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Pacific Forum and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Successfully Conclude Workshop on “Youth, Gender, and Preventing Violent Extremism in Southeast Asia”

Youth, Gender, and Preventing Violent Extremism in Southeast Asia

Bali, December 1, 2023 — Pacific Forum, in collaboration with the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command office of Women, Peace, and Security (USINDOPACOM), successfully concluded a pivotal in-person workshop on “Youth, Gender, and Preventing Violent Extremism in Southeast Asia” over November 29-30, 2023, in Bali, Indonesia. The closed-door event brought together security personnel, Youth, Peace, and Security (YPS) advocates, and women’s civil society actors from Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

The 1.5-day workshop emphasized the crucial roles of gender and youth in comprehending and addressing extremism while fostering stronger ties between security personnel and civil society organizations. Police, counterterrorism, and military personnel actively participated in discussions and sessions.

According to Jennifer Howe, P/CVE Project Lead at Pacific Forum, “The workshop had two overlapping goals; one, to emphasize the importance of gender and youth in understanding and addressing extremism, and two, to forge closer ties between security personnel and civil society organizations and representatives who integrate youth and gender in their work to address extremism.”

Dr. Jacqui True delivered a keynote on the impact of gender in extremist group affiliations, exploring the role of misogyny in extremist ideology. Liz Ludan from USINDOPACOM highlighted the integration of gender into Indo-Pacific policies, presenting a comprehensive report on women’s varied roles in extremist groups.

YPS advocates stressed the need for social, political, and economic justice for youth and women, advocating for active youth participation in policymaking to prevent extremism. Insights from CSOs focused on localized approaches to extremism, cross-border collaboration, and the enhancement of relationships between civil society and security forces.

Sittie Janin Gamao, Peace Programme Officer from Ministry of Public Order and Safety in Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao gives her talk on maintaining peace in Bangsamoro. 

Dr. El-Muhammady, participant and representative from an undisclosed organization, emphasized the significance of deepening conversations with various stakeholders: “Deepening conversation with various stakeholders is vital to learn what other people on the other side are doing. We communicate every day, but not deep enough to the level of knowledge exactly what others are doing and how it is connected with U.S. By having deep conversations, we will be able to establish trust—trust, in this work, is a big currency.”

Dr. Ahmad El-Muhammady, International Islamic University 

The workshop marks the conclusion of Pacific Forum’s research project on “Youth, Gender, and Preventing Extremism in Southeast Asia,” co-sponsored by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. A forthcoming Key Findings document and a final research product in January will provide in-depth analyses of the workshop themes and survey responses. A survey for CSOs and individuals working in YPS, WPS, and P/CVE has also been created to gather perspectives on collaboration with security personnel.

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About Pacific Forum: 

Pacific Forum is a non-profit think tank fostering dialogue, cooperation, and policy shaping in the Indo-Pacific region. For more information, visit

About USINDOPACOM’s Office of Women, Peace & Security:

USINDOPACOM’s Office of Women, Peace & Security (WPS) mainstreams gender perspectives into theater plans, programs, and policies in order to enable the USINDOPACOM enterprise to develop inclusive security strategies that advance a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. For more information, visit