From 19-20 November 2019, UN Women and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) convened the third expert meeting of the Platform on Gender and Countering and Preventing Violent Extremism in North Africa in Tunis, Tunisia. The Platform, which consists of members from Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, is co-chaired by UN Women and CTED, in collaboration with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). Participants included senior government and civil society experts as well as academics from the five North African countries.
The Platform enables experts from the region to discuss the gender dimensions of CVE/PVE and exchange related knowledge and research; to share good practices with regard to gender-sensitive approaches to CVE in North Africa; and to discuss how national CVE policies in the region can benefit from and be more effective through a gender approach.
CTED’s keynote speech focused on recent developments with regard to gender-sensitive prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration strategies to address the particular circumstances of women returning from terrorist groups, highlighting the provisions of Security Council resolution 2396 (2017), the 2018 Addendum to the Madrid Guiding Principles, and CTED’s analytical publications including the Trends Report on the Gender Dimensions of the Response to Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters and the Analytical Brief on The Repatriation of ISIL-associated Women. CTED also highlighted the important role played by women’s civil society organizations (CSOs) in rehabilitation and reintegration work in different local contexts. However, it was also noted that the shrinking civic space affects women’s groups and more work needs to be carried out to assess how counter-terrorism strategies affects women’s rights and women’s CSOs, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 2242 (2015) and 2395 (2017).
Participants reflected on different experiences and challenges with regard to gender-sensitive approaches to countering terrorism and violent extremism in their respective countries. Participants stressed that there continues to be limited understanding of the gender dimensions of violent extremism and noted the need to raise awareness of these issues across the region.
CTED and UN Women will continue their collaboration as co-chairs of the Platform and develop proposals for further strengthening this forum and identifying concrete deliverables for 2020.