Women’s increasing leadership presence is evident in Senegal where over 80% of the CMCs are led by women and have a majority of female members. Similar progress can also be found in Djibouti, The Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, and Somalia where over 85% of CMCs have a female majority.

Through the CEP, women have been empowered with the skills necessary to assume more leadership roles and duties. They have been informed about their rights as individuals to voice their opinion and to participate fully and have discussed how to translate these rights into daily life. In CEP class sessions on project management, participants learn how to create project plans and delegate responsibilities and are given a space to practice basic skills, such as written and oral communication. The inclusive training that the CEP provides is vital as men often have more access to educational opportunities and resources in Tostan’s partner communities. With the opportunities provided by the CEP and the establishment of CMCs, women have been given a platform to create change in their community.

“Before, women didn’t speak during meetings. Now, even during baptism ceremonies, marriage celebrations, and religious events, women are involved in the decisions.”

Fatoumata Baldé