The Women Preventing Extremist Violence (WPEV) is a pilot project of the USIP’s Gender and Peacebuilding team designed to increase women’s agency, influence and engagement in strengthening community level resilience to violent extremism. Through a training program and facilitated dialogues, USIP’s staff works with in-country partners to bring together representatives of women civil society and the security sector in an exploration of the local drivers of violent extremism, and potential strategies for prevention and improved collaboration. 

International Women's Day 2008 in Korgnegane, Bougouriba Province in the Burkina Faso
Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons/Hugues

The WPEV project is currently being piloted in Nigeria and Kenya. A first series of workshops brought together a dozen women leaders of civil society organizations. A second series of dialogues sought to foster trust and communication between civil society and representatives of the police. The WPEV project culminated with an international symposium in March 2015 that highlighted the work of women civil society leaders from India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Tanzania, who presented their lessons learned and innovative ways to engage women in preventing extremist violence at the community level.

coverThe Thought for Action Kit

A collection of experts’ essays and exercises, designed to help guide activists and practitioners to engage in reflection and dialogue on violent extremism. 

Events

Women and Countering Violent Extremism Strengthening Policy Responses and Ensuring Inclusivity

In July 2015, experts from civil society, the United Nations, academia, and the U.S. government discussed ways to include women in efforts to counter violent extremism. The debate directly informed U.S. government officials preparing for major international conferences on these issues in fall 2015.

Women Preventing Violent Extremism: Charting a New Course

In celebration of International Women's Day, the U.S. Institute of Peace hosted a meeting of 12 women civil society leaders from India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Tanzania on Friday, March 6.

Related Publications

How Can U.S. Better Help Tunisia to Curb ISIS Recruitment?

How Can U.S. Better Help Tunisia to Curb ISIS Recruitment?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

By: USIP Staff

As Tunisia last month celebrated the 2011 overthrow of its dictatorship, thousands of young Tunisians protested in streets nationwide, often clashing with police. Young Tunisians widely voice an angry despair at being unemployed, untrained for jobs, and unable to build futures for themselves. The single democracy to have arisen from the Arab Spring uprisings is undermined by the feelings of hopelessness among many youth, and by their exploitation by extremist groups linked to ISIS and al-Qaida. To help Tunisian, U.S. and other efforts to build hope for Tunisia’s youth, a small, USIP-funded project is measuring which kinds of programs are actually effective.

Violent Extremism; Youth

Redefining Masculinity in Afghanistan

Redefining Masculinity in Afghanistan

Thursday, February 15, 2018

By: Belquis Ahmadi; Rafiullah Stanikzai

Following more than three decades of political instability, violent conflicts, and foreign invasions, Afghanistan is home to nearly two generations that have grown up knowing only conflict and war. As a result, violent and aggressive behavior—particularly from young men—has become an accepted norm of...

Gender

To Stabilize Iraq After ISIS, Help Iraqis Reconcile

To Stabilize Iraq After ISIS, Help Iraqis Reconcile

Sunday, February 11, 2018

By: USIP Staff; Nancy Lindborg; Sarhang Hamasaeed

An international conference opens in Kuwait Monday to plan ways to rebuild Iraq and secure it against renewed extremist violence following the three-year war against ISIS. A USIP team just spent nine days in Iraq for talks with government and civil society leaders, part of the Institute’s years-long effort to help the country stabilize. The Kuwait conference will gather government, business and civil society leaders to consider a reconstruction that Iraq has said could cost $100 billion. USIP’s president, Nancy Lindborg, and Middle East program director, Sarhang Hamasaeed, say any realistic rebuilding plan must focus also on the divisions and grievances in Iraq that led to ISIS’ violence and that still exist.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Violent Extremism

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