The Human Rights Program has worked closely with influential Christian, Muslim, and traditional leaders across West and North Africa since 2013 to explore the critical role that religious and traditional institutions can play in addressing the inequitable treatment of women and girls.
Too often, religion has been wrongly used to justify gender-based human rights abuses, including child marriage, female genital cutting, domestic violence, wartime rape, and restricted access to education and economic and political participation. The Mobilizing Faith for Women and Girls Initiative aims to change that by instead putting religious and traditional leaders at the forefront of changing harmful social norms perpetrated in the name of religion.
The initiative organizes seminars and training sessions in the region that bring together religious and community leaders to learn more about the alignment of human rights norms and scriptural teachings. The trainings emphasize practical activities that participants can implement in their own communities to help spread the message of equality.
In December of 2015, it held the Mobilizing Faith for Women and Girls in West Africa forum in Accra, Ghana. The three-day gathering brought together human rights defenders and religious leaders from across the region to discuss ways to elevate the rights of women and girls.
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