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George & Amal Clooney’s Foundation Launches Program for Women Lawyers to Advance Girls’ Rights

On International Women’s Day, George and Amal Clooney are doing their bit to support the rights of women and girls around the world.

Their Clooney Foundation for Justice has announced the launch of a program, called the “Waging Justice for Women Fellowship”,  to support the next generation of women lawyers and empower them to advance rights for women and girls in their communities.

“For too long, the law has served as a tool of oppression against women and girls, who continue to face inequality throughout the world,” a message on the foundation’s official website reads.

“When so-called justice systems permit child marriage but punish pregnant students, girls cannot access the education they deserve. When governments criminalise certain behaviours on the basis of  ‘morality’ but fail to investigate pervasive sexual violence, they signal that women should be devalued and externally defined. And when the legal profession hinders female lawyers from reaching positions of power, we perpetuate and exacerbate these cycles of discrimination.”

According to the foundation, the chosen lawyers will work with grassroots human rights and legal advocacy organisations in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Malawi and other areas of sub-Saharan Africa with their fellowship fully funded for one year. They will work on key issues including removing legal barriers to girls’ education, combatting child marriage, promoting accountability for gender-based violence and more. (To learn more and apply, check out the foundation’s website.)

George and Amal started their foundation “to hold perpetrators of mass atrocities accountable for their crimes, and to help victims in their fight for justice.” Since its inception in late 2016, the foundation has monitored criminal trials in dozens of countries worldwide, helped Yazidi women who were enslaved by ISIS as well as survivors of horrific violence in Congo and Sudan, and provided support for women and girls, minority groups and journalists who risk their lives reporting on discrimination, inequalities and atrocities.

(Feature Image Credit: Fred Duval/Shutterstock)

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