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SWEDD in Action

SWEDD is an innovative project that works with African countries to empower women and girls, and improve their access to quality reproductive, maternal and child health services.


SWEDD in Action: Promoting women’s full potential

30 May 2024

This book takes us on a journey to meet young girls in Chad, Benin and Mali, who are being helped to learn trades that are considered ‘masculine’, such as painting, electricity and photography. It gives a voice to health workers, particularly midwives, on the central role they play in their communities. The book also demonstrates the extraordinary vitality of the Sahelian associative fabric, from Mauritania to Chad, via Cameroon, Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali, by looking back at the careers of a number of inspiring personalities, committed to the cause of empowering women in all its forms and who have had access to positions of responsibility in various fields, including in the traditional chieftaincies in northern Cameroon.

Through 54 portraits of young girls, women and men living in the intervention zones of the Women's Empowerment and Demographic Dividend in the Sahel (SWEDD) project, this book entitled SWEDD in Action - Promoting Women's Full Potential aims to pay tribute, first and foremost, to the women beneficiaries, role models and those who accompany the project to promote a transformative approach to gender. In addition to these female faces, this book also reveals the men who are primarily concerned by the objectives and values defended by SWEDD.

It is also the hallmark of a country-led project, funded by the World Bank and technically supported by the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The project stands out for its integrated approach based on the ‘four Es’: Enhance, Educate, Empower, Employ. In other words, improve access to health services, educate, empower and employ. These are all catalysts whose combined effects help to create the conditions to facilitate the realisation of the potential of adolescent girls and young women to become economically active citizens in the life of their country.

This book documents the impact of the SWEDD project in a lively and concrete way, through life trajectories, marked by significant progress in certain indicators.