Demystifying Gender Analysis for Research on Violent Extremism

Incorporating a gender analysis into research on violent extremism and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) leads to more accurate conclusions about violent extremism and violent extremist organizations (VEOs). When scholars, policymakers, and activists pay attention to gender dynamics, they gain new insights about power, identities, and relationships.

Researchers cannot ignore the gender dimension of violent extremism because VEOs understand the importance of gender and leverage ideas about gender for their own advantage. Despite the clear benefits from incorporating gender into the research process, most researchers are not trained on gender analysis and therefore cannot envision what it looks like in practice.

This chapter outlines some of the key steps in a gender analysis, including asking questions about the different experiences of men, women, boys, and girls; tracing power dynamics; recognizing intersectional identities; analyzing context; and challenging existing knowledge and conventions. The goal of this chapter is to demystify gender analysis so that it becomes an approachable tool researchers choose to use to gain a more accurate picture of contexts of violent extremism.

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