The United Nations Plan of Action on Preventing Violent Extremism calls on each member state to “consider developing a national plan of action to prevent violent extremism which sets national priorities for addressing the local drivers of violent extremism and complements national counter-terrorism strategies where they already exist.” It further reinforces the need for a “whole of society” approach to PVE and encourages member states to engage fully the breadth of civil society and other local actors in the development of national plans, including women’s and youth organizations. This recognizes that a vibrant independent civil society is a critical pillar for preventing violent extremism and promoting social cohesion.

Here are 10 steps that should be taken to design and implement NAPs that are inclusive and reinforce linkages among the promotion of human rights, good governance, rule of law, and social cohesion particularly involving marginalized sectors of the population, and do not reinforce counter-productive counterterrorism (CT) practice.

What The Women Say

“ We are not a project. It is a matter of life for millions of people.”

— Woman peacebuilder

What The Women Say

“ Help us talk, don't just arm us to kill.”

— Syrian woman activist

What The Women Say

“Do not tell us that it’s not time to fight for our rights. There’s no convenient time; we have to always be fighting.”

— Pakistani women’s rights activist

What The Women Say

“State prisons are feeding the pool of foreign fighters… many are radicalized during incarceration.”

— Tajik woman lawyer

What The Women Say

“I say Jihad is not spilling or wasting blood in the streets, it is giving blood in hospitals to people who need it.”

— Iraqi woman peacebuilder

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