Fundamentalism and Extremism Challenges

Fundamentalist and extremist agendas deepen the challenges for women’s human rights, creating more inequalities. With the rise of fundamentalism, there are factors like militarisation and repression that threaten women’s human rights, as well as the proliferation of the neo-liberal economic order. These factors influence social and power hierarchies, and perpetuate discrimination, hate and exclusion. This tends to affect women and marginalised groups more, as States are then unable to guarantee effective human rights provisions.

Mainstream views of extremism tend to focus on the issue from the perspective of culture wars and identity politics, so a feminist viewpoint is severely lacking. This is why we aim to better interrogate this issue from a women’s human rights perspective so that this challenge can be overcome. To this end, using the CEDAW framework as a method for enforcing protection of women’s human rights is key.

Women and girls are especially impacted by extremist ideologies, particularly as existing norms and values are discriminatory and tend to be reinforced socially, politically, legally and culturally. This of course permeates a culture of violence against women and girls – yet another issue we are intent on combating. As such, we are working to address extremism by doing extensive research on the matter and providing an alternative feminist counter-narrative to the normalisation of such ideologies.

We Work With

  • Women’s Rights Organisations
  • United Nations Treaty Bodies, Special Procedures and Mandate-Holders
  • CEDAW Committee

Programme in Action

In 2011, IWRAW AP along with collaborating partners as well as other organisations, made written and oral submissions to the CEDAW Committee on the day of general discussion on the draft general recommendation on women in armed conflict and post-conflict situations (GR 30). We supported UN Women and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to organize and facilitate the Asia Pacific Regional Consultation on GR 30 in March 2012 with the CEDAW Working Group on the proposed GR. IWRAW AP continues to consistently engage with the CEDAW Committee and in particular the Working Group on CEDAW General Recommendation 30 on women in conflict prevention, conflict and post-conflict situations. We work to ensure that the key issues and contexts raised by women’s rights activists, organisations and peace networks on accountability of State and non-state actors in protecting women’s human rights in the conflict and post conflict settings are reflected in the GR 30.

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Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights

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