She Leads

Empowering 380 girls and young women to advocate for their rights in 3 districts of Sierra Leone.

Plan International’s She Leads project, funded by the Government of the Netherlands, is active in the districts of Moyamba, Koinadugu and Western Rural Area in Sierra Leone.

The project works with girls and young women, stakeholders, parents, boys and young men and government institutions to build the leadership capacity of girls and young women, mentor them and amplify their voices for meaningful participation in decision making.

A total of 380 girls and young women are actively involved in project planning, delivering activities and monitoring their impact.

Government of the Netherlands

why do we need she leads?

Girls and young women continue to face discrimination in political, economic, social, cultural and education spaces. Disproportionally affected by sexual and gender-based violence, girls and young women in Sierra Leone face enormous challenges and barriers.

Plan International is implementing the She Leads project to support them to advocate for their rights, break down barriers and bring gender transformative change to communities, institutions, and society.

Girls and young women have the right to take up leadership positions and participate in decision-making.

Our goal

Our goal is for girls’ and young women’s voices to be included in gender transformative laws, policies and societal norms and practices.

The She Leads programme works in 11 countries across Africa and the Middle East. Through a consortium approach, we strengthen girl-led groups and Civil Society Organisations.

Our strategy

We will reach our goal by:

  • Advocacy and influencing work with government institutions promoting the implementation of policies that include girls and young women in decision-making processes
  • Supporting girl-led groups on advocacy initiatives and training them to participate in Civil Society Organisation decision-making platforms
  • Creating mentoring links between Civil Society Organisations and girl-led groups
  • Providing funding to girl-led groups so they can implement advocacy activities.

We work with communities to change harmful norms and practices that are barriers for girls’ and young women’s empowerment and participation in decision making.

We also work with the government to advocate for the rights of girls and young women and gender transformative policies. We engage civil society to enhance collective action towards a truly equal society.

She Leads leadership conference

Find out what happened when the girls and young women taking part in Plan International’s She Leads project organised and led their own leadership conference in December 2002.


The She Leads project strongly believes in inclusivity and works hard to ensure that everyone can participate fully in all project activities. A specific focus is on reaching out to and supporting individuals with disabilities so that they can actively engage in the project. Our selection criteria are designed to provide equal opportunities for everyone, creating a space where inclusivity is valued and embraced. The activities include chaperones and sign language interpreters, like Fatu who is the only female professional sign language interpreter, to ensure everyone can participate fully.

Breaking barriers through sign language interpretation: Fatu’s journey

As a sign language interpreter, Fatu has not only empowered individuals with hearing impairments but has also fostered a more inclusive society.