The Linkages Between Violent Misogyny & Violent Extremism and Radicalisation that Leads to Terrorism


This policy brief is based on policy-focused research and interviews concerning the links between violent misogyny and violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism (VERLT). The research was commissioned by the OSCE Office of the Secretary General Gender Issues Programme together with the OSCE Transnational Threats Department’s Action against Terrorism Unit as part of the WIN for Women and Men – Strengthening Comprehensive Security through Innovating and Networking for Gender Equality project. The research was conducted by the consultant Dr. Melissa Johnston with Dr. Sara Meger.

Key Messages

  • A growing body of research indicates that violent misogynistic attitudes and attitudes supporting VERLT strongly overlap. More research is needed to examine the causality. 
  • Addressing violent misogyny’s links to VERLT is a significant, but overlooked and misunderstood, security concern for the OSCE and its participating States. At the individual level, violent misogyny can motivate men and women to participate in VERLT. At the group level, violent misogyny plays a role in the operation and ideology of violent extremist groups.
  • The OSCE participating States and executive structures could benefit from operationalizing a comprehensive approach to mainstreaming gender into preventing and countering VERLT (P/CVERLT) that includes understanding and identifying manifestations of violent misogyny in training and capacity- building for a variety of stakeholders. 
  • The OSCE could strengthen its gender perspective in P/CVERLT publications and guidelines by including violent misogyny in future publications and guidelines on gender and P/CVERLT for stakeholders working in the field, including rehabilitation and reintegration (R&R), policy and practice in participating States.
  • Including violent misogyny as a central concern of P/CVERLT is in line with comprehensive gender mainstreaming, considers gender power relations at its centre and goes beyond looking at the roles played by and participation of women. Relevant commitments follow from the Ministerial Declaration on P/CVERLT (2015) and the 2004 OSCE Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality.
  • Women’s civil society organizations are uniquely positioned to recognize, understand and address violent misogyny as it manifests in different contexts. As a result, the OSCE and participating States should include non-governmental actors, including women’s civil society organizations, that deal with the national-level impacts of violent misogyny in key decision-making bodies that address VERLT.


The full report is available below.


See the full report from OSCE