UNICRI's latest research initiative, "Voices of Resilience: A Gender Needs Analysis on Preventing Violent Extremism in the Sahel," delivers a comprehensive analysis of the experiences of individuals in the Sahel, focusing on the different perceptions of women, girls, men, and boys. The primary goal of the report is to inform targeted prevention initiatives that address violent extremism through a robust gender analysis tailored to the specific needs of local communities.
Conducted through extensive on-the-ground research in Mali, Niger, and Mauritania, the report establishes a nuanced understanding of the intricate links between gender dynamics and violent extremism in the region. Through surveys, interviews, and focus group discussions with key informants, the study engaged 355 individuals, representing a diverse cross-section of the population, including community members, national and local authorities, religious figures, security experts, and civil society actors.
The research underscores a direct correlation between community resilience against joining violent extremist groups and the identified needs and demands of local communities. In fact, primary concerns expressed by the inclusive samples of community members centre around employment, food security, protection, insecurity, and service availability, aligning closely with key resilience factors against violent extremism.
The study further reveals the relationship between violent extremism and community resilience varies across localities, depending on specific gender roles, violence levels, and service availability. In response, the research emphasises the necessity for tailored, context-specific prevention of violent extremism interventions, addressing adaptively each factor of resilience.
UNICRI is committed to translating these insights into actionable initiatives. Recognising the crucial role of women’s and men’s resilience in preventing violent extremism, the Institute aims to collaborate with local stakeholders, governments, and organisations to implement programmes that resonate with the unique realities of each community, fostering a safer, more inclusive world.
As UNICRI unveils "Voices of Resilience: A Gender Needs Analysis on Preventing Violent Extremism in the Sahel," it invites stakeholders, policymakers, and the global community to engage in a meaningful discourse on gender-responsive approaches to preventing violent extremism. This study represents a pivotal step towards a more secure, equitable, and resilient Sahel region, aligning with the broader objectives of the Sustainable Development Goal 16 – advocating for Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions to ensure a sustainable future.
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