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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T003502/1
Title: GCRF Gender and Violent Extremism Network
Principal Investigator: AHMED ALI, Dr F
Other Investigators:
Aroussi, Dr S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: International Relations
Organisation: United States International University
Scheme: UKRI
Starts: 20 September 2019 Ends: 19 September 2021 Value (£): 151,633
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
28 Mar 2019 GCRF GE Networks Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This proposal will develop an open, critical and interdisciplinary network on Gender and Responding to Violent Extremism. The project is led by Dr Fatuma Ahmed, the United States International University in Kenya and Dr Sahla Aroussi, the Centre of Trust Peace and Social Relations in collaboration with Ms Pauline Skaper, the Rift Valley Institute in Nairobi. Although there is no international consensus on what constitutes violent extremism, it is acknowledged that this type of violence undermines peace and development not only at the national level but internationally. Violent extremism tends to be approached from a gender essentialist perspective, with men assumed to be perpetrators and women as victims, 'mothers' and 'wives' of recruits or potential recruits. In recent years, the role of women in the prevention of violent extremism and within extremist networks such as Al-Shabaab, the 'Islamic State' and the English Defence League has come to the spotlight particularly following the adoption of the United Nations Security Council resolutions following the adoption of 2242 on Women, Peace and Security in 2015. Yet, research and scholarship in this area remains new and a deeper engagement with gender and the role of norms around masculinities and femininities in violent extremism is still limited in scholarship and policies around terrorism and violent extremism. Hence, our Global Network on Gender and Responding to Violent Extremism (GARVE) is both timely and relevant. Around the globe, there are a number of international networks focused on violent extremism and radicalisation or on gender but there are no international networks that are specifically focused on gender and violent extremism.

Our proposal addresses primarily the Challenge Area of Human Rights, Good Governance and Social Justice but also cuts across the Challenge Area of Equitable Access to Sustainable Development. 'Violent extremism' has significant impact on women and girls' enjoyment of human rights. Because of its impact on security and stability, violent extremism undermines development efforts, and sustains aid dependency. Countries experiencing violent extremism are spending significant portion of their budget on military spending and counter-terrorism operations that could have been invested in services, infrastructure and development projects. As a result, poverty increases and deepens, and the population suffer. Violent extremism also halts development by pushing population to flee and migrate and by the damage that extremist groups do to infrastructure and institution. This project is fully aligned to the UK's international challenges and policy priorities. Tackling violent extremism, gender equality and increasing communities' resilience are all UK aid priorities. Kenya is on the DAC list of countries recipient of ODA funding.

Our network will bring together academics and practitioners from across the globe virtually and physically to discuss, exchange knowledge and expertise, theorise, identify research gaps and highlight best practices and policy failures. The network aims to attract members from diverse disciplines, to promote innovative and critical thinking on violent extremism from a gender perspective and to facilitate shared learning. By adopting an interdisciplinary approach and a multidisciplinary membership this network will allow for new perspective on gender and responding to violent extremism to emerge. Our network will ensure continuous engagement with policymakers in the UK and internationally. The activities of our network include research networking visits, engagement event, conference, roundtables, and webinars. The network deliveries are a network of academic and practitioners working on gender and violent extremism, strong partnership between members of the network, an online library of resources, a special website for the network, 2 academic edited volumes, and research funding proposals for GCRF and other funders.

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