Paralegals providing legal advice to a woman in Freetown Sierra Leone

CFJ Launches Fellowship for Women Lawyers in Africa

Today, the Clooney Foundation for Justice launches a legal fellowship for ten early-career women lawyers in Africa through its Waging Justice for Women initiative.

Across the world, women and girls continue to face injustice, inequality, and violations of their rights. CFJ’s Waging Justice for Women Fellowship program aims to equip the next generation of women lawyers with the tools and resources they need to advance rights for women and girls in their communities.

“I’ve been proud to fight for justice for women and girls worldwide, from human rights defenders in Southeast Asia to victims of sexual violence in the Middle East and vulnerable women working on tea plantations in Malawi,” said Amal Clooney, co-founder of the Clooney Foundation For Justice.

“I have only been able to do this work thanks to the lawyers who paved the way for young women to enter a male- dominated legal profession and then provided them with mentorship and support.”  

The program, which starts in July 2023, will offer fellows an annual salary and an opportunity to work with CFJ and leading human rights organizations to promote gender justice for women. Fellows will be placed in 10 organisations in countries across Africa for one year. They will support at least one strategic litigation case designed to advance women and girls’ rights in national, regional, or international courts, or UN mechanisms.

Waging Justice for Women is already partnering with experienced women lawyers and dynamic organisations who have been doing this courageous work for decades. For the full list of fellowship organisations, please click here.

“I’m proud to launch this fellowship, and I encourage all passionate women lawyers working on the African Continent to join us in waging justice for women,” said Ms. Clooney.

Quotes from our partners:

Edmund Foley, Institute for Human Rights & Development in Africa (IHRDA)

“IHRDA has advanced rights for women and girls across Africa through ground-breaking strategic litigation. We are thrilled to host a Clooney Foundation for Justice Waging Justice for Women fellow, which will help us to expand our work and develop the capacity of the next generation of lawyers who are using the law as a tool for change.”

Hilda Soko, Board Member, Women Lawyers Association Malawi

“We are a collective of passionate feminist lawyers in Malawi, but we struggle to meet the vast justice needs for women and girls in our community due to lack of resources. We are delighted to host a Waging Justice for Women fellow, which will substantially increase our ability to serve our clients and combat injustice.”

About CFJ:

CFJ’s mission is waging justice to create a world where human rights are protected, and no one is above the law. The Foundation operates in over 40 countries, providing free legal support to victims of human rights abuses, gathering evidence to ensure that perpetrators face justice, and engaging in strategic litigation to reform discriminatory laws.

Building on the strong track record of Co-Founder Amal Clooney’s work to promote the rights of women and girls through the courts, CFJ’s Waging Justice for Women initiative uses data-driven legal advocacy to increase access to education for girls, combat child marriage, promote accountability for gender-based violence, and reduce economic discrimination or criminalization against women based on gender stereotypes.

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