International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN)

ICAN strengthens women’s institutions and activism for rights, peace and security in their countries, while amplifying their presence and gendered perspectives in regional and global policy arenas. 

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Videos

Gendered Transitional Justice

Using the Better Peace Tool’s four-part framework to realize inclusion ​in peace processes, ​this​ animation explores the various components of Transitional Justice and offers five practical steps to ensure a gender sensitive and inclusive process.

For full access to the video, Gendered Transitional Justice, kindly follow the link. 

Video

Policy and Research Papers

From the Ground Up – The Nexus of Economic Policy, Gender and Violent Extremism

A preliminary dialogue on the nexus of economic policy, gender and violent extremism

A Brief on Policy and Practice to Inform National Strategies for Preventing Violent Extremism and Promoting Sustainable Peace.

Women peace practitioners and rights activists have long been concerned by decisions made at global and national levels that at the local level impact dynamics of economic exclusion, threaten social cohesion and exacerbate vulnerabilities to radicalization. Violent extremism and state responses to it place significant economic burden on societies. The members of the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) have consistently draw attention to this gap between policy intentions and realities on the ground. Their lived experiences of the economic dynamics in contexts affected by violent extremism, combined with desk research on the state of current policy and practice, and the multistakeholder Global Solutions Exchange (GSX)2 meeting on these issues held at the UNDP headquarters in New York in March 2017, inform the findings of this report.

For full access to From the Ground Up – The Nexus of Economic Policy, Gender and Violent Extremism kindly follow the link.

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Preventing Violent Extremism, Protecting Rights and Community Policing

In February 2017 the Global Solutions Exchange (GSX) meeting on the nexus of security, gender and extremism was held in London bringing members of the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) and other women and youth-led organizations engaged in the prevention of violent extremism efforts together with military and security personnel, representatives of governments and multilateral organizations to analyze the impact of security interventions in contributing to and mitigating extremist violence. They also highlighted their own practical experiences in engaging the security sector to prevent and counter violent extremism including through trust building with communities, respect of human rights, and gender sensitivity as well as the provision of training to the police and military. Their experiences, combined with desk research on the state of current policy and practice, and consultations with over 70 women peacebuilders from 30 countries at ICAN’s 2015 and 2016 annual Women, Peace and Security forums inform this report.

For full access to Preventing Violent Extremism, Protecting Rights and Community Policing, kindly follow the link.

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Analysis: National Action Plans on Preventing Violent Extremism

Due to the importance of National Action Plans as policy instruments in the prevention of and protection against violent extremism, and the ongoing work in this realm by national governments and civil society organizations, the International Civil Society Network (ICAN) sought to gain a better understanding of the content of the plans that have been published thus far in 2017, and to highlight good practices and gaps particularly in relation to the inclusion of civil society and gender perspectives and priorities. To this end, ICAN conducted a content analysis of nine NAPs, analyzing whether and how specific themes and target groups were discussed, including education, media, civil society, gender/ women, and human rights.

For full access to Analysis: National Action Plans on Preventing Violent Extremism kindly follow the link.

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Education, Identity and Rising Extremism

In November 2016, during ICAN’s fifth annual Women, Peace and Security forum, members of the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) and other women-led organizations in over 30 countries analyzed the role of formal and informal education in contributing to enabling conditions and mitigating extremist violence. They also highlighted their own practical experiences and lessons learnt in providing education to prevent violent extremism by fostering peace, resilience, equal rights and pluralism (PREP) in formal and informal spaces, including through the teachings of alternative religious narratives. Their experiences, combined with desk research on the state of current policy and practice, and the first multi-stakeholder Global Solutions Exchange (GSX) meeting on the nexus of education, gender and extremism held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in March 2017, inform the findings of this report.

For full access to Education, Identity and Rising Extremism, kindly follow the link.

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10 Steps to Designing and Implementing Inclusive National Action Plans to Prevent Violent Extremism

International Civil Society Action Network for Women’s rights, Peace and Security has produced a 10-step document to support the design and implementation of National Action Plans which are inclusive and reinforce linkages among the promotion of human rights, good governance, rule of law, and social cohesion particularly involving marginalized sectors of the population.

To access the full document, 10 Steps to Designing and Implementing Inclusive National Action Plans to Prevent Violent Extremism, please follow the link. 

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10 Steps to Strengthening Rehabilitation and Reintegration Efforts for Terrorism Offenders, Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters, and Victims of Violent Extremism

International Civil Society Action Network for Women’s rights, Peace and Security has produced a document recommending 10 steps Governments should take in order to achieve effective rehabilitation and reintegration programmes for individuals returning from conflict zones and persons defecting from terrorist groups. 

To read the full document, 10 Steps to Strengthening Rehabilitation and Reintegration Efforts for Terrorism Offenders, Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters, and Victims of Violent Extremism, please follow the link. 

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Peace Heroes: How Nigerian Psychologist Fatima Akilu Rehabilitates Extremist Societies

“Nigeria has been ravaged by a two-decade old insurgency led by Boko Haram” says Dr. Fatima Akilu, a psychologist, author, former government official, now Director of the Neem Foundation, and a member of the global Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL).

“Though based mainly in the north eastern part of the country, they have been able to carry out attacks in many other cities across the country. More than 20,000 people have been killed, thousands abducted and in excess of 2 million displaced in the North East and thousands more across the country.  Resources meant for development have had to be used to quell the insurgency and we have one of the largest humanitarian response needs in the world currently. Many children have been separated from caregivers, their education and means of livelihood truncated.”

The devastation in Nigerian communities is matched by the overcrowded prisons where thousands of Nigerians – mainly men – reside. They are suspected of belonging to Boko Haram, the insurgent group renowned for waging a war against ‘Western education’ and claiming to uphold strict Islamic values. Years into Boko Haram’s terrorism, Nigeria’s military failed to stop the murders, abductions, and extremist ideology. In 2012 the government of Goodluck Jonathan adopted a new ‘soft approach’ of deradicalization. Dr. Akilu was appointed to run the country’s first official counter-extremism program.

A psychologist and an author who writes children’s books with an educational theme, Akilu developed and integrated deradicalization and prevention programs across the prison service and the ministry of education. Akilu spoke to ICAN’s Aya Nader about how extremism affects women in her country, discussed rehabilitation and reintegration of extremists, and shared what motivates her to keep the fight for peace ignited.

To read the full article, Peace Heroes: How Nigerian Psychologist Fatima Akilu Rehabilitates Extremist Societies, please follow the link provided.

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Other Documents

Peace Heroes: How Nigerian Fatima Akilu Rehabilitates Extremist Societies

Dr. Fatima Akilu explains to the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) how extremism effects women in her country, and gives an inspiring account of how violent extremists are rehabilitated and reintegrated using counselling and direct services.

For access to the interview Peace Heroes: How Nigerian Fatima Akilu Rehabilitates Extremist Societies, please kindly follow the link provided.

Other Document

ICAN’s Sanam Naraghi Anderlini Addresses UN at 6th Review of the UN Counter Terrorism Strategy

ICAN’s Co-Founder and Executive Director, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, addressed the United Nations General Assembly at the 6th Review of the UN Counter Terrorism Strategy. She discussed the topic of women and violent extremism. 

To view the full transcript of ICAN’s Sanam Naraghi Anderlini Speech, please kindly follow the link. 

Other Document