Married at 14 and widowed at 21, changemaker Musu Bakoto Sawo is now a tireless women rights advocate in The Gambia, leading the organization Think Young Women.
When 27-year-old lawyer Musu Bakoto Sawo is not teaching law at the University of The Gambia, she is a tireless human rights advocate, working as the national coordinator of Think Young Women.
The non-profit organization promotes the participation of women and girls in society. Part of its work is to end violence against girls and women, including child marriage and female genital mutilation.
Musu herself was married at the age of 14 and had gone through female genital mutilation as a child. She was 21 when she became a widow and inherited nothing. Education was the only reason she says she could thrive.
“When I was about five or six years old, my parents took me to my grandmother's house. I was mutilated over there. I did not imagine the repercussions that excision would have on me,” says Musa.
She is now passionate about addressing the injustices that women face daily in The Gambia. She uses her experience in capacity building, research, networking, programme development to engage with human rights mechanisms and grassroots, national, regional and international organizations and platforms.
“I say to the girls: come out and be the change that you can be because your children may be victims,” explains Musa.
Musa also lends her capabilities to The Girl Generation's technical team where she contributes towards creating a social movement to end female genital mutilation.
“My desire is to have a generation of enlightened and strong young women,” she says.
For more information, go to: http://www.thinkyoungwomen.org/