• Welcome to Training Module 3

    Welcome to Training Module 3 of the Preventing and Addressing Violent Extremism (PAVE) project on how to be inclusive in your efforts to prevent or counter violent extremism (P/CVE) in your context. In this module, we are examining the specific challenges and barriers that some community members, including women and youth in all of their diversity, as well as marginalized communities face in their efforts to lead and participate within community-wide efforts to prevent or counter violent extremism. This module will further explain why a whole-of-society approach is needed in tackling this issue and will provide practical applications of mainstreaming inclusivity within local action plans to prevent and counter violent extremism and practical guidance on building multi-stakeholder collaboration and trust.

    Amount of Time Anticipated for Total Training: 2.5 hours

    Sessions in Module 3 

    Session 1: Key Concepts and Dimensions of Inclusivity

    Session 2: Practical Applications of Applying and Mainstreaming Inclusivity

    Session 3: Practical Guidance on Building Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration and Trust to Advance Inclusivity

     PAVE has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement No. 870769.

    • PAVE Consortium

      PAVE Publications

      Published by the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. April 2023.

      This publication is part of WP7 of the PAVE project, led by Finn Church Aid (FCA) / the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers.

      Authors: Jessica Roland and Sarah Tyler

      Design: Triss Yap, Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers

      A special thanks to those who helped to refine and support the development of this training module, including: Milla Perukangas, Juline Beaujouan, Amjed Rasheed, Gillian Wylie, Dr. Elie Hindy, Nandini Gupta, Samet Shabani, Ahmed Windi, Emina Frljak, Dr. Jessica White, Nancy Yammout and Professor Ayhan Kaya.

      The authors are solely responsible for its content, it does not represent the opinion of the European Commission and the Commission is not responsible for any use that might be made of data appearing therein.

      To cite: The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. Training Module 3: Advancing Inclusivity in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism Efforts. 2023. PAVE Project Publications.

      • Session 1 Objectives and Expected Results

        Objective: In this first session, our objective will be to explore the key concepts related to inclusivity and social norms in the context of P/CVE efforts, including concepts around stereotypes, power dynamics, gender, youth and intersectionality.

        Expected Results: The expected results of this first session will be that participants have an introductory understanding of what inclusivity means in the context of P/CVE and have an opportunity to start opening up and reflecting on impacts that they have seen within their own contexts.

        Amount of Time Anticipated for Session 1: 1 hour

        Agenda for Session 1

        • What Does Inclusivity Mean in the Context of P/CVE?
        • But What Does Power Have to Do With it?
        • Balancing Power Part 1: Gender
        • Balancing Power Part 2: Youth
        • Balancing Power Part 3: Marginalized Communities

        • What does Inclusivity Mean in the Context of P/CVE?

          Inclusivity is the process of improving the terms of participation, representation and decision-making in society, particularly for people who are disadvantaged, through enhancing opportunities, access to resources, voice and respect for rights. Inclusivity is a central concern in all stages of conflict resolution and is crucial for the sustainability of the outcome. This means paying special attention to the inclusion of women, youth and marginalized groups, while recognizing the intersectionality of exclusion dynamics, such as gender or age-based discrimination or discrimination based on socio-economic status, sex, ethnicity, ability and religion. 

          Being inclusive within preventing or countering violent extremism means utilizing a ‘whole-of-society’ approach, which envisions a role and understands the aspirations, interests and needs for all individuals and groups in society. This includes civil society actors, and other non-governmental actors, (including faith actors and institutions), as well as policymakers.  

          This approach follows the assumption that including a broader range of actors, as well as taking into account local traditions, identities, realities, and cultures, will lead to more effective and sustainable efforts in preventing and countering violent extremism.

        • But What Does Power Have to Do With it?

          Inclusive efforts in preventing and countering violent extremism can contribute to transformative change in society, which is about transforming repressive or unequal power relations for more equitable norms and relations to emerge, which then contributes to sustaining peace.

          Power is the ability to influence others to get a particular outcome. Power holders, normally policymakers and institutions, often support peacebuilding processes to address root causes that either prevent or respond to violent conflict. However, power dynamic imbalances between those making decisions and those impacted by those decisions, can make joint efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism more ineffective. Power can be derived from three levels: individual, institutional, and socio-cultural. Individual level power is each person’s ability to influence others. One’s level of education, gender, and socio-economic background can influence one’s individual level of power. Institutional power is power that organizations and institutions offer to influence others. Examples of institutional power include the level of access that institutions offer to influencers, access to funding, and the ability to influence rules and policies. Socio-cultural power is power which influences the norms, customs, and cultural dynamics within one’s community. Examples of socio-cultural power include the influence of gender norms and the role of faith and faith actors. For example, if the social norm for women and young women is a culture based on obedience, this creates a power imbalance and limits the ability for women and young women to make decisions and take action for themselves. The important point to note is that balancing power between stakeholders and ensuring all members of the community have a place at the decision-making table leads to a more sustainable partnership and future outcomes. Addressing power imbalances at the individual, institutional, and socio-cultural levels is vital.

        • Balancing Power Part 1: Gender

          One’s gender can be a barrier to inclusion within efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism.

          Image Source: Conciliation Resources and SaferWorld. 2020. ‘’Facilitation Guide Gender Sensitive Conflict Analysis. October 2020. https://rc-services-assets.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/GSCA%20manual%20full%20WEB.pdf

          Gender traditionally consists of the culturally and socially constructed differences between men and women and the unequal power relations that result. Individuals who identify as non-binary feel their gender cannot be defined within the margins of gender binary. They feel their gender in a way that goes beyond simply identifying as a man or woman. Your gender affects the way conflicts are experienced and responded to, including within efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism. Due to social norms, which can act as a community’s guidelines to what is deemed as ‘acceptable’ behavior, as well as gender stereotypes, or how one’s community perceives the role of traditionally women and men should be within P/CVE efforts, women and young women particularly struggle to participate and lead in such community efforts. For example, if communities believe that only men should have the role of leaders within these efforts and women’s roles being that of in the home. 

          • Understanding the Gendered Push and Pull Factors

            Understanding the gendered push and pull factors for joining or not joining violent extremist groups, as well as investigating the role of gender in creating various kinds of pressures and vulnerabilities, rather than assuming men and women play specific roles, is an essential part of building effective PVE programming. Understanding these gender dynamics of the local context can help programming grapple with how, why and what roles individuals take up within extremist organizations, and therefore, better prevent or counter that effect.

            Gender mediates violent extremism’s push and pull factors and influences the specific characteristics of individuals who are particularly susceptible to extremism. For instance, men who are alienated and marginalized within a given society may struggle to meet traditional expectations of masculinity, such as being the breadwinner, attaining wealth and status, and enjoying access to sexual partners of choice. Research demonstrates that this may incentivize them to pursue violent paths to “validate” their masculinity. This is why violent extremist groups often use hypermasculine stereotypes to exploit dissatisfaction and grievances when recruiting men. For example, recruiters might use idealistic and simplistic images of masculinity to tap into insecurities and frustrations felt by men and young men, such as images representing physical strength or stoicism. Extreme forms of celebrating masculine roles over feminine roles leads to toxic masculinity, which are a set of socially constructed attitudes that see, and celebrate, the stereotypical masculine gender roles as being violent, unemotional, sexually aggressive, dominant, and so forth, which has a negative impact on men and also communities as a whole.

            There are also push and pull factors in which violent extremists can manipulate women through their traditional gender roles, including promise of marriage or supporting family members involved in extremist activities. Violent extremist groups utilize recruitment approaches based on the exploitation of women’s barriers and needs within society to what best suits the tactical interests of extremists.  It is critical to work with both women and girls and men and boys in P/CVE efforts to address the root causes of extremist activities, including gender power imbalances.

            Image Source: UN Women. ‘’Women in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism.’’ 2021. https://www.unwomen.org/sites/default/files/Field%20Office%20ECA/Attachments/Publications/2021/2/PVE_TrainingManual-min.pdf

            • The Critical Role of Women Within P/CVE Efforts

              Preventing and countering violent extremism is more effective, sustainable and meaningful if it includes the perspectives, participation, and leadership of women. Women’s roles in violent extremism are many and varied, including those of survivors, supporters, perpetrators, family members of perpetrators, preventers, peacebuilders, civil society actors, policymakers, faith actors, and security actors. It is vital to engage women in all of their diversity within P/CVE efforts to analyze their distinct barriers and needs.

              Watch this video to hear testimonies from women working in P/CVE. 

              Source: UN Women Asia Pacific. “Preventing Violent Extremism / Empowered Women, Peaceful Communities.” December 7, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7w-pDAxbASw.

              While women are often seen as victims or survivors of violent extremism, due to the use of high-rates of sexual and gender-based violence to terrorize communities with the aim to destroy the social fabric, women can also be perpetrators of violent extremism themselves. Too often, female perpetrators of violent extremism are perceived as “followers” of their husbands into violent extremism, but women are also their own agents of change and can be radicalized based on their own motivations. For example, women who had been exposed to or experienced gender-based violence are also more likely to have been exposed to radicalization. Whether a woman has experienced sexual or gender-based violence or fears she might experience it, this may drive her to join extremist efforts for protection. Joining extremist efforts can also offer economic independence or decision-making opportunities that the woman might also not have access to.

              Women in their familial role also have a critical role to play in P/CVE, particularly mothers. Often mothers have a keen understanding of their children’s motives, and their opinion often carries substantial weight for their children. There is widespread evidence that shows that mothers have reduced violence in the context of gang involvement, a form of organized violence that shares similarities with violent extremism and there are case studies in Yemen, Pakistan, and Afghanistan which suggest that involving female family members in P/CVE initiatives increases their efficacy.

              Photo Source: Pictured above is a UNDP Iraq program focused on gender responsive approaches to PVE. UNDP. “A Mother is a School: The Influence of Women in Preventing Violent Extremism.” October 19, 2022. https://www.undp.org/iraq/stories/mother-school-influence-women-preventing-violent-extremism.

              Women as peacebuilders, whether they work in areas of prevention, protection, or response, offer unique expertise and perspectives in the field of P/CVE. This is especially true of local women peacebuilders who have direct ties to their communities and understand the context and culture. Women can be powerful agents of change and play a crucial role in detecting early signs of radicalization of individuals in their community, intervening before individuals become violent, and delegitimizing violent extremist narratives. This includes peacebuilding work within online spaces where more women and young women are targeted and radicalized. It is important to stress that as peacebuilders, women often face distinct burdens, due to both the gendered stereotypes it holds and the responsibility and danger that is put on them because of this expectation of them. Supporting women peacebuilders within P/CVE through partnerships, funding, and uplifting their voices and leadership is critical in advancing an inclusive P/CVE approach.

              Studies have shown that integrating women into community efforts to deal with social issues has been proven to be more effective than similar efforts without women involved. For example, the UN states that data from 40 countries shows a positive correlation between the proportion of female police officers and reporting rates of sexual assault. Incorporating women into community responses to social issues is critical to combat those issues. The same could apply for P/CVE. For example, if more women served in local police forces or other security sector entities, it might be easier for women from the community to report their concerns about radicalization to violent extremism happening in their families or communities. As with sexual assault, if women know they can report to another woman, they may be less deterred by fear, shame or stigma. 

              Photo Source: Captain Tahire Haxholli, Colonel Taibe Canolli, AWKP advisor Teuta Bajgora Jasiqi and Colonel Aferdita Mikullovci at the Kosovo Police Headquarters in Prishtina. UN Women. “Bringing women on equal footing with men in Kosovo Police.” February 24, 2017. https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2017/2/feature-bringing-women-on-equal-footing-with-men-in-kosovo-police.

            • What Did the PAVE Project Discover Regarding Gender?

              Hear from Gillian WylieLecturer, Trinity College Dublin on the PAVE project's findings regarding the vulnerability and resilience factors related to inclusivity.

              Source: PAVE Project. ‘’Gillian Wylie: Findings on Vulnerability and Resilience Factors Related to Inclusivity.’’ 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx_GSnD5MOs.

              Fieldwork in the Western Balkans and the MENA region found dominant patriarchal values in the various forms of extremism explored, including ethno-nationalism, far-right extremism, and Islamist extremism. It is one of the common denominators built upon core assumptions of patriarchy and of the importance of maintaining male dominance over women. In both regions the level of women subjugated to patriarchal modes of social organization are high due to long consolidated cultures of gender stereotyping. The PAVE project also found a critical link between masculinity and violence, especially within societies that equate ‘what it means to be male’ with engaging in violent or destructive behavior to prove one’s manliness.

              The role of women in relation to P/CVE has also been viewed disproportionately differently from the male-centered approaches to radicalization among local communities. A notable difference between the regions, however, is that the communities in the Western Balkans have a broader understanding of the important roles women have in local communities in relation to P/CVE. In the case of the MENA region, communities lack the broader knowledge and understanding of women’s roles in relation to deradicalization trends. Overall, the PAVE project heard from stakeholders that the biggest obstacle for women in further engaging and leading in preventing and countering violent extremism efforts is the barrier that they are still largely engaged through the lens of victims and caretakers rather than agents of change. There is also still a lack of common knowledge around women’s roles as active extremists as well.

              Photo Source: Ethnic Albanian women march with placards, as thousands gather in the center of Pristina to protest against Serbian police action against the Albanian population in Kosovo province, Yugoslavia, 25 March 1998. Fightings between Albanians and Serbian riot police erupted again on Tuesday, leaving at least five Albanians and one Serb dead. Hasani, Adelina. “For Peace Today, Let’s Recall Wartime Yugolav Feminist Solidarity.”  April 13, 2022. https://balkaninsight.com/2022/04/13/for-peace-today-lets-recall-wartime-yugoslav-feminist-solidarity

              A similar discrepancy is also evident at the level of perceptions in the online deradicalization space. In the MENA region, radicalization has been found to be male-centered. This is partly because there is a clear lack of data or linkage due to the absent role of women in both offline and online deradicalization processes. In the Western Balkans however, radicalization trends point to a consistent targeting of women by the Islamic State (ISIS). Two major trends of radicalization are being utilized: narratives aimed to depict ISIS as an opportunity for empowerment of women; and narratives focused on the role of women as defenders of Islam. 

              There were also several push and pull factors found within both regions of the PAVE project. First, the dependence and unequal access to resources and opportunities which made women more vulnerable and often dependent on their male spouses. The fieldwork conducted in the MENA region shows that women face significant hurdles in the labor market, where they often receive less pay for the same jobs compared to men. A similar level of disenfranchisement and gendered alienation from active participation in the socio-economic sphere is evident in the Western Balkans. 

              Second, the unequal level of leadership and participation opportunities for women, including within faith institutions. Despite relatively substantial legal frameworks on gender equality, women’s limited agency in public life and in politics persists across the MENA and Western Balkans regions. A robust level of legislative initiatives has been noted in both Kosovo and Tunisia in relation to the institutionalization of protection mechanisms for women across public and political life. In the case of Kosovo for example, institutional checks in the form of international conventions and anti-discrimination, gender-equality primary legislation is evident, in addition to the existence of a centrally mandated gender-equality body. In the MENA region, specifically Tunisia, the same is evident through the transposition and effective ratification of major international conventions related to women’s rights, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The institutionalization of these legislative and legal checks however has not substantially impacted the role of women in these respective communities. In both cases, the effective implementation of international and national legal obligations on gender-equality remains scarce. 

              For the women who were in decision making positions, they faced a high-level of misogynistic discourse targeting their active participation in public and political life. As noted in the case of the MENA region, women who have assumed active roles in politics have been susceptible to verbal and physical violence directed at “female bodies”. While physical violence targeting women actively participating in politics has been limited in the Western Balkans, a high level of misogynistic verbal abuse is noted in the Kosovar and North Macedonian communities.

              Photo Source: Serb group “Women in Black” stage an anti-violence protest on the International Women’s Day in the Serbian capital, Wednesday, 08 March, 2000. The peace organization is regularly organizing peace protests in the city but today’s rally was planned also in view of the women’s day celebrations. Sign reads “Stop Violence”. Hasani, Adelina. “For Peace Today, Let’s Recall Wartime Yugolav Feminist Solidarity.”  April 13, 2022. https://balkaninsight.com/2022/04/13/for-peace-today-lets-recall-wartime-yugoslav-feminist-solidarity/.

              PAVE did find however, that women play an essential part within civil society organizations working to strengthen community resilience. For example, in Serbia, women make up the majority of those involved as members of organizations involved in prevention efforts, and in fact, female civil activists lead not just Belgrade-based but also Sandžak-based organizations. In Kosovo, it was noted that women in general, and mothers in particular, are agents of change in the community. They notice the early elements of radicalization and violent extremism in children. The same was found with the presence of women in cultural and community events in the town of Kef in Tunisia. 

              Photo Source: Tunisian Women in a Protest About Stopping Radicalization. Youssef, Maro and Hamza Mighri. “Women’s Groups Take on Radicalization in Tunisia.” March 26, 2019. https://carnegieendowment.org/sada/78685.

              While women’s leadership and participation are higher within civil society organizations, they are often viewed as leading a ‘western agenda.’ PAVE partners described that women are most often given permission by their male relatives to participate within these efforts because of their gendered roles as, ‘mothers and sisters,’ again restricting their full agency to be leaders of change in their own right as human beings and full community members. Many international-led efforts create further barriers to local women’s efforts when they do not consider local customs within their approach, creating a further divide.

              • Balancing Power Part 2: Youth

                One’s age can be a barrier to inclusion within efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism.

                Youth can struggle to be taken seriously within efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism because of their age. There is no globally agreed definition of what age group is covered by youth and young people. The United Nations defines youth as persons between 15 and 24 years, but it is important to acknowledge the various socio-cultural understandings, as age alone does not define youth. Other forms of identity add additional levels of barriers to their inclusion, including gender for young women. Social norms dictate that leadership and participation within P/CVE efforts in one’s community should only be available for those more professionally experienced. Furthermore, examples of negative stereotypes around youth can be that youth are not interested in participating in these activities or youth are the problem in these conflicts and therefore, cannot be the solution. Youth are generalized as most involved and active within violent extremist groups, but research and implementation experience have shown that only a small portion of young people who are vulnerable to violent extremism actually become violent. Most young people are not only resistant to these threats, but also play an active role in building peace in their communities.

                The role of youth is also many and varied, similar to women. Youth can also be peacebuilders, perpetrators, survivors, policymakers, faith actors, security actors, and more. With many countries’ populations now surpassing 50 percent as young people, it is critical now more than ever to engage their participation and leadership with P/CVE efforts to ensure emerging and changing threats are recognized and that the barriers and challenges faced by youth are addressed.

                Hear from Erblin Hoxha from Executive Director of the Debate Center on why youth engagement critical in P/CVE efforts.

                Source: PAVE Project. ‘’Erblin Hoxha: Youth Engagement in P/CVE.’’ 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4vw-HAwBm0.

                • The Critical Role of Youth Within P/CVE efforts and Push and Pull Factors

                  Photo Source: UNESCO. ‘’Youth-Led Guide on Prevention of Violent Extremism Through Education.’’ 2017. https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000260547.

                  According to the 2015 UN Action Plan to Prevent Violent Extremism, young people are invaluable partners in the struggle against violent extremism. Preventing and countering violent extremism is more effective, holistic, and sustainable aif it also includes the perspectives, participation, and leadership of youth. The roles of youth in violent extremism are similar to that of women in that they are many and varied, including those of survivors, supporters, perpetrators, family members of perpetrators, preventers, peacebuilders, civil society actors, policymakers, faith actors, and security actors. It is vital to engage youth in all of their diversity within P/CVE efforts to analyze their distinct barriers and needs.

                  Photo Source: Photo above is a Generations for Peace program focused on youth leading in countering violent extremism in Lebanon. Clark, Mark. “Youth and Violent Extremism in the MENA Region.” February 10, 2016. https://www.generationsforpeace.org/en/youth-and-violent-extremism-in-the-mena-region/.

                  1 in 4 young people live in settings affected by armed conflict or organized violence. The overwhelming majority of those who join violent extremist groups are youth, namely male youth, as prospects for youth violence are highly gendered. While the number of youths who join extremist efforts represent a small proportion of young people across the world, it fuels the stereotype of young people as a threat to security. It is time to stop thinking of youth as a problem to be solved and start thinking of youth as the problem solvers.

                  While youth can be victims and survivors of violence, as well as perpetrators, their leadership role as peacebuilders working in the areas of prevention, protection, or response, also offer unique expertise and perspectives in the field of P/CVE. Youth offer unique peer-to-peer level training, in that they are able to connect with other young people their age more effectively and efficiently than other community groups because they themselves understand struggles with adulthood, exclusion, disempowerment and alienation – all push and pull factors within violent extremism.

                  Common Youth-Related Drivers of Violent Extremism

                  Photo Source: UNDP. ‘’Frontlines: Young People At the Forefront of Preventing and Responding to Violent Extremism.’’ May 9, 2019. https://www.undp.org/publications/frontlines#.

                  Other specific push and pull factors include high levels of injustice; discrimination; lack of economic opportunities; social isolation; and political exclusion. However, it is important to dig deeper to understand how these concepts manifest within different contexts. Drivers are highly nuanced from community to community and region to region: a comprehensive analysis of drivers is crucial for developing the appropriate violence prevention strategy.

                  Evidence shows that long-term community-based development initiatives that address these complex push and pull factors causing a small minority of youth to engage in violence can actually increase youth voices, contribute to P/CVE, and strengthen youth participation in peacebuilding. When engaging youth’s leadership and participation within P/CVE efforts, it is critical that stakeholders: 1) work for youth as beneficiaries; 2) engage with youth as partners; and 3) support youth as leaders.

                  Watch this Video to Listen to a Young Iman’s Experience in Preventing Violent Extremism. 

                  Source: OSCE. “Experience of a Young Imam.” May 9, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgDo4RDC0Tc.

                  • What Did the PAVE Project Discover Regarding Youth

                    Fieldwork in the Western Balkans and the MENA region found a number of vulnerability and resilience factors in addressing the needs of ‘youth’. First, is the issue of the tendency to either discuss ‘youth’ as a gender-neutral category which results in the prioritization of male needs, or to discuss ‘women and children’ as a single category which results in the infantilization of women. Second, youth (particularly young men) are being pathologized and seen as a risk and a threat by security services. This is because of the ways in which radicalization theories and understanding of extremism and terrorism have been absorbed into mainstream thinking. Third, in both regions the problem of high unemployment for youth, with some unemployment rates exceeding 40% on average in the country, makes young people more susceptible to extremist influences. School dropout rates and illiteracy are also contributing to youth’s lack of employment.

                    Another major issue found was the limited opportunities for youth to engage and involve themselves so that they may become and feel as if they are constructive members of the community, including lack of extracurricular activities. Given the near-total absence of public initiatives to provide young people with spaces for cultural exchange and artistic expression that can promote resilience in the field sites, it is up to individuals and civil society who are aware of this void to take on this task. As a result, individual citizens have taken initiatives to create space for youth to involve themselves, including through sports and cultural activities. One example is the cultural center in El Kef, Tunisia which was established by a private citizen, and which includes a library and internet access and is an important space for youth to engage in constructive activities. In addition to this, the association Joussour Al-Mouâtana (Bridges for Citizenship) does important work by engaging young people through debates and round tables that help shape their critical thinking. In North Macedonia, the presence of educational institutions, such as the “State University of Tetovo” and the Southeast European University (SEEU) are seen as key factors of resilience of the community against radicalization compared to the municipality of Kumanovo, which largely shares the socio-economic conditions with Tetovo, but has been more vulnerable to radicalization. However, besides being factors of resilience, the role of NGOs that receive foreign funding from state actors and private organizations in promoting radicalization has been noted for the Balkans and MENA region. In Kosovo in 2015, the government closed down dozens of non-government organizations suspected as agents of radicalization.

                    There are also challenges when engaging youth in international spaces. The ‘rotation’ of a select core of young people into and out of international conferences and workshops that represent a particular elite or class of young people but are disconnected from the lived realities of their peers, also adds to the socio-economic disparities among youth. Of note however, is that this is a criticism similarly leveled at women’s organizations and gender advocates to discredit them, and therefore other practitioners and policy makers were skeptical of the significance of this feature of youth organizations and young people in PVE

                    In the online space, there are increasing levels of radicalization efforts targeting youth. In Kosovo, prior to going to Syria, the majority of youth developed their radical ties through social media, not traditional media. Facebook has been identified as a main source of access to radicalized content due to its ability to host a range of interactive online tools, including video content, messaging, closed community group creation and networking.

                    For more research into the assumed roles played by social media in violent radicalization processes, especially as they affect youth and women, check out: UNESCO. “Youth and Violent Extremism on Social Media.” 2017. https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000260532?posInSet=16&queryId=44dae318-5218-4059-9732-4a0f7f2bfcde.

                    Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic was noted to have negatively exacerbated P/CVE efforts for engaging youth, with increased levels of online violence and recruitment, the closing of schools and universities, and the increase of unemployment for youth.

                    • Balancing Power Part 3: Marginalized Communities

                      It is critical to understand that both women and youth are not homogenous groups. Other have intersectional identities that need special attention in utilizing an inclusive approach, such as considering their socio-economic status, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and ability. 

                      But what is intersectionality? Originally coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, intersectionality is a way of thinking about identity and its relationship to power. It recognizes that people’s lives are shaped by their identities, relationships and social factors. These combine to create intersecting forms of privilege and oppression depending on a person’s context and existing power structures, such as patriarchy, ableism, colonialism, imperialism, homophobia and racism.

                      Source: UN Women. ‘’Intersectionality Resource Guide and Toolkit: An Intersectional Approach to Leave No One Behind.’’ 2021. https://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2022/01/intersectionality-resource-guide-and-toolkit.

                      Pictured above is an intersectionality wheel. The innermost circle represents a person's unique circumstances. The second circle from inside represents aspects of identity. The third circle from the inside represents different types of discrimination/isms/attitudes that impact identity.

                      Utilizing an intersectional lens matters because it promotes more inclusive and responsive policymaking and services delivery and builds better stakeholder collaboration and trust by dismantling power structures and leaving no one behind.

                      Here are a few other helpful definitions to note:

                      Socio-Economic Status: The social standing or class of an individual or group can hinder the participation or leadership of individuals in society.

                      Persons with Disabilities: All persons with disabilities including those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which, in interaction with various attitudinal and environmental barriers, hinders their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. 

                      Ethnic or Religious Minorities: A group that has different national, cultural, or religious traditions from the main population.

                      Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual and Allies (LGBTQIA+) Community: These terms are used to describe a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. 

                      Social norms can dictate that due to these intersectional identity points, individuals who identify as part of these groups cannot actively or effectively participate in P/CVE efforts. Intersectional identities create additional barriers to participation and leadership and should be analyzed within P/CVE efforts. An example of a negative stereotype around marginalized communities can be that they don’t represent the views of the majority of the community, and therefore, don’t have a place within the P/CVE efforts.

                      Women and youth who are religious and ethnic minorities, who identify as LGBTQIA+, who have disabilities, and who come from different economic backgrounds will offer unique perspectives to their lived experiences and how they are specifically impacted by violent extremism. Their roles are also many and varied. Promoting equality and respect based on gender, age, sexual orientation, economic status, ethnicity, and religious affiliation is critical to addressing violent extremism, which is rooted in the idea of superiority that allows for the justification of violence and subjugation of others. 

                      • The Critical Role of Marginalized Communities Within P/CVE Efforts and Push and Pull Factors

                        Social inclusion is critical for the success of P/CVE efforts. Social inclusion is the process of improving the terms for individuals and groups to take part in society and the process of improving the ability, opportunity, and dignity of those disadvantaged on the basis of their identity to take part in society. This is significantly important for marginalized communities, who also play a critical role within P/CVE efforts. From religious minority communities who work on inter and intra-faith dialogue to ethnic minority communities who work towards community resilience and harmonization, all of these efforts are critical in P/CVE efforts.

                        For example, there are currently around one billion women and girls, men and boys, and sexual and gender minorities with disabilities, affected by a range of sensory, physical, psychosocial and/or intellectual impairments. This number is rapidly increasing due to global population aging, increased incidence of chronic diseases and injuries caused by environmental factors such as climate change, natural disasters and conflict. This number represents around 15% of the global population, making persons with disabilities the largest minority group in the world. More than half of all persons with disabilities live in countries affected by conflict and natural disasters.

                        Evidence demonstrates positive returns when persons with disabilities are included in development and humanitarian decision-making. Yet research, policy and practice has mostly focused on the vulnerabilities of persons with disabilities – as victims of discrimination, marginalization, violence and abuse – as opposed to their skills and potential as peacebuilders. As a result, very little attention has been paid to the meaningful participation of persons with disabilities in peacebuilding processes, the factors and dynamics that contribute to their inclusion or exclusion, the challenges of ensuring effective representation, and the most successful mechanisms for inclusion. This example captures the importance of engaging communities with an intersectional lens and approach to make P/CVE interventions more holistic and sustainable.

                        Push and pull factors for marginalized communities vary depending on the group and context, but often include political, economic, and social exclusion or discrimination.

                        Photo Source: Serbia EuroPride was canceled this year (2022) in Belgrade by the President due to threats from right-wing extremists and fears of clashes. Gec, Jovana. “Serbia Cancels EuroPride Due to Extremist Threats.” PBS.  August 27, 2022. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/serbia-cancels-europride-celebration-due-to-extremist-threats.

                        • What Did the PAVE Project Discover Regarding the Impact of Violent Extremism on Marginalized Communities?

                          The PAVE project had several findings related to the many impacts of violent extremism on marginalized communities. In Serbia for example, the PAVE project found that while far-right actors do not often organize or participate in violent activities, the narratives that they utilize legitimize violence used against minority groups, framing them as either a physical threat to the Serbian nation or a threat to the social order. By spreading this type of misinformation and far-right propaganda, it normalizes extreme and violent attitudes. The nationalistic interpretations of past historical events, along with stereotypes about ethnic and minority groups in the country and the region, further adds to the exclusionary mindset among young people and the broader population.

                          While this is a vulnerability factor for minority groups, the legal system in Serbia recognizes national minorities and guarantees their rights. For example, minority parties do not have to reach a threshold of three percent to be represented in the national parliament. This positive political expression to reintegrate and renounce the division of politics into majority/minorities by the State was found to be a driver of community resilience. However, as also observed in the field research in Serbia, the lack of legitimacy and the state's inability to provide services to its citizens, especially minorities, allows dissatisfied individuals and groups to meet their needs through informal, often clientelist networks.

                          While Serbia may have a legal system recognizing national minorities and their rights, other Western Balkans countries do not have this legislation and as a result, discourage minority rights and political participation. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the unequal representation of minority groups in local and state institutions is a large issue of concern. The population ratio in Novi Pazar is 80-20% in favor of Bosniaks, whereas representation in local institutions (police, judiciary, fire department, health service, etc.) is approximately 80-20% in favor of the minority Serbian population. Similarly, in the National Assembly, national minorities, which comprise approximately 20% of the total population in Serbia, have only 7% of seats. In North Macedonia at the community level, especially in multi-ethnic communities such as Tetovo and Kumanovo, ethnic Macedonians sometimes feel threatened by ethnic Albanians, and the question of minority rights is seen as a “zero-sum” game: more rights for one community are perceived to be detrimental to the other community/communities.

                          Similarly in the MENA region, the exclusion of minority groups from political power has helped to fuel violent extremism. For example, the lack of political freedom and exclusion of minority groups from political participation has made Tunisia and Lebanon both more vulnerable to radicalization because it has generated political frustrations. The issue with the alignment of religion and state was also not received positively by minorities because of their feeling of insecurity having been at the root of violent extremism. Security has been given to those privileged in power. Similarly in Iraq, the politicization of sectarian identities has led to the Sunni minority being alienated.

                          Watch this video on, ‘’What is Privilege?’ when thinking about what level of power you may have within P/CVE efforts.

                          Source: As/Is. ‘’What is Privilege?’’ 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD5f8GuNuGQ.

                          • Additional Resources for Session 1

                            • Session 2 Objectives and Goals

                              Objective: In this second session, our objective will be to explore and understand how to apply applications of mainstreaming inclusivity within local action plans for P/CVE for both the MENA and Western Balkans. 

                              Expected Results: The expected results of this second session will be that participants have a practical understanding of how to apply and mainstream inclusivity within their partnered P/CVE efforts.

                              Amount of Time Anticipated for Session 2: 1 hour

                              Agenda for Session 2

                              • How to Gender Mainstream Your P/CVE Efforts
                              • How to Incorporate a Youth Perspective Within Your P/CVE Efforts
                              • How to Apply an Intersectional Lens to Your P/CVE Efforts

                              • How to Gender Mainstream Your P/CVE Efforts

                                Hear from Dr. Jessica White, Senior Research Fellow for the Terrorism and Conflict Research Group at the Royal United Services Institute on how to apply gender to P/CVE.

                                Source: PAVE Project. ‘’Dr. Jessica White: Applying a Gender Lens to P/CVE.’’ 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc4hvUetM7M.

                                Gender analysis is the critical starting point for gender mainstreaming. Gender analysis is a tool that brings to the surface gender disparities of a core problem. This process is used to identify, understand, and describe gender differences and the relevance of gender roles and power dynamics in a particular context.

                                A gender analysis asks two sets of questions about the conditions conducive to violent extremism. The first addresses ‘gender behaviors’ – it examines how men, and women and non-binary individuals behave in relation to these conditions. The second addresses ‘gender norms’ – the social pressures to behave in a particular manner, or what types of masculinity and femininity are rewarded or punished. Utilizing gender-responsive approaches and leading gender-transformative programs removes the gender-based inequities, structural barriers, and empowers disadvantaged populations, including through the creation of strategies to foster progressive changes in power relationships between women and men. Gender-responsive approaches address the different needs and experiences of women, and men and non-binary individuals, whether through the questions asked in a focus group or survey to the trainings that you might conduct. 

                                Here are a few examples of integrating gender into the design of research questions.

                                1) What are the different impacts of violence and insecurity on men and women? 2) What are the gender dynamics around conflict? 3) How do gender norms and realities drive violence and/or peace? How are women’s roles assigned within families in the community? 4) Who are the key actors with influence, means and motivations to mobilize groups and resources into collective action for peace or for violence and what are the links between them? Are these key actors predominantly male? What are the priorities of the women peacebuilders or women-led civil society organizations? 

                                A gender-responsive approach does not exclusively focus on women and girls. Engaging men and boys is also a critical part of a gender analysis and opportunity to create space for women and girls to engage in an otherwise male-dominated setting. Men and boys also play critical roles in supporting women and girls in their families, including by encouraging the education and empowerment of female relatives. This includes non-violent conflict resolution, efforts to encourage rethinking masculinities and stereotypes about women, and mitigation of exposure to violence in the home, which can feed the societal acceptance of violence. Finally, men can work alongside women to open space for their inclusion in CVE responses such as community-oriented policing.

                                Finally, gender analysis should also be included in P/CVE program monitoring and evaluation frameworks. This means including gender analysis as a systematic analytical process based on gender or sex-disaggregated data. This process is used to identify, understand, and describe gender differences and the relevance of gender roles and power dynamics in a particular context. Gender or sex-disaggregated data builds an evidence base that can be created to showcase how gender inequalities impact security and P/CVE outcomes. This approach needs to be applied across the whole of P/CVE programs, not only to the components which might be focused on the empowerment of women. 

                                The program’s gender or sex-disaggregated data should be used within its’ logical framework. As part of the program’s objectives, ensure to formulate the project objectives to link the prevention and combating of terrorism to improving gender equality and sustainable development and to address one or more issues that affect mainly women. The project outcomes should describe which gender measurement of each outcome is wanting to be achieved, how the project will increase the capacity of women leaders or participants, and how the project will engage women and women’s civil society organizations overall. Finally, the project outputs should demonstrate how the project will impact women and men independently.

                                If a program or initiative does not incorporate gender into its analysis, the program will suffer from gender blindness, ignoring rather than recognizing distinctly gendered factors, which misinforms policymaking and programming. Any initiative, policy, or study which neglects to consider and understand half of the population’s roles in any given situation will be partially accurate at best, and usually less effective and responsive to the situation on the ground than an initiative, policy or study that has mainstreamed gender throughout, giving focus and attention to the different positions and needs of all gender identities.

                                The empowerment of women is an essential part of a gender mainstreaming strategy. Here are some key takeaways to remember:

                                • Ensure to engage women and women-led or focused organizations and initiatives in discussions about P/CVE policies and strategies and seek their input in the design of P/CVE programs.
                                • Promote partnerships with and between local women-led or focused organizations and build their local ownership – this is key to effective program implementation.
                                • Support community outreach programs that raise awareness and inform women on identifying and responding to violent extremism and terrorism. 
                                • Build the capacity of local women-led or focused organizations and of women to promote P/CVE and implement P/CVE programs. This includes capacity building for mediation, community engagement, communication, monitoring and evaluation, administration and program management. 
                                • Avoid using women and women’s groups solely for P/CVE purposes, as this can lead to negative consequences for those groups, e.g. facing threats from extremist groups, undermining efforts to promote gender equality (if these become equated with a security agenda).

                                For more information on addressing new challenges and opportunities in the extremism space, analyzed through a gender lens, read the International Civil Society Action Network’s (ICAN) piece, “To Address Extremisms in the New Decade, Do What the Women Say,”: https://icanpeacework.org/2022/10/to-address-extremisms-in-the-new-decade-do-what-the-women-say/.

                                Photo Source: Fransen, Rosalie. “To Address Extremisms in the New Decade, Do What the Women Say.” October 19, 2022. ICAN. https://icanpeacework.org/2022/10/to-address-extremisms-in-the-new-decade-do-what-the-women-say

                              • How to Connect the Gendered Aspects of Your P/CVE Efforts to the National and Global Levels

                                It is vital to align your mainstreaming of gender within your community-level P/CVE initiatives to those at the national and global levels to ensure you are being as effective and coherent as possible for policy and programmatic coherence. This includes complementing the existing frameworks that exist to promote a greater mutual understanding across discrete P/CVE and policy and practitioner communities. Partners within P/CVE initiatives should also ensure that women’s rights are not undermined by security sector agencies that improperly prioritize P/CVE/ and security outcomes at the expense of the protection of women’s human rights. Gender-sensitive P/CVE policies and practices, together with international frameworks, can facilitate gender responsive approaches to disengagement, reintegration and rehabilitation of members of violent extremist and terrorist organizations.

                                One of the most important international frameworks to align with is the Women Peace and Security Agenda – (UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security), a resolution that was unanimously passed on 31 October 2000. It is one of the most important international mandates covering the full and equal participation of women in all peace and security initiatives and the mainstreaming of gender issues in the context of armed conflict, peacebuilding and reconstruction processes. 

                                The WPS Resolution represented the first recognition by the UN Security Council of the distinct roles and experiences of women in different phases of conflict, its resolution and its long-term management. The Resolution also emphasizes the increased effectiveness and practical security policies and activities associated with the incorporation of women during all phases of conflict.

                                Watch this Women, Peace and Security Explainer Video. 

                                Source:  Inter-Parliamentary Union. “Women, peace and security.” 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-d5xRjIDt4.

                                Since the passage of UNSCR 1325, seven additional resolutions related to women’s inclusion in peace and security and P/CVE have been passed. In 2015, the UN Security Council adopted UNSCR 2242, which encourages UN agencies and member states to: 

                                • Conduct and gather gender-sensitive research and data collection on the drivers of radicalization for women. 
                                • Consider the impacts of counter-terrorism strategies on women’s human rights and women’s organizations. 
                                • Develop targeted and evidence-based policy and programming responses involving women. 
                                • Ensure the participation and leadership of women and women’s organizations in developing P/CVE strategies. 
                                • Integrate gender aspects when addressing the drivers and impact of violent extremism.

                                Following UNSCR 2242, the UN Secretary-General adopted a “Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism” in 2016, which explicitly calls for advancing gender perspectives and gender equality when framing P/CVE and terrorism prevention responses, including within governments, the security sector, and civil society. 

                                To watch the presentation of the 2016 Plan of Action, watch here: https://www.un.org/counterterrorism/plan-of-action-to-prevent-violent-extremism

                                Photo Source: UNOCT. “Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.” 2016. https://www.un.org/counterterrorism/plan-of-action-to-prevent-violent-extremism.

                                In December 2017, the UN Security Council adopted Resolutions 2395 and 2396 both of which contained strong language on integrating gender and the roles of women, in operative paragraphs. Resolution 2396 included specific considerations of the needs and roles of women in relation to returning and relocating foreign terrorist fighters. The same year, the General Assembly’s 5th review resolution (A/RES/70/291) of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) called on Member States to highlight the important counter-terrorism and prevention of violent extremism roles of women. Women’s roles and involvement in P/CVE was also highlighted during the sixth review of the UN Global Counter-terrorism Strategy in 2018. 

                                Although relatively new in terms of promoting and encouraging the integration of gender aspects (women-specific) in P/CVE efforts, many government-led strategic documents, national actions plans, planning frameworks, and programs and initiatives, as well as civil society driven initiatives, have arisen in response to both UNSCR 1325 and UNSCR 2242. It is important to note that all PAVE-focused countries have a National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. Furthermore, most PAVE-focused countries also have strategies advancing UNSCR 2242. 

                                For more information on how to make National Action Plans to prevent violent extremism more inclusive, check out ICAN’s “10 Steps to Designing and Implementing Inclusive National Action Plans to Prevent Violent Extremism,”: https://icanpeacework.org/2018/05/10-steps-designing-implementing-inclusive-national-action-plans-prevent-violent-extremism/.

                                Photo Source: Fransen, Rosalie. “To Address Extremisms in the New Decade, Do What the Women Say.” October 19, 2022. ICAN. https://icanpeacework.org/2022/10/to-address-extremisms-in-the-new-decade-do-what-the-women-say/.

                                For example, the Kosovo Action Plan for Implementation of the Strategy on Prevention of Violent Extremism and Radicalism Leading to Terrorism (2015-2020), spells out specific P/CVE activities. These include the objectives and institutions tasked with increasing women’s involvement in P/CVE efforts in awareness-raising campaigns, training, and dialogue across government institutions, communities, municipalities, women, youth and religious networks, law enforcement entities and with NGOs. In the MENA region, Lebanon has a National Action Plan on Preventing Violent extremism, which includes an objective around understanding gender sensitivity in PVE programming and has an entire pillar dedicated to gender equality and empowering women. This also aligns with Lebanon’s National Action Plan on 1325, which specifically identifies the promotion of women’s role in PVE efforts as a strategic priority area.

                                Photo Source:  Office of the Prime Minister, Republic of Kosovo. “Strategy on Prevention of Violent Extremism and Radicalisation Leading to Terrorism 2015-2020.” September 2015. https://hope-radproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Kosovo-Strategy-on-Prevention-of-Violent-Extremism-and-Radicalisation-Leading-to-Terrorism-2015-2020.pdf.

                                Photo Source: Presidency of the Council of Ministers. “National Strategy for Preventing Violent Extremism.” 2018. http://pvelebanon.org/Resources/PVE_English.pdf.

                                • How to Incorporate a Youth Perspective Within Your P/CVE Efforts

                                  Hear from Dr. Elie Hindy, Executive Director, Adyan Foundation on how to apply a youth lens to P/CVE work.

                                  Photo Source: ‘’PAVE Project. ‘’Dr. Elie Hindy: How to Apply a Youth Lens to P/CVE Work. 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27MKiRzIsrk.

                                  To effectively incorporate a youth perspective, you need transformative positive youth development, which seeks to engage youth along with their families, communities, and/or governments so that youth are empowered to reach their full potential. PYD approaches build skills, assets, and competencies; foster healthy relationships; strengthen the environment; and transform systems.

                                  Image Source: YouthPower. ‘’Promoting Positive Youth Development.’’ https://www.youthpower.org/positive-youth-development.

                                  Positive Youth Development (PYD) is an approach to youth development that focuses on increasing youth assets and strengthening protective factors. PYD is based on the belief, founded in research and program experience, that “building the intellectual, physical, social, and emotional competence of youth is a more effective development strategy than one that focuses solely on correcting problems.”

                                  Building positive youth development as an approach illustrates that to achieve the vision of healthy, productive and engaged youth, your P/CVE programs, practices and policies must work with youth to improve four components, namely their:

                                  • Assets: Youth have the necessary resources, skills and competencies to achieve desired outcomes. Activities focus on skills building and sharing within individual, family, peer and community settings.
                                  • Agency: Youth perceive and have the ability to employ their assets and aspirations to make or influence their own decisions about their lives and set their own goals, as well as to act upon those decisions in order to achieve desired outcomes. 
                                  • Contribution: Youth are engaged as a source of change for their own and for their communities’ positive development. Activities focus on creating opportunities for youth to participate, lead and express themselves and their thoughts.
                                  • Enabling environment: Youth are surrounded by an environment that develops and supports their assets, agency, access to services, and opportunities, and strengthens their ability to avoid risks and to stay safe, secure, and be protected and live without fear of violence or retribution.  Activities include building relationships and networks, fostering positive social and cultural norms, creating safe spaces and creating access to youth-friendly spaces.

                                  In order to first engage youth within your analysis and wider P/CVE programming, it is critical to make the topic relatable to the communities you are wanting to engage with. For many young people, P/CVE work can come across as intimidating -  an issue that is obscure and unfamiliar, or that invokes uncomfortable conversations. Even for young people who may be initially interested in this topic, the political or religious stigma associated with the term may constitute a major barrier to engagement. Utilizing different strategies to engage youth is also effective! For example, building youth networks; working with educational institutions and broader community initiatives; and utilizing recreational activities, such as arts or sports. 

                                  Targeting the right groups of young people is equally important for engagement. From the onset, you should make a decision regarding which groups you would like to engage with and should consider which communities you have access to, as well as the security implications of engaging with certain individuals and groups. It is essential to unpack the youth vulnerabilities and resilience factors.

                                  Remember! Youth are not a homogenous group and should not be considered as gender-neutral. Youth comprise a significant portion of the focus population for much P/CVE programming, yet the term is often left gender-neutral in programming design, implementation and evaluation. Lack of recognition of the different experiences of male and female youth and their motivations for participation in violent extremism ultimately leaves programming lacking in its approach and impossible to evaluate. Programming design and evaluation, as well as theories of change and reporting structures must include recognition of the differences of the male and female youth experience, due to underlying socialized expectations of masculinity and femininity in their cultural context. Therefore, incorporating age-disaggregated data into your analysis is important to understanding the unique barriers and needs of youth, including breaking these needs down by gender and other identity forms.

                                  Here are a few examples of how to specifically incorporate youth’s participation and leadership:

                                  • Create physical and virtual spaces for youth to express their opinions and have their voices recognized to empower them to be agents of change in their communities. Youth centers, for example, create communal environments for trainings, dialogue, and educational and civic engagement activities.
                                  • Engage youth within planning strategies and developing youth policies or programs, which lay the groundwork for all initiatives that encourage peacebuilding through youth empowerment. Ensure youth ownership and participatory leadership within all of your P/CVE activities to deter extremism and empower social inclusion.
                                  • Offer youth leadership trainings with an emphasis on peacebuilding practices and conflict mitigation skills.
                                  • Offer trainings and programs that teach vocational and soft skills to ensure that youth have the self-awareness and aptitudes to seek meaningful employment, in combination with job placement. Research has found that the five most important soft/life skills positively impacting outcomes in violence prevention programs are: social skills, empathy, self-control, self-concept, and higher-order thinking skills. 
                                  • Provide speaking opportunities and opportunities for youth-led media and communication initiatives. Media gives youth an opportunity to share knowledge and overcome exclusion. Experience shows that positive messaging is more effective than counter-messaging, especially through radio and online platforms that are most utilized by youth in key areas. 
                                  • Offer specific support to young women, with gender-focused programming that address the specific vulnerabilities and resilience factors of young women.
                                  • Offer opportunities for youth civic engagement to increase their sense of self-efficacy. This could include creating youth councils as a political outlet and branch for advocacy.
                                  • Offer financial and technical support and other resources to initiatives that are youth-led or connected to youth organizations.
                                  • Offer opportunities to promote well-being and good mental health. Support at-risk youth to be conscious of their biases and decision-making processes, as well as to learn impulse control through cognitive behavioral therapy.

                                  Participants at the OSCE-supported National Session of the European Youth Parliament-Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH); Sarajevo, 9 April 2018. Photo Source: OSCE. “Youth: Bosnia and Herzegovina.” 2018. https://www.osce.org/mission-to-bosnia-and-herzegovina/youth.

                                • How to Connect Your Intergenerational P/CVE Efforts to the National and Global Levels

                                  It is vital to align your youth-responsive approaches within your community-level P/CVE initiatives to those at the national and global levels to ensure you are being as effective and coherent as possible for policy and programmatic coherence. This includes complementing the existing frameworks that exist to promote a greater mutual understanding across discrete P/CVE and policy and practitioner communities. Youth-sensitive P/CVE policies and practices, together with international frameworks, can facilitate youth-responsive approaches to disengagement, reintegration and rehabilitation of members of violent extremist and terrorist organizations.

                                  One of the most important international frameworks to align with is the Youth Peace and Security Agenda – (UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security), the first international policy framework that recognizes the positive role young people play in preventing and resolving conflict, countering violent extremism and building peace passed on 9 December 2015. The Resolution, in addition to the UN Youth Strategy and UN Security Council Resolution 2419 on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security (2018) “calls on all relevant actors to take into account, the meaningful participation and views of youth, recognizing that their marginalization is detrimental to building sustainable peace and countering violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism.’’ 

                                  Listen to youth peacebuilder Hajer Sharief, PAVE Advisory Board Member in this video, ‘’Is UN Security Resolution Youth, Peace and Security Important?’’

                                  Source: Together We Build It. “Is UN Security Council Resolution on Youth, Peace and Security Important? Answered by Hajer Sharief.'' 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70d4lL6SF-Y.

                                  Currently, only three countries have National Action Plans on Youth, Peace and Security: Nigeria, Colombia and Finland. There is an important opportunity that local initiatives have in being able to design and help implement National Action Plans on Youth, Peace and Security in all PAVE-focused countries and connecting them to ongoing efforts around P/CVE, including relevant youth-focused and led initiatives.

                                  While none of the PAVE-focused countries currently have National Action Plans on Youth, Peace and Security, the importance of engaging youth is highlighted in several of them. For example, the Bosnia-Herzegovina National Strategy for Preventing and Combating Violent Extremism mentions as part of its mission is to strengthen the role of civil society, especially the youth. Lebanon’s National Action Plan on Preventing Violent Extremism also dedicates an entire pillar within the plan focused on empowering youth. Many of the PAVE countries also have youth-focused engagement programs. The Kosovo Young Leaders Program worked with diverse youth communities through a phased approach, which features job entrepreneurship, civic engagement training, and conflict prevention. These phases were followed by engaging Albanian and Serbian youth leaders to implement joint projects. The Tunisian youth nonprofit organization, Youth Against Terrorism, focused on improving community-policing and training of police in community relations, as well as, helping to revise educational curricula manuals to increase focus on critical thinking and peaceful tenets of Islam. 

                                  As part of the findings of the PAVE project, it was recommended that gaps in policies relating to violent extremism and youth engagement be addressed specifically. Experts are needed to help drive policies that safeguard and protect the rights of youth and children. Governments within both of the regions should develop a strategic plan for PVE within primary and secondary schools to support critical thinking and different nuances in socio-economic issues that often lead to radicalization, such as media literacy.

                                  • How to Apply An Intersectional Perspective to Your P/CVE Efforts

                                    Hear from Nandini Gupta, Doctoral Candidate, Trinity College, on how to apply an intersectional lens to P/CVE work.

                                    Source: PAVE Project. ‘’Nandini Gupta: How to Apply Intersectional Lens to P/CVE.’’ 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvV_K5ZCxYY.

                                    Applying an intersectional perspective to your P/CVE efforts is also critical, as both women and youth are non-homogenous groups. Initiatives must apply an intersectional lens within the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of your P/CVE initiatives. 

                                    Marginalized and minority groups are important communities to engage in PVE because they often are the primary victims of violent extremists. They can also be specifically targeted by violent extremist narratives because their grievances and experiences of discrimination may provide a fertile ground for recruitment. For these reasons, it is vital to give special intersectional attention to the interests of ethnic or religious minorities, the LGBTQIA+ community, people with disabilities, and other disenfranchised groups. Emphasis should also be placed on children whose parents were killed in conflict and violent extremist attacks, as well as communities displaced by conflicts. 

                                    The first step in utilizing an intersectional approach is to analyze the root causes of intersectional discrimination. 

                                    Consider these issues and actions:

                                    • Reflexivity: Examine your own unconscious biases, beliefs, judgements and practices, as well as those of your organization, and how these may influence how you work and engage with others. Ask yourself: Do I critically reflect on how my biases, attitudes and beliefs influence my opinions and actions? How does my privilege directly or indirectly disadvantage others? What can I do to address this? 
                                    • Dignity, Choice and Autonomy: Respect and uphold the dignity, choice and autonomy of all people. This cannot be assumed on behalf of others and decision-making cannot be substituted. Ask yourself: Who has independence and who doesn’t? Who shares their perspectives and who doesn’t? Who has full control over how they live their life and who doesn’t?
                                    • Accessibility and Universal Design: Take a universal design approach, ensuring accessibility and reasonable accommodation. Ask yourself: Have you asked people what they need to participate? Have you removed physical, transportation, information and communication barriers or provided reasonable alternatives? Have you addressed attitudinal, environmental and institutional barriers?
                                    • Diverse Knowledges: Prioritize and learn from people with diverse forms of knowledge who are typically excluded from ‘expert’ roles. There is a relationship between power and knowledge production and design. Ask yourself: How do we know what we think we know? Who told us? Who has not been consulted?
                                    • Intersecting Identities: Consider how diverse identities interact to create unique social effects that vary according to time and place. Identities are not singular and distinct, nor are they additive. Ask yourself: What are the intersecting identities of the people we engage with? Who is missing?
                                    • Relational Power: Be aware of and challenge relational power, including our own. People may experience power in one context/time and oppression in another. Ask yourself: Who holds power and in what circumstances? Who makes decisions? How are they accountable? 
                                    • Time and Space: Recognize the influence of time and space. Nothing is static, privilege and disadvantage are fluid and influenced by our social positioning and location.  Ask Yourself: Does privilege look different in this location? Across different generations? 
                                    • Transformative and Rights-Based: Promote human rights and address inequalities by transforming social structures and changing the way resources and relationships are produced and allocated. Ask yourself: Are we changing the way that resources are produced and/or distributed? Are we changing the way relationships are produced and/or distributed?

                                    Source: UN Women. ‘’Intersectionality Resource Guide and Toolkit: An Intersectional Approach to Leave No One Behind.’’ 2021. https://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2022/01/intersectionality-resource-guide-and-toolkit.

                                    The second step in applying an intersectional lens, is to adapt your initiative to take the understanding gained in the analysis step and adapt the policy, program or other action form using the intersectionality enablers. This includes applying what you have learned in listening to the distinct barriers, challenges and needs of these specific communities. Creating safe spaces, building trust and amplifying the voices of those marginalized communities will help to foster more community resilience.

                                    Here are a few action examples to adapt your initiatives:

                                    Source: UN Women. ‘’Intersectionality Resource Guide and Toolkit: An Intersectional Approach to Leave No One Behind.’’ 2021. https://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2022/01/intersectionality-resource-guide-and-toolkit.

                                    The final step in applying an intersectional lens to your P/CVE work, is to access your initiatives using the intersectionality enablers to assess the level of change that has been achieved, whether through policy, program or other action forms. This includes assessing and monitoring your disaggregated data examining religious affiliation, political affiliation, ethnicity, ability, social and economic status, and sexual orientation, to further help in analyzing the distinct push and pull factors for drivers of radicalization, as well as the challenges and needs of the community more effectively.

                                    Here are a few action examples to assess your initiatives:

                                    Source: UN Women. ‘’Intersectionality Resource Guide and Toolkit: An Intersectional Approach to Leave No One Behind.’’ 2021. https://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2022/01/intersectionality-resource-guide-and-toolkit.

                                    For a practical toolkit example on how to apply an intersectional lens to your P/CVE work in examining racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism, check out the Global Terrorism Forum’s Toolkit: https://www.thegctf.org/Portals/1/Documents/Links/Meetings/2022/CC20/Documents/REMVE%20Toolkit/GCTF%20REMVE%20Toolkit.pdf?ver=0ulGjk8DJNGEIqHNmdYQrA%3d%3d

                                    Photo Source: Global Counterterrorism Forum. “Toolkit on Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism.” September 2022. https://www.thegctf.org/Portals/1/Documents/Links/Meetings/2022/CC20/Documents/REMVE%20Toolkit/GCTF%20REMVE%20Toolkit.pdf?ver=0ulGjk8DJNGEIqHNmdYQrA%3d%3d.

                                    • How to Connect the Intersectional Aspects of Your P/CVE Efforts to the National and Global Levels

                                      It is vital to align your intersectional approach within your community-level P/CVE initiatives to those at the national and global levels to ensure you are being as effective and coherent as possible for policy and programmatic coherence. This includes complementing the existing frameworks that exist to promote a greater mutual understanding across discrete P/CVE and policy and practitioner communities. Intersectional-based P/CVE policies and practices, together with international frameworks, can facilitate intersectional approaches to disengagement, reintegration and rehabilitation of members of violent extremist and terrorist organizations.

                                      There are several relevant frameworks that exist that promote the leadership and participation of marginalized communities. Building upon the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the UN Security Council Resolution 2475 on the Protection of Peoples with Disabilities in Conflict specifically calls for the meaningful participation and representation of persons with disabilities, including their representative organizations, in humanitarian action, conflict prevention, resolution, reconciliation, reconstruction and peacebuilding, and to consult with those with expertise working on disability mainstreaming. PAVE-focused countries who have signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities include Lebanon and countries who have ratified the Convention include: Iraq, Tunisia, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. 

                                      Photo Source: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs: Disability. “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities.html.

                                      The 1992 UN Minorities Declaration promotes the protection of the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and as such to contribute to the political and social stability of States in which they live. Since 2003, the UN General Assembly has also repeatedly called attention to the killings of persons because of their sexual orientation or gender identity through its resolutions on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution. As well as the UN Human Rights Council focusing on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

                                      Two other important pieces of legislation in relation to the PAVE project include the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination; and the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief. All PAVE-focused countries have signed and ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, apart from Kosovo due to its UN status. Other important legislation pieces to note in relation to intersectionality are: the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees; Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons; the United Nations Principles for Older Persons; the ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

                                      • Your Inclusivity Checklist

                                        To ensure that you have carefully thought through how to mainstream gender and youth inclusion with an intersectional lens to your P/CVE work, we have developed a checklist with practical examples of key considerations to keep in mind.

                                        • Additional Resources for Session 2

                                          • Session 3 Objectives and Goals

                                            Objective: In this final session, our objective will be to showcase how you can build multi-stakeholder collaboration and trust between actors in mainstreaming inclusivity within your P/CVE efforts.

                                            Expected Results: The expected results of this final session will be that participants have an understanding on how building trust and collaboration around mainstreaming inclusivity increases community resilience to violent extremism.

                                            Amount of Time Anticipated for Session 3: 30 minutes

                                            Agenda for Session 3

                                            • Key Considerations for Building Multi-stakeholder Collaboration and Trust
                                            • Guidelines for a Successful Dialogue
                                            • Community Dialogue Around Advancing Inclusivity Within Your P/CVE Efforts

                                            • Key Considerations for Building Multi-stakeholder Collaboration and Trust

                                              From a youth perspective, hear from Samet Shabani, co-founder of Horizon CIVTAS, on how to build trust between stakeholders to support a ‘whole of society’ approach to P/CVE efforts

                                              Source: PAVE Project. ‘’Samet Shabani: Building Trust from a Youth Perspective.’’ 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df4zOMXAA6w.

                                              A key finding within the PAVE project was that while efforts were being conducted to P/CVE, challenges around power relations and a lack of trust still negatively impacted all the work that was being generated by stakeholder groups. These challenges are interrelated, as all partners within your community P/CVE efforts must feel equally heard and have equal opportunities, including women, youth and marginalized groups.

                                              In order to promote inclusivity, you must also build trust, through creating a sense of belonging and a united purpose in the mission of your work. This includes ensuring you have respected leaders or community members who both represent these distinct intersectional groups, but who can also bolster your legitimacy amongst their peers.

                                              With your P/CVE efforts, you must create a safe space for dialogue for all and listen to the specific needs of your community, while ensuring no further harm is done within these discussions. Ensure all members of your initiative feel comfortable voicing their concerns and sharing their ideas, including offering multiple venues to voice their opinions, such as the use of digital platforms. Ensure that all members also have the space to talk and be heard, including not letting any one particular person or group dominate the conversations taking place. The process needs to be in the form of a dialogue, whether open (public) or closed dialogue (private).

                                              But what is dialogue? How does one facilitate or host dialogue sessions? The aim of dialogue is to share information, find mutual thoughts, and recognize existing links between different relations and various extents of cooperation. Dialogue is both a conversation and a way of relating and emphasizes listening, learning, and the development of shared understandings. Dialogue seeks to inform, rather than persuade. 

                                              Below are some key differences to help emphasize the difference between debate, discussion, and dialogue. Remember we are promoting dialogue.

                                              Photo Source: Washington University. ‘’Differentiating Dialogue from Discussion.’’ July 23, 2008. https://depts.washington.edu/fammed/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/3d-HANDOUT.pdf.

                                              • Guidelines for a Successful Dialogue

                                                Watch this video on ‘What is Dialogue': 

                                                Source: KAICIID Dialogue Center. “KAICIID Common Citizenship: What is Dialogue?” June 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jr6ifRmCTwE.

                                                Source: Principles of Dialogue: KAICIID Dialogue Centre and SCOUTS. ‘’Dialogue for Peace Manual: Guide for Dialogue Ambassadors.’’ 2018. https://www.kaiciid.org/publications-resources/dialogue-peace-manual-guide-dialogue-ambassadors.

                                                There are 10 Principles of Dialogue.

                                                First, establish a safe space. This includes making sure the physical space allows for fuller inclusion, as well as for emotional and mental health, (i.e. respecting ability, gender needs, and religious/cultural customs). Second, participants should agree that the aim of the dialogue is to learn from another. Third, participants should use appropriate communication skills, including listening respectfully and letting everybody speak equally and for themselves, regardless of gender, age, ethnic or religious affiliation, ability, or sexual orientation. Encourage participation and curiosity to ask questions and actively engage. Acknowledge the discussion will raise sensitive topics and that people may have different views – clarify that this is not a space to make accusations, but to benefit from collective knowledge to better understand the context. Come to an agreement on how information is shared and communicated in advance, particularly regarding social media, photography and personal information. 

                                                Fourth, set proper ground rules to help ensure constructive dialogue. Fifth, express feelings and confront perceptions. Challenge stereotypes by actively deconstructing the various stigmas and barriers to inclusion as they arise in your discussions and create opportunities for your community to do the same. This starts with internal awareness raising within your P/CVE initiative, where you can raise discussions on the topics of inclusion and biases, but also raise awareness about stereotypes within your community.

                                                Ensure you are actively listening to the individuals speaking during your dialogue session. Various active listening techniques include: verbal affirmations or non-verbal cues, such as nodding; asking questions or asking for clarification; demonstrating concern; paraphrasing to show you understand; and disclosing similar experiences to show understanding.

                                                Sixth, build relationships with other participants, Seventh, gradually address the hard questions and gradually depart from them. Eighth, do not quit or avoid the difficult issues. Ninth, expect to be changed as a person by expanding your own understanding and viewpoints of others. Tenth, bring change to others by taking action. Now that you have a new perspective, try to bring this new perspective to your community and that of others to sustain the dialogue. Ensure you elevate the voices of all members of your community partnership. Make sure that members of your initiative are given sufficient space to voice their concerns without being invalidated or stigmatized. 

                                                One example of a powerful use of dialogue that was discovered within the PAVE project was found in Lebanon. A separate community youth-led project involved utilizing community dialogues to showcase different religious thoughts on the negative impacts of violent extremism on various towns to build a unified stance and messaging against violent extremism in faith-based institutions and spaces. Faith leaders partnered with youth in jointly hosting inter and intra-faith dialogue sessions to reduce stereotypes to build mutual understanding and trust. Storytelling was utilized to help build the capacity of youth to tell their story with transformative messaging, while also humanizing and uplifting them as leaders within their communities.

                                                For additional guidelines to consider while in a dialogue session, take a look at this guideline document on the next page.

                                                Guidelines for a Dialogue Group:

                                                These are some possible guidelines for a dialogue group:

                                                • Confidentiality: Agree that personal details and disclosures are not discussed outside the group. You may, however, talk about yourself, your learning, and your personal experience of the dialogue.
                                                • Respect difference: You have the right to be different, as do all members of the group.
                                                • No interruptions: Give each speaker time to reflect, clarify thoughts, and articulate them. Wait until the other is finished before speaking.
                                                • Equal time: Take responsibility for how often you speak in the group and for allowing others equal time.
                                                • No advice: Come to your own decisions and conclusions about what is right and appropriate for you. Speak from your own experience and do not give advice to others (e.g., “If I were you I would...” or “You should...”).
                                                • Listen: Pay close attention to what each person is actually saying, rather than “hearing” what you wish they would say.
                                                • Speak in the first person — use "I" statements: Speak directly from your own experience and use “I” or “I feel” rather than “everybody says” or “most people feel.” Speak personally, for yourself as an individual, not as a representative of a group or a position.
                                                • Responsibility: Take responsibility for what you think, do, say, and feel in each session. Take responsibility for what you do not say as well.
                                                • Disclosure: Say only what you are comfortable with, no matter what others disclose.
                                                • Pass: Honor each person's right to “pass” if the person is not ready or willing to speak.

                                                Source: Principles of Dialogue: KAICIID Dialogue Centre and SCOUTS. ‘’Dialogue for Peace Manual: Guide for Dialogue Ambassadors.’’ 2018. https://www.kaiciid.org/publications-resources/dialogue-peace-manual-guide-dialogue-ambassadors

                                                • Community Dialogue Around Advancing Inclusivity Within Your P/CVE Efforts

                                                  Below is a 15-Minute Community Dialogue Discussion example that you can utilize within your P/CVE discussion. 


                                                  • Have participants raise their hands and say or just shout out freely their answers to the question below. Encourage participants not to be afraid to get creative-during a brainstorm session, the more creative and innovative the idea the better. Tell them to try to think outside the box and come up with activities, initiatives and interventions not currently used by P/CVE actors, but that would work well in their community context. 
                                                  • Write participants’ answers on the board in summarized form. 
                                                  • After a few minutes, or after responses die down, ask participants to process the answers they came up with.
                                                  • If participants are hesitant to volunteer, get the conversation going by asking questions like: Did any of the answers surprise you? Why? Do you disagree with any of the responses? Why? Which option do you think would work best in your community? Why? 

                                                  Community Dialogue Questions: 

                                                  1. In what capacity are women, youth, and marginalized groups, including religious or ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and LGBTQIA+ missing as P/CVE actors in your community? Judges? Police officers? Teachers? Religious leaders? Political leaders? Other roles?
                                                  2. How could programs or initiatives in your community help to counter that lack of inclusion in your P/CVE-focused work?

                                                  • Additional Resources for Session 3

                                                    • Print Your Course Certificate

                                                      Thank you for taking part in the PAVE Project’s Module 3 training module course. Click here to access and print your course certificate.