Misogyny

Misogyny is not only a tool of extremist ideologies, it is a form of extremism itself

ISD’s work on hate, extremism and disinformation consistently seeks to put the agency and victimisation of women in focus.

Our early work on extremism produced ground-breaking research in the participation of women in extremist movements, such as Islamic State, through our Women and Extremism programme. Our counter-extremism work has since documented the particular way misogyny is used as a tool to further extremist ideologies. This extends to a wide range of harms against women, including domestic violence.

In Kenya, we helped civil society organisations produce anti-misogyny messaging during the 2017 elections, as local partners identified violence against women as a serious problem during political campaigns. These messaging efforts, which reached 4.6 million Facebook users in the country, are highlighted in the ISD report, Between Two Extremes.

Through initiatives supported by Google.org and others, such as the £1m Google Innovation Fund (2018) and the €10m Google Impact Challenge on Safety (2019), we have funded projects that have addressed misogynistic attitudes in the UK and Europe. One of them, a project by the Tees Valley Inclusion Network, helped increase resilience for BME women and girls who have experienced illegal cultural harms and domestic violence, developing new approaches to tackle the challenges that face survivors via a digital safe space, offering training and improving confidence to report hate crimes and receive support.

In 2019, ISD published Mapping Hate in France: A Panoramic View of Online Discourse, a data-driven overview of a variety of forms of hateful speech online in France that identified just under 7 million instances of online hateful speech against women; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) communities; people with disabilities; and French Arab communities. This included approximately 5.4 million instances of misogynistic hateful speech.

In 2020, during the US election campaigns, we provided cutting edge research about online misogynistic trends being used by political actors and disinformation agents, including the abuse of female candidates for public office. The findings were documented in the ISD report, Public Figures, Public Rage: Candidate abuse on social media. The report highlighted a marked difference in the nature of the abuse directed towards female and male candidates: while men mostly received generalised attacks (about their political stances), abuse directed at women tended to be gendered and highly personal.

Finally, ISD is conducting digital research into the “manosphere”, an umbrella term referring to interconnected misogynistic communities online. Our research looks at broader male supremacist discourse, men’s rights activism (MRA) and “involuntary celibates” (incels), analysing the terminology and narratives perpetuated by these communities and the scope and scale of related content online. This research is available upon request.

Ilhan Omar

Documented abuse of female candidates
tracked by ISD in “Public Figures, Public Rage”

Yasmin Khan

Tees Valley Inclusion Project
supported by ISD’s Innovation Fund, 2018

Kenya campaign

Still from campaign against gender violence
Mombasa, Kenya, 2017

Latest publications on gender and extremism


Click here for more related ISD Publications

ISD’s Gender team

Chloe Colliver
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Chloe Colliver

Head of Digital Policy and Strategy

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Chloe Colliver
Chloe Colliver

Head of Digital Policy and Strategy

Chloe Colliver is Head of Digital Policy and Strategy at ISD, where she leads a global team of analysts studying disinformation and extremism online, including programmes of work focusing on the German, European Parliamentary, UK, Swedish and US Elections. She has worked on the development of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism and has provided expert testimony to the UK Home Affairs Select Committee, the Swedish, New Zealand, Canadian, French and German governments on digital policy and tech regulation. She has been featured at CNN, the BBC, Sky News, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Wired and Bloomberg. She is the co-author of ISD reports Spin Cycle: Information Laundering on Facebook, Developing a Civil Society Response to Online Manipulation, The 101 of Disinformation Detection, Click Here For Outrage: Disinformation in the European Parliamentary Elections 2019, The First 100 Days: Coronavirus and Crisis Management on Social Media Platforms, and Hoodwinked: Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour on Facebook. Chloe is a Yale Mellon Fellow and sits on the Advisory Board for Accountable Tech.
Jacob Davey
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Jacob Davey

Head of Research & Policy, Far-right and Hate Movements

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Jacob Davey
Jacob Davey

Head of Research & Policy, Far-right and Hate Movements

Jacob Davey is Head of Research & Policy of Far-right and Hate Movements. His research focuses on the role of digital communications in inter-communal conflict, internet culture, online hate speech and the international far-right. He has led a number of projects piloting novel models for identifying extremist conversation online as well as interventions to counter this phenomenon. He has advised national and local policymakers on right-wing extremism, including the Home Affairs Select Committee, and has lead trainings with frontline practitioners on the mobilisation strategies of extremist groups. He has provided commentary on extremism-related issues in a number of platforms including The Guardian, The Independent, and The BBC, and also sits as a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right. He is the co-author of ISD reports Hosting the ‘Holohoax’: A Snapshot of Holocaust Denial Across Social Media, The Interplay Between Australia’s Political Fringes on the Right and Left: Online Messaging on Facebook, The Genesis of a Conspiracy Theory, A Safe Space to Hate: White Supremacist Mobilisation on Telegram, An Online Environmental Scan of Right-wing Extremism in Canada, The Fringe Insurgency – Connectivity, Convergence and Mainstreaming of the Extreme Right, Counter-Conversations: A model for direct engagement with individuals showing signs of radicalisation online, “Mainstreaming Mussolini” – How the Extreme Right Attempted to ‘Make Italy Great Again’ in the 2018 Italian Election, ‘The Great Replacement’: The Violent Consequences of Mainstreamed Extremism, and An imprecise science: Assessing interventions for the prevention, disengagement and de-radicalisation of left and right-wing extremists.
Charlotte Moeyens
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Charlotte Moeyens

Networks and Civic Action Manager

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Charlotte Moeyens
Charlotte Moeyens

Networks and Civic Action Manager

Charlotte Moeyens is a Networks and Civic Action Manager at ISD, sitting in the central Resources and Methods team to support with the collation and distribution of counter-extremism best practice, leading much of ISD’s practitioner and civil society capacity-building work, overseeing the development and international delivery of training modules, materials and resources. She has supported the delivery of the Google.org Impact Challenge on Safety in Europe, Africa Online Safety Fund and Mayor of London’s Shared Endeavour Fund. Most recently, she is working with the McCain Institute to develop and build the capacity of a US Prevention and Intervention Practitioners Network. Charlotte also assists with ISD’s and the Strong Cities Network’s research efforts to better understand the scale and scope of extremist content online. She is co-author of the ISD reports YouthCAN: The Many States of Activism and Women, Girls and Islamist Extremism.
Lucie Parker
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Lucie Parker

Programme Operations Manager

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Lucie Parker
Lucie Parker

Programme Operations Manager

Lucie Parker is a Programme Operations Manager at ISD, responsible for the project and grant management, operational delivery and fundraising activities for ISD’s portfolio of programmes across Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. She also works on developing policies and practices that implement ISD’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and organisational wellbeing. Lucie has spent her career managing programmes across a range of social justice issues in the UK and international charity and non-profit sectors, with previous roles including Gender Analyst at International Crisis Group and Senior Policy and Research Officer at the Fawcett Society. She is a Founding Trustee of Bread & Roses, a charity that provides holistic support to refugee and asylum seeking women as they rebuild their lives in the UK. She is the co-author of the Young Digital Leaders Impact Report and Digital Resilience: Stronger Citizens Online. Lucie holds an MA with distinction in War Studies from King’s College London and a BA in Politics from the University of York.
Mackenzie Hart
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Mackenzie Hart

Analyst

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Mackenzie Hart
Mackenzie Hart

Analyst

Mackenzie Hart is an Analyst at ISD, working across projects in the research and policy division. MacKenzie focuses on hate, disinformation, and the far-right and has also been involved with ISD’s election analysis units, mapping and analysing online information operations, as well as the activities of extremist groups. Previously, Mackenzie worked at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) and as a research assistant in the War Studies department at King's College London. From December 2015 to March 2016, Mackenzie lived in Sierra Leone, volunteering for a grassroots NGO supporting youth-led, community development projects and education. She is the co-author of the ISD reports Spin Cycle: Information Laundering on Facebook, The Genesis of a Conspiracy Theory, and An Online Environmental Scan of Right-wing Extremism in Canada. Mackenzie has a BA from Simon Fraser University with a double major in International Studies and History and an MA in Terrorism, Security and Society at King’s College London.
Cécile Guerin
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Cécile Guerin

Research Coordinator

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Cécile Guerin
Cécile Guerin

Research Coordinator

Cécile Guerin is a Research Coordinator at ISD, working within the digital research and policy team. She has co-authored reports on far-right terrorism and extremism, hate speech, gender-based violence and disinformation campaigns targeting elections. She works with tech companies, government departments and inter-governmental organisations. Cécile features regularly in international media, including BBC News, The Guardian, Politico, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Le Monde, and Wired. She is the co-author of ISD reports La pandémie de COVID-19: terreau fertile de la haine en ligne, Seconde vague et désinformation: Aperçu des tendances sur les réseaux sociaux, The Interplay Between Australia’s Political Fringes on the Right and Left: Online Messaging on Facebook, Public Figures, Public Rage: Candidate abuse on social media, An Online Environmental Scan of Right-wing Extremism in Canada, Mapping hate in France: A panoramic view of online discourse and Fostering Civic Responses to Online Harms: Learnings from the Online Civil Courage Initiative and the Online Civic Fund.
Farah Pandith
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Farah Pandith

Senior Advisor

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Farah Pandith
Farah Pandith

Senior Advisor

Farah Pandith is a Senior Advisor at ISD. She is a world-leading expert and pioneer on countering violent extremism, having served as a political appointee in the George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama administrations at the National Security Council, US Agency for International Development and US Department of State. Most recently she was the first-ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities (2009-2014). Farah is a senior fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. She served on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council from 2015-2017 and is the author of "How We Win: How Cutting-Edge Entrepreneurs, Political Visionaries, Enlightened Business Leaders, and Social Media Mavens Can Defeat the Extremist Threat."