Sexual grooming is a highly complex and understudied phenomenon. It connotes a very particular type of power relationship. While poor young girls and women globally are disproportionately vulnerable to all forms of sexual violence, we are particularly concerned about the oversight of ideologically motivated sexual grooming targeting poor girls and women from religious minorities.
In collaboration with its partners, the Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development (CREID) has gathered evidence as part of its research initiative on the intersection of gender, religious marginality and socio-economic exclusion as it affects women and their communities in Egypt, Myanmar, Pakistan, Iraq and Nigeria.
The evidence gathered suggests that across contexts and religions, there is a pattern of girls and women being targeted for sexual grooming, not only out of sexual predation, but as part of a wider political project to hurt the religious minority and create a religiously homogenous society.
The evidence suggests that the targeting of girls and women who belong to religious minorities is to be distinguished from the sexual grooming that women and girls fall globally victim to in its intent; social norms allow for its perpetration and laws fail to prevent its occurrence.