Women are streaming home from Boko Haram’s domain in north-eastern Nigeria, some having escaped captivity and others having left jihadist husbands behind. The state should safeguard these women from abuse, so that they stay in government-held areas and encourage men to come back as well.
Our work is informed by research that explores gender and conflict as ideas, political challenges and lived realities.
Too much of the public discussion around repatriating Western citizens, male or female, hinges on an assumption that letting them come home is equivalent to leniency or forgiveness.
While ending the insurgency and countering the militants’ appeal is obviously vital, it is also essential to recognise what precisely has guided women to join [Boko Haram] in the first place.
[Under sanctions] women, as organisers of family life, healthcare, education, will often carry the burden of trying to come up with alternatives for their families in all instances.
The crux of the recent crisis at the [U.S.-Mexico] border is that there are fewer male migrants in their 20s or 30s making the crossing, and many more families, newborns, children, and pregnant women escaping life-or-death situations as much as poverty.
Female peacekeepers can serve as role models for local women, improve relations with the host community, and facilitate information-gathering.