Musu Bakoto Sawo
Musu Bakoto Sawo is the National Coordinator for Think Young Women. She is also a trained human rights lawyer and a legal scholar who lectures at the University of The Gambia, Faculty of law. She is also the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission of The Gambia. She is a strong women and girls’ rights activist and has in-depth knowledge of human rights through her membership in different Community Based Organisation (CBOs) and in different capacities. She has translated this knowledge into capacity building, research, networking, programme development and practical engagement with human rights mechanisms and with grassroots, national, regional and international organisations and platforms. Her activism in the area of children and women’s rights spans more than 17 years. She holds an LLM in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa.
Musu is the recipient of the 2017 Vera Chirwa award by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria in recognition of her work in advancing women’s rights in Africa especially on FGM and other harmful traditional practices. She is also the recipient of the 2018 Commonwealth Points of Lights for The Gambia from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. This award also recognises the work that she does for women and girls in The Gambia. Musu has also been recognised as one of the 100 most influential young persons in West Africa by the Confederation of West African Youths in 2018. In addition, UNICEF has identified and recognised Musu as a #CHANGEMAKER. Her most recent accolade is the ‘Inspiring Gambian Award 2018’ by the People’s Choice Award for Excellence in recognition of her work in the advancement of the rights of women and girls.
As a former child bride and a survivor of FGM, she has vowed to end the cycle of these harmful traditional practices in her generation.