Briefing: The Role of Women in Counterterrorism

*This event has been independently produced by participants in PSA’s Congressional Partnership Program. The views expressed at this event are those of the speakers and do not reflect the policies or positions of PSA*

The Important Roles Women Play in Counterterrorism and What the United States and International Community Can Do to Further Integrate Women in Counterterrorism Programs

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A panel discussion with:

Humera Khan is the Executive Director at Muflehun. She is a subject-matter expert in countering violent extremism. Ms. Khan also contributes in an advisory capacity to U.S. Government agencies and law enforcement in several European countries. She runs CVE trainings for youth, communities and religious leaders. Her work includes the design and launch of the Viral Peace program for the U.S. Department of State to train youth leaders on the strategies of using social media to build communities and counter extremism. In 2012 she received the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for her work. She holds four degrees from MIT: MS Technology & Policy, MS Nuclear Engineering, BS Art & Design and BS Nuclear Engineering. Ms. Khan also has an MA in Islamic Studies from the School of Islamic and Social Sciences, an affiliate seminary of the Washington Theological Consortium

Kathleen Kuehnast is the Director of the Gender & Peacebuilding Center at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). The U.S. Congress created the Institute 30 years ago with a mandate to prevent, mitigate and resolve violent conflicts around the world. The Institute does so by engaging directly in conflict zones and by providing analysis, education and resources to those working for peace. USIP experts work on the ground in some of the world’s most volatile regions, collaborating with U.S. government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and local communities to foster peace and stability. Ms. Kuehnast is trained as a socio-cultural anthropologist with expertise on societies in transition, and the political, economic, and social impacts of such changes on men and women. In societies undergoing great upheaval or violent conflict, the roles of women often become a flashpoint, as seen for example in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran or Pakistan.

Women play an important, but not as recognized role in counterterrorism worldwide. This briefing will shed light on their roles in preventing terrorism and discuss the ideas of what The United States and international community can do to further integrate women in counterterrorism programs.

Women have a unique role in the family and community that makes them central to notice and intervene in the radicalization on their children and other children in the community. With proper training these women can stop the radicalization and help put an end to terrorism. The recruitment of women into radicalization is growing each day as well. With proper training and education we can defuse this growing dilemma. The panelists will discuss the issues and solutions of women in counterterrorism.