Preventing Violent Extremism through Economic Empowerment and Social Media
The Young Women Leaders program consists of 80 young women leaders who have become recognized actors and agents of change in Poso and Lamongan. These young women have advocated to prevent and counter violent extremism. They have worked to better address the root causes of extremism, including gender inequality, through human rights-based approaches. They have led advocacy with national and local government, organized peacebuilding dialogues with community stakeholders, and coordinated economic empowerment initiatives and social media campaigns.
This YWL chapter is committed to supporting local businesses in order to address the root causes of violence. As such, they are working towards building societies that are more gender-equal, peaceful, and resilient to violent extremism. In Poso, the young women partnered with a group of farmers* to help them sell their organic produce. They developed a brand and digital marketing strategy for the produce to improve its reach to target audiences. In Lamongan, the young women have partnered with a woman entrepreneur to produce and market Hijab brooches and jewelry. They are also selling their own products, such as 3D handicraft greetings, hijab bouquets, and banana fritters through their existing communication and digital skills. By supporting local businesses, the YW+PL are economically empowering themselves and their communities.
* Some of the farmers are the parents of the young women leaders which help facilitate collaboration.
Preventing Violent Extremism
YWL members have advocated for greater representation of young women in peacebuilding, political decision-making, and countering violent extremism. At a local level, the YWL members have held intergenerational advocacy meetings with district-level leaders such as the Regent and Vice-Regent of Poso and Lamongan. For example, the young women leaders drafted, distributed, and collected signatures for a statement condemning early, forced, and child marriage. Additionally, the YWL members have organized community workshops on peacebuilding, economic empowerment, and de-radicalization attended by key stakeholders including village heads, local police, youth and religious leaders. In January 2019, through a campaign titled “Peace Goes to School”, the young women leaders in Indonesia visited five local schools where they popularized UNSCR 1325 and 2250 with the objective of encouraging more youth to be educated on the importance of the WPS and YPS agendas.
YWL members in Indonesia are using social media as tool to counter radicalization and recruitment by violent extremist groups. YWL members launched a campaign for safe online spaces for youth activists, particularly young women and girls, using the hashtags #BreakTheCycle and #GirlsSupportingGirls. The campaign, which reached approximately 5000 people, denounced the online and offline harassment and violence that so many young women and girls face as a result of their activism. It also built solidarity amongst young women leaders in Indonesia.
By maintaining a strong social media presence, the YWL – Indonesia continue to encourage their online audiences of the importance of working together to implement the WPS and YPS resolutions.
© 2018, Young Women Leaders in Indonesia after GNWP workshop on economic empowerment
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