In northern Burkina Faso, PAX supports female leaders in speaking out against radicalization and violent extremism. The long-term goal of the project is to reduce recruitment into armed groups that are ravaging the region and wield particular influence over boys and men.
Radicalised individuals make for easy targets of recruitment campaigns by violent extremist organizations. Radicalization takes place over a long period of time under the influence of vengeful discourse propagated not only at the community-level but also within households. Women take up a crucial role in the family as mothers and wives. While some female family members may abet the circulation of violent ideas, women showcase an equal potential in reversing such tendencies.
PAX’s partner organisation AFEDEB, is led by women from the town of Ouahigouya who mobilize community members in efforts to counter radicalization. Women leaders from different ethnic communities are trained in identifying early symptoms of radicalization. They conduct community dialogues, door-to-door visits, and broadcast radio shows to spread awareness about root causes. These actions also elevate their public reputation, particularly in the eyes of male community members.