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  • $40,000
  • Funded
  • The Gambia

Women In Liberation and Leadership (WILL)

Women In Liberation and Leadership (WILL)

Women in Liberation and Leadership (WILL) is a civil society organization which works to protect the rights of girls and women in The Gambia. The organization’s mission is to empower girls and enable women’s leadership to promote gender justice and sustainable development. To that end, WILL provides safe spaces for girls to learn about their rights and has worked directly with 40 communities to confront harmful norms which marginalize women and girls. 

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a deeply entrenched cultural practice in The Gambia. Although the practice was legally outlawed in 2015, it nonetheless continues at an alarming rate. According to Amnesty International, 46 percent of girls who are 14 or younger have experienced FGM; the number rises to 75 percent for girls and women between the ages of 19 and 45. Against this backdrop, WILL implements community-based interventions to prevent further backsliding of girls’ and women’s rights. 

With support from the Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund, WILL plans to develop a safe spaces and community training program, focusing on the Upper River Region, which has one of the highest rates of FGM in The Gambia. The safe spaces initiative will strengthen girls’ knowledge of their rights and include a culturally sensitive curriculum focused on sexual and reproductive health. Furthermore, recognizing the need to challenge social norms, the organization will host community sensitization training and dialogue sessions on the harmful effects of FGM, child marriage, and other forms of gender-based violence. 

WILL expects to directly reach 300 girls and 250 community members through its project. In doing so, the organization seeks to provide the support girls need to make informed decisions, avoid unintended pregnancies, and participate in healthy relationships. WILL also hopes to change attitudes among families and communities, fostering environments which are supportive of girls’ needs and rights. As an end goal, WILL hopes to enhance girls’ agency and protect their safety, health, and wellbeing. 

To learn more about WILL, please visit the organization’s website and social media pages:

See more projects: Africa, Gender-based Violence, Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights