June 28, 2022

Empowering women in the fight against violent extremism

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From the way human beings are socialized in Kenya and African cultures, women are brought up to be homemakers. They are the ones that nurture and make the home comfortable for men, as they bring back the bread; the providers. This is where the African social setting has come from. Women in the modern era are now venturing into male-dominated fields and are thriving.

The education of men and male children to understand their female counterparts is crucial in any social setting. Women should be viewed as colleagues and not competition. Women are companions and should be respected as such and not looked down upon as inferior. Every gender has what it can bring to the table and as a result of gender synergy, social development and growth are highly felt.

Just like men, women bring strength and resilience in a different capacity I.e., women have compassion and empathy, and this sets a good balance between society and issues arising every day.

In matters of terrorism, women could be perpetrators or victims. By empowering the youth and specifically women in building resilience against violent extremism, we save the society as a whole. Women are empowered through psychosocial support, counseling and educating them on matters of terrorism and the vile effects it has on society.

Economic empowerment of women is also one crucial factor that reflects positively on society. There is a need for financial literacy among women on how to manage money or start a sustainable income-generating venture. By creating SMEs and community income-generating and development opportunities, the society and families benefit because women are known for their nurturing abilities.

When women are aware of the problem that is terrorism and are educated in ways in which they can resist the temptations of joining terrorist organizations, they can channel the same education to their children, hence nipping the problem in the bud.

Once you establish an empowered community where men and women are able to access opportunities and earn income, that limits attraction to violent extremist organizations. Social assistance in a male-dominated world is necessary to make women feel included in decision-making as well as make them feel assertive.