Let Her Lead

Let Her Lead: Empowering women against trafficking, child marriage, and violence. Fostering change-makers.


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The 'Let Her Lead' program, an initiative by USIDHR, empowers young women and girls to combat human trafficking, child marriage, and gender-based violence. Through our Regional Directors and partners, we identify those in need, offering scholarships for comprehensive training. This includes education on fundamental rights, trafficking awareness, early detection skills, and empowering women in business and leadership. Our goal: to equip recipients with opportunities to reach their full potential and become catalysts for change in their communities.


Discover Why 'Let Her Lead'

At USIDHR, our focus is empowering young women through education on economic development, human rights awareness, and the identification of human trafficking and gender-based violence signs. Recognizing the early indicators of coercion in trafficking is crucial. We emphasize educating vulnerable groups, particularly young women, about traffickers' tactics, which often involve false promises of safety and happiness. By imparting this knowledge, we aim not only to equip young women to safeguard themselves but also to recognize and assist others who might be at risk.

Let Her Lead USIDHR Kenya

'Let Her Lead' - KENYA

USIDHR granted 20 scholarships to the Awino Love Foundation, a Kenya-based nonprofit, through the Let Her Lead initiative in 2022. These scholarships offered young women and girls access to educational programs empowering them to combat human trafficking, child marriage, and gender-based violence. Our aim is to foster opportunities for these youths to achieve their potential and drive impactful change within their communities.

'Let Her Lead' - NIGERIA

As part of the Let Her Lead campaign, USIDHR granted 20 full scholarships to girls and women in Nigeria in 2023. These scholarships are designed to empower recipients in the fight against human trafficking, child marriage, and gender-based violence. Our initiative aims to offer these women opportunities to realize their full potential and become catalysts for change within their communities.


Why do we need to empower girls?

Girls and women worldwide are exposed to more vulnerabilities than their male counterparts. Therefore it is important to educate women on the gender-based struggles they may potentially encounter.

According to UNICEF, in 2020 there were 12 million girls married under the age of 18 each year, with a total of 650 million girls and women alive today married as children. The COVID-19 pandemic puts vulnerable girls and women at an increased risk of child marriage as the pandemic results in shuttered schools and rising poverty. UNICEF estimates that an additional 10 million girls are at risk of child marriages. In 2018, the percentage of female trafficking victims was 49% for women and 19% for girls. These numbers will only increase if we do not equip young girls with the correct knowledge.

Education is correlated to wages and women that are less educated typically earn less than educated women and less educated men. By providing accessible education USIDHR helps to secure economic opportunities for women. According to OCED, the gender employment gap among men and women with low educational attainment stands at 19.5 percentage points. Wile the gap among highly-educated men and women is 8.5 percentage point. Increased educational attainment accounts for about 50% of gender-inclusive economic growth in OECD countries for the past 50 years. Educational attainment is critical to women and girl’s social protections, sustainable development, and overall wellbeing.

Providing young women with such knowledge aims to ensure they are able to recognize threats of gender-based violence and give them the skills to intervene correctly. In many communities worldwide, violence against women and girls is deeply ingrained in certain cultural practices. As a result, we must arm young girls with the correct tools to overcome the vulnerabilities they may face.

© 2024 US Institute of Diplomacy and Human Rights is a 501(c)(3) organization. Gifts are deductible to the full extent allowable under IRS regulations.