Counter-terrorism needs gender mainstreaming: expert

Counter-terrorism needs gender mainstreaming: expert

The director of Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN) Ruby Kholifah delivered a statement at a discussion session on counter-terrorism in Jakarta, Monday (Nov 11, 2019). ANTARA/Prisca Triferna/GTM

The ministries can improve the participation of women by mainstreaming gender in the fight against terrorism. The fact is, now, women's roles are limited
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Measures to counter-terrorism should be strengthened with gender mainstreaming because women could play a leading role against extremism, the director of a non-profit body Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN), Ruby Kholifah said here, Monday. "The ministries can improve the participation of women by mainstreaming gender in the fight against terrorism. The fact is, now, women's roles are limited, even though gender mainstreaming as a norm has been regulated through the President's Instruction No. 9, Year 2000," Kholifah expounded at a panel discussion session in Jakarta.

The president's instruction on gender mainstreaming had failed to encourage the public offices to reconsider the important role women could play on counter-terrorism, she added.

The number of women terrorists has grown, according to Kholifah whose name was on the BBC's 100 influential women across the world in 2014. Some suicide bombers in the Surabaya terror attacks in 2018 were women.

Therefore, she suggested to the government as well as the police to reconsider gender mainstreaming as a basic norm to tackle terrorism and extremism.

"If these institutions failed to integrate the gender perspective into their measures, we would also fail to better understand that women are prone to extremism, and how close it was to their everyday lives," she added.

Once gender mainstreaming was adapted, counter-terrorism experts would look at women's issues such as early marriage, polygamy, and forced marriages, she explained. The basic norm was also useful to further study the extremist's recruitment which sometimes includes the entire family members.

Without a gender-based view, the narrative of counter-terrorism will just remain normative, she remarked.

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