By Gabrielle Rivas (Asahi Shimbum) & Justin Doane (Reuters)
BOSTON, Mass. (Asahi Shimbun, Reuters) – At a press conference Friday, the Commission on the Status of Women focused on the way women have been affected by aspects of war, specifically terrorism. Delegates discussed how support for women and education could prevent more acts of terror in the future, both in the long and short term.
In a number of statements, a correspondent for Al Jazeera suggested through education that terrorists “can work within the system to achieve what they are trying to do rather than attack a school.” Through education, Al Jazeera believes it can provide people with a means to meet their demands without resorting to violence.
“They are going to be less active and use legitimate means to achieve what they want,” Al Jazeera said.
As well as preventing violence, other delegates said empowering women was also a benefit of education. Delegates said by providing education, and increasing access to educational tools, an increase of social mobility would enable others to improve their lives. Education would be used as a tool to empower women whom are usually oppressed and prevent the recruitment of terrorists.
A delegate from Australia said “one way to prevent recruitment is by education, educating women, but by doing this it is necessary to transform those victims into survivors and give them the tools to progress.”
Delegates mentioned air dropping educational materials to countries in need. A resolution mentioned was accelerated based learning centers and special attention for victims of sexual violence. “Air dropping materials are a consideration we can take however there are very important solutions we have taken in this committee,” a delegate from the United States said.
Many of the answers given by delegates addressed a long term goal of improving living conditions and societal foundations to improve the lives of others, in order to keep people from being radicalized. However, when a correspondent asked the committee what their short term goals were in addressing these issues combatting religious extremists, the delegation of Croatia commented, “looking at where this happened which was at a school, having self defense teaching teachers ways of evacuating ways of getting people to safe places having other resources they can refer to.”
A number of delegations used the opportunity to broadcast their possible solutions of decreasing radicalization, as well, in order to help empower women, such as distributing educational materials and increasing access to infrastructure such as schools.
Additionally, on the topic of educational materials being distributed, a delegate from Singapore responded, “education is a way of empowering women and allowing them the opportunities in this discussion.”