“We have had 15 years with counter-terrorism policies in place, but no results”

Woman peace activist

Addressing Extremism and Militarism

ICAN has become a recognized actor in the international P/CVE space with its particular attention to women-led local civil society organizations and gendered approaches to addressing  extremism.  From  a  policy  standpoint,  our  work  is firmly  situated  in  the women, peace  and  security  agenda  with  attention  to  women’s  leadership  and  agency.

We  view extremism as inherently gendered (as it relates to women and men). It is also directly relevant to women’s rights, peace and security, because the co-option, coercion or control of women is integral to the ideology of extremist movements, hence the deliberate targeting of women who dare to stand up and speak out against these ideologies and lead efforts to prevent and counter the spread of extremism.

“Neither countering nor preventing violent extremism or conflict is enough. The international community must articulate and act by values and principles that promote positive peace, dignity, rights, and pluralism in practical ways.”

Our  work  is  evolving  and  is  organized  around  five  broad  activity  areas  and  related  structures that we have created:

 1. Networking  –  The Women’s  Alliance  for  Security  Leadership  (WASL),  which  provides  a platform  for  our  outreach  and  engagement  with  independent  women-led  organizations working on a range of issues pertaining to P/CVE in countries affected by extremism, crises and militarism.

2. Analysis  –  The What  the  Women  Say  gendered  political  and  security  country  report, thematic  briefs  and  working  papers,  which  are  developed  based on  consultations  with  our partners who provide the expertise and experience of practice, as well as academic scholars and   international   experts.   These   briefs   inform   our   advocacy   and   are   the   basis   for discussions in the GSX working groups.

3. Advocacy/Influence – The Global Solutions Exchange (GSX), which is a platform launched in partnership  with  the  Norwegian  government,   for  enabling  systematic  and  structured engagement  between  WASL  (and  other  civil  society  actors  including  the  Global  Center  for Security  Cooperation)  and  governmental  and  multilateral  entities  responsible  for  peace, security and P/CVE, and related media and public events work

4. Funding  –  The Innovative Peace Fund (IPF) enables ICAN to  provide  grants  to partners  based  on  a  participatory  process  of  project  design  and  related  to  P/CVE  in  areas that our partners have defined as being relevant  to the agenda. The  principles driving  our  approach  to  the  IPF  are  that  we  trust  our  partners  assessment  of  needs  and invest in their judgment. In return they trust us, as we offer strategic support and guidance to innovate and test new approaches.  As a result, the projects funded are  informed  by the participatory process, but fully owned and led by our partners.

5. Partner Support – Technical assistance to partners, which includes institutional, professional and  personal  capacity  building,  and  providing  opportunities  for  collaboration,  regional  and peer-to-peer learning and solidarity.


“We invite the global community to walk alongside us in our efforts to counter the rising tide of extremism. ”

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