Know My Name:SAVE

Profile courtesy of SAVE Know My Name: SAVE

COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM

Location: Austria + 15 other countries

WHO: In 2008, Edit Schlaffer launched SAVE - Sisters Against Violent Extremism--the world’s first female counter-terrorism platform. Edit Schlaffer is a social scientist, writer, activist and holds a PhD from the University of Vienna. In 2002 she founded Women without Borders, an international research-based NGO, encouraging women to take the lead in their personal and public lives. Her research and activities focus on women as agents of change and as driving forces to stabilize an insecure world.

WHY: Terrorism has multiple negative effects: individual lives are forever changed, society is shaken, the economy must reconfigure itself, academics seek explanations, and politicians look for appropriate punitive and preventative measures. Women, however, have thus far not played a central role in the fight against terror—combating violent extremism has largely been men’s territory. Over the last two years, SAVE has built up a network of women in 15 countries who are positioned to act as agents of change in their communities, and to make women's voices heard at the highest political levels. These women come from diverse backgrounds and cultures, but through the SAVE network, they are able to share their experiences, stories and best practices for tackling violent extremism.

WHAT THEY DO: The SAVE network provides an innovative and effective solution for countering violent extremism at the root: empowering mothers first.

SAVE’s Mother Schools, Mother Move! Campaign, and Mothers for Change research program, offer forward thinking approaches to recognizing the early signs of radicalization in young people and within families.

"Women can create security from the highest level to the smallest level. Because I believe that women can use their own way to create security. They have intelligence, power, and opinion." -Mothers School attendee Jember, Indonesia

The Mothers School Model is a pioneering family-centered security platform that strengthens existing counter violent extremism (CVE) approaches by engaging mothers as an embedded security ally. The Mothers School curriculum facilitates critical dialogue and targeted training to strengthen women's confidence and competence to recognize and react to early warning signs of radicalization in their children. Mothers Schools empower mothers to become agents of peace and stability in their families and communities as cornerstones of an embedded security paradigm.

IN HER OWN WORDS: “Including women in the security arena is a great challenge, but times of crisis are also often times of opportunity. This is our moment as women to exercise our smart power and meet global challenges with competence and confidence.” – Edit Schlaffer, Founder and Executive Director of Women without Borders/SAVE

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