“For a long time, we looked to the political elite for answers. Over time, however, it became very clear that civil society not only better understands these problems, local-level stakeholders also have the access and reach to address these challenges.” – Dr. Edit Schlaffer, Women without Borders

On 20 October 2022, Women without Borders (WwB) organised a side event at the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (COP11). Dr. Edit Schlaffer, Founder and Chair of WwB, moderated the event, which convened voices from Zanzibar, India, and Bangladesh to explore leading drivers of radicalisation that are destabilising families and communities, including drug abuse and organised crime.

Panellists Madam Shadya Karume, Diana Joseph, and Md. Monzurul Alam discussed the central role of women in the fight against extremist ideologies. They drew on their experience of implementing WwB’s ‘MotherSchools: Parenting for Peace’ Model that empowers women to become leaders and security allies in their families and communities. The three statements along with a panel Q&A session outlined the resilience and courage of women in these communities, the importance of building a foundation of women leaders from the bottom up, as well as the need for a whole-of-family approach in prevention efforts.

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