Laughter and Learning in the Sun: Feminist Leadership Workshops in West Africa


The last two months at WLUML have been a busy time! Two feminist leadership workshops took place in West Africa under the Women’s Empowerment and Leadership for Development and Democratisation (WELDD) programme. Banjul, on Gambia’s ‘smiling coast’ was the setting for the Anglophone Africa training, and the following month saw the Francophone Africa workshop take place in Dakar, Senegal.  

These workshops brought grassroots women activists from Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Somalia together to share experience and strategies for change, and to learn from experience trainers about topics including feminist leadership models, women’s rights advocacy, communication strategy, interacting with the law, self-care, and sustainable activism.  The sessions were grounded in the current context of these activists’ work and covered the challenges of movement-building in the face of rising political Islam.

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A participant listens at the WELDD Francophone workshop in Dakar, Senegal.  April 2014.  Credit: Ina Thiam

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The group at the Anglophone workshop in Banjul, the Gambia.  March 2014. Credit: Minna Salami