When terrorism strikes, mothers are one of the most affected parties. They lose what they care about most, that is their children. Women and mothers in general have access to so much information since they are the people who spend the most time with their children at home, and also have access to more information from the local community. They have the opportunity to instil the right values while bringing up these kids, they get to guide them and help the kids in choosing their paths in the journey to adulthood. Mothers have a very big influence on how people turn out in their lives, most children emulate their mothers, and they see and listen to what their mothers do or say and take that as a way of life.
Mothers should be at the forefront in the fight against radicalization and violent extremism. They should be the ones offering counter-narratives to their children against violence. They are in a position to notice any behavioural changes thus have the opportunity to correct any wrong path being taken up by these kids.
A woman in majengo says that as soon as she noticed changes in her son’s behaviour she engaged the local authorities and was able to save her son from being recruited into terrorism. In the fight against terrorism, it’s the duty of the mother to ensure that their children are growing in the right way, be aware of what goes on in their homes and also in their communities, engage in talks and earn trust from their kids as well as from the community whereby their children can be in a position to talk to them and inform them of any terrorism activities be it radicalization or recruitment that may be taking place in the neighbourhood. Women should be empowered enough to know what actions to take in the event of these activities.
In the fight against terrorism, women should be at the forefront. Women should know that they have the power to influence their children from birth as they are the ones given the mandate to take care of these children from an early age. They have the power to mould their children and teach them the right values, and this leads to morally upright adults who become the next generation of leaders and also the path to continuity in the fight against terrorism.
A mother has the chance to fight radicalization and violent extremism from an early age, thus has the power to win in the war against terrorism.