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In February 2015, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop revealed that more than 500 western women secretly travelled to join the Islamic State, including 40 Australian women.
Bishop stated, “They’re being used by men who know nothing but hate, used as sexual slaves, manipulated for propaganda and recruitment purposes, and in some cases ending their lives as suicide bombers.”
With the rise of ISIS, high public attention is being directed towards militant Islamist groups. However, the role, rights and status of women within societies challenged by extremism is still a shadowy subject.
Why are women targeted under these actors, and what compels these organisations to regressively limit the rights of women? Why do women themselves sometimes participate in the process, and most importantly, what barriers and mechanisms exist for the international community to address these issues?
Panelists for this event were:
Amne Alrifai, our Director
Dr Raihan Ismail: Raihan is a CAIS Associate Lecturer. She has a Bachelor in Political Science, with a minor in Islamic Studies, and a Masters in International Relations from the International Islamic University of Malaysia. Dr Ismail's research interests include: Sectarianism in the Gulf region, Political Islam with a strong focus on Egypt and South East Asia, and studies of religious institutions in the Middle East.
Dr Vanessa Newby: Vanessa Newby's current research focus is peacebuilding and peacekeeping in the Middle East. Vanessa has published on the normalisation of peace through everyday security practices, the role of time in successful peacebuilding and the use of technocracy and credibility to negotiate the politics of peacekeeping.