Center Releases Briefing Paper on Role of Women in New U.S. Plan to Prevent Homegrown Terrorism

Today the Center released its 20-page briefing paper Women and Preventing Violent Extremism: The U.S. and U.K. Experiences. Drawing on the U.K.’s record on the Prevent strategy, the briefing paper uses a gender and human rights lens to analyze the U.S.’ new policy of using a community-based approach to build resilience against violent extremism. The briefing paper finds that by largely adopting a now-rejected version of Prevent, the U.S. plan risks co-opting non-security sectors, such as education and health, to the detriment of immigrant women. By following a Prevent strategy that securitized engagement with Muslim communities and integration, the U.S. plan also chances increased stigma against these communities—including particularly Muslim women—and chills the very community partnerships the new strategy centers. As the U.S. implements its first-ever domestic strategy on ideologically-inspired violent extremism, this briefing paper also identifies the privacy and free speech consequences of failing to define how radicalization relates to violence, as well as using community engagement as a pretext for surveillance

Women and Preventing Violent Extremism: The U.S. and U.K. Experiences is based on the Center’s July 2011 163-page report A Decade Lost: Locating Gender in U.S. Counter-Terrorism and CHRGJ’s investigation of the U.K. Government’s (HMG) counter-terrorism strategy through interviews from February 21-28, 2011 in the United Kingdom with HMG officials, national security experts, NGO representatives, and HMG implementing partners. For the briefing paper, CHRGJ conducted on the record interviews with HMG officials in the Home Office, Department for International Development, Department for Communities and Local Government, Metropolitan Police, Association of Chief Police Officers, Birmingham City Council, and the U.K. House of Lords .

CHRGJ also recently released summary versions of A Decade Lost: Locating Gender in U.S. Counter-Terrorism in English and Arabic.