The Fate of Women Who Lived with Boko Haram

International Crisis Group
International Crisis Group [ICG] (Brussels)
Publication Date:
21 June 2019
Nigeria, Conflict, Peace and Security

Returning from the Land of Jihad: The Fate of Women Who Lived with Boko Haram.

In late 2018 Crisis Group's Senior Analyst for Gender Azadeh Moaveni went to north-east Nigeria, which has been the epicenter of the fight between Boko Haram and the Nigerian military, to explore how effectively women formerly associated with the group have been rehabilitated and reintegrated back into society.

For ten years, clashes between the rebel group and the military have killed several thousand people and displaced more than two million in Nigeria alone. The Nigerian army's advance in 2015 prompted many women affiliated with the group to flee. Others were captured or rescued by soldiers and returned to internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, where they were exposed to acute marginalisation and abuse. Azadeh found that while prejudice against women has waned, many remain ostracised and exposed to sexual abuse and economic hardship.

This hostile environment is pushing a significant number to return to the insurgency. This documentary gathers these women's testimonies and sheds new light on the realities they face on their challenging journey back into society.

This field work was part of a broader research that was documented in Crisis Group's latest report, Returning from the Land of Jihad: The Fate of Women Associated with Boko Haram. (

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