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A Gender Sensitive Approach to Empowering Women for Peaceful Communities

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This report presents research findings on gender and violent extremism in the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Indonesia for a project led by Monash Gender, Peace and Security Centre for UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (2018-2019). The aim of the research is to examine women’s roles in supporting, countering, and preventing violent extremism and how gender identities and relations may be used to garner support for intolerant social attitudes and groups as well as recruitment to violent extremist groups. The research has generated novel findings – possibly the first such robust findings to date – on the relationship between support for misogyny, violence against women, and extremist violence: • There is a positive and significant correlation in survey responses in all three countries and for both genders between support for violent extremism and their support for violence against women; • Attitudes about violence against women explain more of the variation in support for violent extremism than other factors (such as age/youth, education level) commonly theorised to explain individual support of violent extremism. The results of an ordered logit regression model reveal that support for violence against women and the prevalence of hostile sexist attitudes are both better predictors of support for violent extremism than religiosity; • Misogynistic attitudes among women are also strongly correlated with support for violent extremism; • Where a male relative – a partner, son or brother supports or is a member of a violent extremist group - women are more likely to support violent extremism. • Most survey respondents and qualitative research participants in all three countries reported having come across online media supporting violent extremism or jihad; • Baseline attitudes can be sexist, especially among men; anti-women’s rights “backlash” is politicised by extremist groups on platforms aimed at men and women members;

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UN Women Asia Pacific

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