This paper lays out the complexity of why and how women have supported ISIS. It identifies gendered specifics in women’s pathways towards the group and argues that prevent-, deradicalization- and rehabilitation programmes need to be gender-sensitive in order to adequately respond to these wide-ranging motivations, drivers and gender-specific catalysing factors. It explores women’s different roles in ISIS and points to challenges in law-enforcement and judicial responses to women in ISIS, arguing that a gender-sensitive, case-by-case approach is crucial in order to avoid (subconscious) gender-stereotyping of women and to ensure gendered factors including issues around agency and criminal liability as well as women’s experiences while in the Islamic State are taken into account.
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