Gender in Conflict, Violent Extremism and Security

This is a compendium of research on gender and its impact on conflict, extremism and security, highlighting the importance of a gender lens in policy and programming.




Main Image Credit US Air Force / Dustin Payne


This compendium seeks to highlight the work RUSI has done on illustrating the importance of gender in security and the variety of ways in which socially constructed gender roles and expectations can contribute to conflict and violent extremism.

Multiple RUSI projects, events series and individual researchers have included a ‘gender lens’ in their work – ranging from looking at national security and counterterrorism (CT) policy to preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) programming, and from gendered impacts of conflict and war to the gender inequality that feeds insecurity arising from global events such as the coronavirus pandemic.

Gender is an often-overlooked social construction that shapes every individual’s understanding of roles and motivations, as well as their experience of the many different impacts of terrorism and conflict.

Main Image Credit US Air Force / Dustin Payne

Aims and objectives

The gender equality agenda has focused on the areas of conflict and security since the creation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda with the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000.

RUSI offers a unique contribution to the body of work on using a gender lens in P/CVE programming, and has significant practical experience in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of this type of programming. This has allowed a distinctive insight into the importance and challenges of applying a gender outlook in policy and programming, and into the assumptions around the roles that women have in violent extremism as well as in countering and preventing it.

Additionally, in 2021, RUSI launched an event series aimed at exploring the role of gender in conflict and security. These events will look at the many ways in which gender shapes and contributes to – or undermines – conflict and meaningful security. Additionally, they will help foster a stronger gender lens on all aspects of conflict and security among policymakers and practitioners.

Project outputs


Access key publications produced as part of this project.

Invite-only events
Gender in Conflict and Security Webinar Series – Countering Violent Extremism: Making Gender Matter
Gendered Implications: Highlighting the Unequal Impact of the Pandemic
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Challenges to Gender Equality in the Security Sector
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What Can Work (and What Has Not Worked) in Women-Centric P/CVE Initiatives: Assessing the Evidence Base for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism
RUSI Journal
Women, Gender and Daesh Radicalisation: A Milieu Approach
RUSI Journal
Different Cities, Shared Stories: A Five-Country Study Challenging Assumptions Around Muslim Women and CVE Interventions
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New Compendium of Research on Gender and Violent Extremism in Kenya
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Gender and Violent Extremism

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