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Migration and Home Affairs

RAN Small Scale Meeting (Young) Women’s Usage of Social Media and Lessons for Preventing Violent Extremism, online meeting, 24 November 2020

The perspective on the role of (young) women in extremism has changed over the last years towards better understanding of how women radicalise, how they are recruited, and what their role in terrorist or extremist organisations can be. For many years, the public view on the agency of women has been neglected or marginalised. With substantial numbers of women travelling to Iraq and Syria to join Daesh, this view has changed.

Despite the relatively large amount of research done on gender and radicalisation/extremism, there are still considerable gaps to fill. While the focus of the recent years has been on Islamist extremism, women and other forms of extremism have been rather understudied. One of the main challenges for an effective intervention is the fact that much of the interaction has moved online.

Studies have shown that women spend more time on social media than men and that the internet and social media can serve as a gateway to extremism. Therefore, the (online) radicalisation of women in different extremist settings needs to be explored further and understood to a degree that practitioners can adjust their intervention accordingly. Read more


PDF Paper (also available in French and German)