Recommendation 3

Engage fathers and respected community males to gain access to vulnerable communities, and to shape existing cultural narratives, which VEs manipulate.

In many cultures, men act as the chief family and community leaders, and their cooperation is necessary for a family-based program to succeed. Fathers and male family members are also central in shaping notions of masculinity that VEs have proven adept at manipulating and militarizing. Fathers, brothers, and other men in the community can work to blunt such narratives – including by calling attention to the falseness of VE propaganda, or by emphasizing culturally relevant, non-violent values of protection of, and provision for, family. While there are some programs to support mothers as P/CVE actors, fathers are a missing link. The same tools and programs that help support mothers should be extended to fathers to help build their capacity and skills – including how to communicate with children.