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LEF Partners With Clooney Foundation for Justice on New Fellowship

Today, the Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ) announced its new Waging Justice for Women Fellowship—an opportunity for women lawyers in Sub-Saharan Africa to spend a year working with one of ten leading human rights organizations. The Legal Empowerment Fund (LEF), a program of the Fund for Global Human Rights, will serve as intermediary and facilitate the grantmaking.

“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 CFJ. “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 fellowship program, which will begin in July 2023, will offer ten early-career women lawyers the opportunity to support strategic litigation designed to advance the rights of women and girls in Sub-Saharan Africa. Fellows will spend one year working with a leading human rights or legal advocacy organization.

As the intermediary partner, the LEF will help disburse funding to the ten host organizations. Each fellow will receive an annual salary, and the host organization will receive additional funding to offset any costs incurred from their participation.

“The LEF is proud to partner with the Clooney Foundation for Justice on this exciting new fellowship,” said Atieno Odhiambo, director of the LEF. “As a lawyer in Kenya, I’m all too aware of the high barriers to entry that women face in the legal profession. This is what legal empowerment looks like in action—giving people the tools, knowledge, and opportunity to use the law as a driver for social justice.”

Across the world, an estimated two-thirds of the global population—5.1 billion people—lack meaningful access to justice. This means they have nowhere to turn for help when their human rights are violated. Women and girls especially continue to face widespread inequality and injustice with little access to recourse. CFJ’s fellowship aims to equip women lawyers with the tools and resources they need to protect and promote the rights of women and girls in their communities.

“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.

Help us close the global justice gap.