By Hanifah 

Starting from concerns about the increasing involvement of women in radicalism, and the strength of masculinity in tackling extremism interventions. So 16 civil society organizations and cross-ministerial/institutionalized organizations working in the prevention of violent extremism declared a collaboration platform called the Working Group on Women and Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism (WGWC) on July 24, 2017 in Bogor. 

The WGWC framework uses the framework of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325 about women, peace and security. The four pillars are prevention, protection, participation, and relief-rehabilitation which is the focus of WGWC’s work. WGWC is expected to be a common home for actors working in gender mainstreaming in preventing violent extremism. WGWC has also built a foundation for collaborative work and invited more new partners in building the women’s movement and Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) in Indonesia.

WGWC has a vision to make women agents of peace in P/CVE grow and develop. There are several missions undertaken to achieve this. First, building a collective network as a national, regional and international movement of P/CVE works. Second, build a platform as a meeting house in creating coordination and synergy between institutions in handling women and P/CVE. Third, build a research and knowledge center as a center for data and information sources that become a forum for aspiration to solve problems related to women in P/CVE. Fourth, build a capacity building forum for women through workshops and training, consultation and provision of strategic and technical advice, mentoring, and support for civil society institutions and government in handling women and children in P/CVE.

So far, the WGWC partners have reached 24 institutions that are committed to supporting the movement. The movement is to encourage the substantive involvement of women in efforts to prevent, protect, participate in women and advocate for gender mainstreaming in policies related to violent extremism that leads to terrorism. In developing the movement, WGWC uses the principles of independence, transparency, voluntarism (voluntary, committed, and responsible), gender equality, fairness, openness, non-violence, non-discrimination, and collective collegial.

In its 4 years of organization, WGWC has been able to consolidate the institutions that work for women and the prevention of extremism in Indonesia in a joint movement. Both in the field of prevention, treatment, as well as rehabilitation and social reintegration efforts. As a movement platform, WGWC has also produced a strategic planning document to be used as a reference when compiling a joint program.

In addition, WGWC together with implementing partners are currently managing several programs. These programs include strengthening the wives of convicts (terrorist convicts) to build family resilience; build a structured reflective dialogue to support social rehabilitation and reintegration efforts; strengthening prison officers through the provision of religious pocket books; extracting stories of women in extremism through WGWC Talk Unheard and Untold Stories; and socialization of the National Action Plan for Combating Violent Extremism that Leads to Terrorism (RAN PE). These activities are not only carried out at the national level, but also at the provincial level.

As a movement, WGWC has become a good example for countries in Asia Pacific on how governments and CSOs work together in efforts to prevent extremism. This is embodied in Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 7 year 2021, which was ratified in January 2021 concerning the National Action Plan for the Prevention and Combating of Violent Extremism That Leads to Terrorism (RAN PE). RAN PE regulates the importance of civil society participation in efforts to combat violent extremism.

WGWC’s efforts in gender mainstreaming in every policy related to tackling extremism are accommodated in this NAP PE where gender mainstreaming and fulfillment of children’s rights are one of the principles in the process and implementation of NAP PE. Other principles are human rights, the rule of law and justice, security and safety, good governance, participation and multiple stakeholders, as well as diversity and local wisdom.


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