Prevention is better than cure, this proverb has been used in speech for ages but very few have practiced its meaning. This has not been the case for mothers and women who live in areas prone to violent conflict and violent extremism. The women and mothers in these communities have organized themselves to collectively protect their sons, daughters and family members from engaging in war and terrorism.A popular Swahili saying; “kunja samaki angali mbichi.” Meaning, what you teach a child from a tender age is what they do in their adult life. When children are brought up in the right way, they grow up knowing and practicing the lessons they were taught.
Women have stepped up to actively join the fight against terrorism and violent extremism. Empowerment campaigns and seminars have made them aware of their power and influence in the fight against terrorism. Rather than wait for counter violent extremism measures, women are playing the preventive role. Using their unique positions in families and community to prevent their children and family members from involvement in terrorist groups.
Women specifically mothers are the nurturers of human life. Society has placed the burden of child upbringing on them to teach and train their children the proper ways of life. Sociologists say that women are the carriers of culture, and without them, culture will not be passed down from generation to generation. This makes them have the power to shape, influence and inspire the next generation. The greatest loss for mothers is losing their children to terrorist groups and gangs. To lose the life they once held in their arms from birth is unfathomable for them. This makes women a vital asset in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism. They shape the malleable mind of a child from birth through nurturing are care.
It is therefore important to note that mothers and women in general have an important role to play in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism. They have the power to protect their children from being recruited into terrorism.