On 21 November, the Brussels International Center for Research and Human Rights (BIC-RHR) organized its first event in Paris in partnership with Sciences Po Monde Arabe, which focused on the historical roles of women in violent extremism in the Middle-East. Mr. Jean-François Fechino, BIC-RHR’s President, gave an introductory remark on BIC-RHR’s main lines of work and activities, welcoming the specialists and students present in the room.
Present among the speakers, Dr. Carole Andre-Dessornes, a well-known sociologist and geostrategic consultant, gave her insights on the roles women have been playing throughout history, as combatants, fighters and supporters of violent extremist groups. According to Dr. Andre-Dessornes, the word ‘terrorism’ must be understood contextually, meaning that its significance varies for each context. Following the sociologist, Ms. Sonia Kichah, journalist and director who produced the documentary ‘Djihad au Feminin’, illustrated in which ways those women have experienced their integration into terrorist groups. The stories of these women were shared with the audience, highlighting the complexity of the problem and enlightening participants’ perspectives on the theme. Mr. Ramadan Abu Jazar, BIC-HRH’s Director, highlighted the issues women face when returning back to their country of origin, especially when it comes to their reintegration into society. At the end, students and young professionals raised several questions and moved the debate into a productive exchange.
The BIC-RHR thank all the participants involved in the discussions and look forward for holding similar events in partnership with Science Po.