Women are certainly among the most vulnerable groups currently affected by terrorism and violent extremism. By empowering women, the international community will have agents everywhere supporting peace, tolerance and understanding.
Thank you for convening this important briefing on the role of women in countering terrorism and violent extremism. Israel believes that the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Committees are essential to global efforts to isolate terrorists. We appreciate your dedicated work along with that of other relevant UN agencies. I would also like to thank the panelists who shared their experiences with us and gave us an in depth perspective on the issue.
Around the world, still today, too many women are not regarded as full-fledged citizens of their society, but rather as mere spectators. Women are often the first victims of violence – but they suffer in silence. They are kept on the periphery of the public sphere and decision-making positions, and are unable to raise awareness on conflict-related issues concerning them directly.
Israel has fully endorsed the vision of a society in which women are given equal opportunity to choose a path that will enable them to reach influential positions and pave the way for a better society.
Women make up half the global population; they shape our communities; they construct our families; and more and more they are driving our global institutions and international policies. In our efforts to combat terrorism globally, everyone must be mobilized, and women are powerful agents of change.
Women are certainly among the most vulnerable groups currently affected by terrorism and violent extremism. As we have seen recently in the media and reports, women are being sexually abused and sold as sex slaves by ISIS and other extremist groups. While women are often victims to terrorism, they have the potential to be key players in counterterrorism efforts, with the propensity to make a crucial impact through detection of early signs of radicalization and intervening before individuals grow violent.
By empowering women, here today and into the future, the international community will have agents everywhere supporting peace, tolerance and understanding.
Over the past fifteen years, since the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security, we have witnessed greater determination to engage women in peace and security efforts. We must build on those efforts and integrate a gender perspective into Counter Violent Extremism policy design. It is necessary that gender experts are included at the very beginning of the process.
We must help build women’s capacity on all levels – local, national, regional and international. Training of civil society organizations and especially women’s organizations is crucial in order to have a more tailored, nuanced and effective outcome.
Israel works closely with many states and regional organizations to advance counter-terrorism cooperation. Terrorism is a global concern and so an effective response demands international cooperation. This is a threat we all share and no state should stand alone. Ultimately, the values and frameworks outlined here serve to enhance the role women play in forming responses to terrorism; confronting and delegitimizing extremist narratives; and even preventing radicalization.
Golda Meir, an extraordinary woman who was the third in the world to fulfill the highest political responsibilities as the Prime Minister of Israel, once said: "Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement."
We trust that the CVE policy discussed will not only fan the flames of progress, but will ignite a new era of opportunity for women everywhere.