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.