Montreal

Radicalized women in Quebec well educated, from middle-class families, says report

For the first time, the provincial government has a picture of how young Quebec women become radicalized.

Government report is 1st to study radicalization of women in the province

A new provincial report says that three to seven radicalized women from Quebec have travelled to Syria since 2013. (Radio-Canada)

For the first time, the provincial government has a picture of how young Quebec women become radicalized.

The Quebec Council on the Status of Women presented the report Thursday afternoon at the National Assembly.

It debunks some myths about radicalized women. The report is based on interviews with five radicalized women, and their friends and family.

Researchers found the women are active participants, rather than being passive, naive or dependent on men.

They started to become radicalized in their late teens – from the ages of 17 to 19. They came from middle class families, were successful in their studies and well-educated.

The report also looked at the factors that can lead to radicalization, including a traumatic life experience, confusion over identity, and a search for meaning in one's life.

Women told researchers they feel caught between two worlds: they felt too Québécoise for their country of origin, but too foreign living in Quebec.

They also reported wanting to make meaningful contributions to their community.

There are no official numbers on how many radicalized women have left Quebec for Syria, but according to the report, three to seven have travelled to the region since 2013.

​That does not include those who attempted to make the journey.

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