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Impact of Violent Extremism on Women’s Social Protection & Services


UN Commission on the Status of Women Session 63

March 12, 2019 – 4:30 pm

Church Center of the United Nations – 10th Floor


Violent extremism can have a devastating impact on women’s social protection and services. Media coverage of violent extremism often focuses on terrorists, military, law enforcement, political issues. But, the realities for women in areas of violent extremism, often conflict as well, are the decline and reduction of basic social protection and services. Terrorism can dramatically affect the safety of women, who are usually primary caretakers for family. Violent extremism can result in basic social services being reduced or cut as funds are diverted by government to counter terrorism. Women may find access to vital resources as clean water, food, health care, education, more challenging or drastically limited. Violent extremism can result in aid and support being blocked or cut. The most vulnerable women in times of violent extremism may be the elderly, the sick, and the disabled. In times of terrorism, extremism, many women are left as heads of households, and a significant number as widows. It is a reality that some women and girls are drawn to join terrorist groups, and this Panel will discuss these dynamics, including online strategized recruitment. The speakers will explore how/why jihadi organizations, control women’s agency and freedoms, including for seriously needed social services.

Distinguished Speakers:

Moderator: Ms. Lois A. Herman – Coordinator WUNRN-Women’s UN Report Network