For the 2019 Doha Forum, Women Forward International will curate an event that addresses an under-researched and yet vital topic to curtailing the spread of extremism globally and maintaining international security:

  • What causes women to “go to extremes” and how can we enable alternatives?

  • Who influences half our population and who does this half of our population influence?

  • Can female returnees and deportees of ISIS return, reintegrate, and contribute to their communities?


The United States Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) was released on June 11, 2019, focusing on increasing women’s participation in endeavors to prevent and resolve conflicts and on creating conditions for long-term peace. As part of the National Defense University’s commitment to implement the WPS Act, students are invited to participate in the annual WPS research competition. Winning papers address how a gendered understanding, perspective, or approach to the status of women, men, girls and boys within a societal or institutional context relate to advancing peace, national security, economic and social development, and/or international cooperation.

Deliverables and Impact

Women Forward International will feature the prize-winning essay on women and ISIS returnees in Indonesia from the National Defense University along with an ISIS returnee; international senior military leaders; and international law, development and cultural studies experts. This presentation will inspire university faculty and students to continue dedicating research and resources to the vital topic of women’s contributions to international peace and security. It will reveal fresh perspectives on what infrastructure is required to enable individuals and societies to “begin anew?” Are we building societies of trust and reconciliation?


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Women Forward Internationa is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, DLN 26053652004319