Good Practice 4

Protect the human rights of women and girls, including their equality, non-discrimination, and equal participation, and ensure that CVE efforts do not stereotype or instrumentalize, women and girls.

The promotion and protection of women’s human rights are integral to efforts to include women and girls and mainstream gender in CVE. Women’s human rights concerns often underlie the incentives for, as well as the difficulties in, their engagement in CVE. For example, the victimization of women and girls by terrorists may motivate them to participate in CVE, but gender-based discrimination and stereotyping can hinder their full and equal engagement. These barriers need to be addressed to enable women and girls to safely and productively contribute to CVE efforts. This must happen in a nuanced way, as there is significant variation in women’s rights and gender equity.

In certain environments, women and girls risk being instrumentalized and their rights compromised for counterterrorism and CVE objectives. The use, real or perceived, of government relationships with women and girls for security purposes (e.g., for gathering intelligence) can generate distrust and become counterproductive to CVE. A too obvious association of women and girls’ human rights with a CVE agenda can also further expose women and girls as targets for violent extremism.