In a recent submission to the United Nations Security Council, the Canadian government advocated for a “gendered and intersectional” approach to preventing terrorism and violent extremism. 

Canada made the submission on July 28, 2021 during an informal meeting of the Council on “preventing terrorism and violent extremism through tackling gender stereotypes, masculinities, and structural gender inequality.”  

“As speakers have noted, gender stereotypes, masculinities, femininities, and gendered inequalities have long been exploited by violent extremist and terrorist groups to their own ends,” claimed the submission. 

“It is imperative that we continue working together to raise awareness of this phenomenon and advance comprehensive gender-responsive approaches to more effectively and sustainably counter terrorism and prevent and counter violent extremism.” 

Last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lost a coveted seat on the Security Council to Ireland and Norway, after years of advocacy. In total, the failed bid cost Canadian taxpayers approximately $8.6 million.

According to a press release on the terrorism summit, the meeting was organized by Mexico and others. 

“The aims of the meeting were to consider how a focus on masculinities could facilitate a more comprehensive gender approach by the Security Council; identify persistent challenges posed by terrorist individuals and groups exploiting gender to further their objectives; and identify recommendations and lessons learned in that regard,” the meeting description reads. 

In its own submission, Canada argued that the UN “must ensure that gender is not conflated with men. Men also have gender and violent extremists and terrorists expertly manipulate and exploit these gendered realities too.” 

“Our collective counter-terrorism response is strengthened through recognition of these gendered realities. As such, we must continue to demonstrate the utility and necessity of looking at issues from a gendered and intersectional perspective and using this information to guide our approaches,” the submission reads.  

Canada made the submission alongside states with human rights abuses, including the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia and Niger.

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