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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Masculinities and Violent Extremism


Little attention has been given to the gendered dimensions of radicalization and violent extremist organizations, yet extremist leaders demonstrate how gendered norms and expectations versus individuals’ realities and lack of power can play into recruitment push and pull factors.

On 8 May 2019, the Rift Valley Forum, in collaboration with Promundo, hosted a panel discussion to share contributions from participants attending a two-day roundtable on masculinities and violent extremism. The roundtable was convened to share experience and learning from across the world so as to generate deeper critical thinking, theorization and conceptualization on questions of masculinities and the forms of violent conflict, described as violent extremism. It brought together academics and practitioners from Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Pakistan, Lebanon, the US, the UK and Australia to identify critical knowledge gaps and research questions as well as priorities for research and programming that can extend existing knowledge and inform practice and policy.

The panel discussion explored the notion of violent extremist masculinities and lessons learnt from practical interventions that engage men in addressing the links between gender inequality and violent conflict by tackling violence against women.



Abby Fried

Antony Keedi
ABAAD Gender Equality NGO, Lebanon

Dr David Duriesmith
Queensland University

Dr Maleeha Aslam
Wolfson College, Cambridge and author of ‘Gender-Based Explosions: The Nexus between Muslim Masculinities, Jihadist Islamism and Terrorism’

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