Recent heartbreaking terrorist attack in Orlando is not merely a result of gun laws in the United States. Don’t take me wrong, I am not supporting the right to possess arms in the US. I am not going to point my finger to Islam either. The problem is not religion related. The cause of such vast hatred is far more fundamental than passing additional gun control laws or militarized counterterrorism operations to control the hatred acts.
Gender equality is probably not near the top of your list, nor it is something people even think about it when it comes to terrorism and hatred. But as a matter of fact, research investigating the roots of terrorism have found a strong correlation between terrorism and exclusion and inequality (For example, refer to the work of Caprioli). The role of gender equality in global security and peace is further underscored by UN Security Council resolution 1325 where economic and political empowerment of women worldwide is a foundation to fight against terrorism.
‘Women make up half the world’s population but earn only 10% of the world’s income. This leads to greater vulnerability of women, lower standards of living, inequality and injustice. A direct consequence of which could be raising vulnerable family with a strong feeling of discrimination and marginalisation. In contrast, empowering women will allow them to have an equal voice with self-confidence providing them with appropriate tools to contribute to a happier, healthier and highly educated family and community. In addition, if women reach their full economic potential, the global economy could benefit up to 12$ trillions by 2025. This potentially reduce poverty considerably around the globe. Needless to say, poverty, discrimination and marginalisation could be the root cause of anger and hatred motivating people to commit such devastating acts in the sought of lost happiness and empowerment. it is not to say that all poor or marginalized people will go around killing but the impact of inequality and exclusion is huge and the world cannot afford not to pay attention to it any longer.
Isn’t it really the time to turn the focus of preventing efforts on equality as a precondition to a healthier, prosperous and peaceful world rather than responding hatred with hatred or military strategies?