Fatou Baldeh

Fatou Baldeh is a Gambian women’s rights activist who campaigns to end female genital mutilation (FGM), of which she is a survivor.

Baldeh has extensive experience in the area of gender justice and advocacy for the rights of women, girls, and marginalized communities both in the UK and The Gambia. Part of her work included documenting women’s experiences during Yahya Jammeh’s dictatorship, which included murder, rape, and forced labor. Her findings were later presented to the Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission. She has also testified before the Scottish Parliament to discuss guidelines that should be implemented to protect young women from FGM.

After spending most of her life as an activist in Scotland, Baldeh moved back to her home country in 2018 and founded Women in Liberation and Leadership (WILL) to transform and protect the lives and rights of women in The Gambia. As the Gambian parliament is currently considering revoking the 2015 ban on FGM, Baldeh has continued her fearless fight against this practice. In recognition of her work with migrant communities and women who have experienced abuse in the UK, Her Majesty, the late Queen Elizabeth II, honored Baldeh in 2020 by making her a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). In 2024, she received the U.S. State Department’s International Women of Courage Award.



2024 International Women’s Rights Award with Fatou Baldeh

Gambian women’s rights activist and survivor fighting to end Female Genital Mutilation Fatou Baldeh addresses the 16th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for her remarks. Full remarks: Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Members of the Press, Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon to you all.  I am