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Mobilizing Faith for Women and Girls

  • Mobilizing Faith for Women and Girls

    The Center's Mobilizing Faith Initiative works to counter narratives and interpretations of faith-based teachings that perpetuate inequality and gender-based violence. (Photo: The Carter Center)

The Human Rights Program has worked closely with Christian, Muslim, and traditional leaders in Ghana and Nigeria since 2013 to explore the critical role that they and the institutions they represent 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, girls’ restricted access to education, and women’s unequal economic and political participation, all of which have an enduring and generational impact on the collective well-being of communities.

The Mobilizing Faith for Women and Girls Initiative aims to address systemic, gender-based discrimination and violence in Ghana and Nigeria by engaging religious and traditional leaders as key agents whose influence is crucial in changing harmful social norms perpetrated in the name of religion.

Through seminars on human rights-based approaches and community empowerment, religious and traditional leaders are equipped with practical tools to help advance gender equality within their local communities.

Since 2013, initiative participants and partners have attended the Carter Center’s annual Human Rights Defenders Forum in Atlanta, where they have joined other human rights activists to generate policy recommendations and amplify their collective voice on the growing threats to women’s and girls’ rights. In December of 2015, The Carter Center held a Human Rights Defender Forum, titled “Mobilizing Faith for Women and Girls in West Africa,” in Accra, Ghana. This three-day gathering brought together human rights defenders, gender justice advocates, and religious leaders from across West Africa to discuss strategies to elevate the rights of women and girls. 

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