Logo SAVE - Sisters against violent extremism

13. February 2013

Mothers School Tajikistan © WwB

"Me and Security" - a Mothers School workshop in Tajikistan

Tajikistan Workshop 1, Pic 2

When Do I Feel Safe? - Group Exercise

Mothers Schools, Tajikistan

In the sunny mountains of northern Tajikistan, in the city of Khujand, a group of pioneering female leaders came together to kick off the first Mothers School at the invitation of Women without Borders /SAVE and our local partner ASTI. Mothers Schools will give local women the knowledge and tools to manage the threat of violent extremism from within their own homes and communities.

The innovative idea for Mothers School is a direct outcome from awareness raising meetings that Women without Borders/ SAVE held in the city with the same women last year.  Now, this Mothers School training programme will equip these community leaders with both the tools to sensitise mothers to their unique role in recognising and reacting to early warning signs of potential radicalisation in their children. 

Introducing the concepts of smart power and highlighting the distinctive capacities that women have to address volatile and susceptible youth, the training emphasises the exceptional role women can play in the security sphere both at home and in the public domain. This group of Tajik front runners built common ground - agreeing that peace starts at home, and that dialogue and understanding are critical tools to safeguard the family and build community cohesion.

The participants were particularly moved by the short SAVE film featuring the voices of mothers of perpetrators and they spontaneously expressed their sense of connection with the pain and fears of the mothers speaking from distant regions. They did not touch upon the geographic, national and ethnic differences – the human factor trumped all. Munira captured the mood of the meeting when she exclaimed: ‘We all give life, so we are all in this together!’

For the Tajik participants, this alternative security paradigm, with women and mothers as new players and partners, is a challenging calling – and  they are ready for it!


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