By Atia Tilarious Azohnwi
A Ph.D. candidate in the University of Buea (UB), has won a competitive grant worth about a million FCFA to complete research on Gender and Terrorism in the Far North Region of Cameroon rocked by Boko Haram militant extremism.
Holy Anagho Esah, who is into her third year of research in the Department of International Relations and Conflict Resolution in the Faculty of Law and Political Science at UB, was one of three researchers in Africa selected for the grant from the Africa Leadership Centre (ALC) at King’s College London, in the United Kingdom.
“This grant will enable me complete the collection of field data. The Far North is very far from Buea where I am studying and the terrain is very difficult to access,” said Anagho after receiving the award.
She says she still has several interviews scheduled over a period of six months, beginning from November this year.
“Many of the suicide bombers used by Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin, that includes the Far North of Cameroon, have been women and young girls,” said Anagho.
“The problem thus is, women who are expected to be life-givers are becoming life takers through their increasing involvement in terrorism. Our concern is to investigate why the rise of women’s involvement in terrorism and why the new trend, using the case of the Far North Region of Cameroon.”
“Terrorism is not gender-neutral. The idea that women, including young girls are involved in terrorism is something that the international community does not yet take as seriously as it should,” she went on.
“Over the last ten years, there has been an increasing involvement of women in terrorist organizations in Africa, America, Europe, and in the Middle East,” said Anagho.
Her research work is thus poised to contribute to the understanding of the rise of terrorism in general and growing participation of women in terrorism in the Far North Region. It is consequently likely to shape governments policy in the fight against terrorism in the Far North Region.
Holy Anagho Esah wins grant to unravel growing participation of women in terrorism in the Far North Region