Women have been urged to be the first line of defence in the fight against radicalisation and prevention of violent extremism in the country. This was said in Nairobi on 21st July 2022 during the launch of Women Against Terrorism (WAT), a program aimed at working with women from various levels of society in advocacy, capacity building in the fight against terrorism.
The initiative under Epuka Ugaidi in partnership with Slovak Aid also roped in other strategic partners such as the Global Peace Foundation Kenya, the National Counter Terrorism Centre, the Kesho Alliance and other stakeholders.
Women against Terrorism focuses on prioritizing gender equality and women’s empowerment by promoting women’s participation in security decision-making processes in contexts affected by terrorism and in peace building settings.
Dr. Fatuma Ali, an International Relations professor at USIU, in the event alluded that women can either be at the table or the menu itself. Women can therefore be either perpetrators or the individuals who try to intervene and counter violent extremism.
“Empower women via training like tailoring & hairdressing then give them jobs or capital to start business to reduce their vulnerability to extremist groups,” said Mr. Daniel Juma, Country Director, Global Peace Foundation Kenya, who spoke at the same forum.
The Women against Terrorism program is steering towards achieving Agenda 2030, SDG5 on gender equality, SDG10 on reducing inequalities and SDG16 on achieving peace justice and inclusive societies.
The launch premiered a documentary called Hidden Threats, Forgotten Partners to have a more robust discussion and understanding of the fight against extremism.
Speakers included the Commissioner of the Judicial Services Commission- Mr. Macharia Njeru who launched the WAT program, Dr. Rosalind Nyawira – Director NCTC and Mr. Daniel Juma – Executive Director for Global Peace Foundation. Dr. Fatuma Ali-Professor of International Relations at USIU. Dr. Sylvia Mbugua-Professor of Neurology at the Agha Kahn University Hospital amongst others.