by crook! If ‘we’ can’t protect women from terrorist activities and violent extremism, ‘we’ neither have the right to push them to be mere catalysts of terrorism! 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *