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What is WiLDAF ?

Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF) is a pan African women’s rights network, bringing together organisations and individuals using a variety of tools including law to promote a culture for the exercise of and respect for women’s rights in Africa. WILDAF has the status of a non-profit, non-governmental organisation.

The origins of Women in Law and Development in Africa date back to the NGO Forum in Nairobi, Kenya in 1985 to mark the end of the United Nations World Conference on the Decade for Women :  “Equality Development and Peace”. The women activists who attended the forum came together and made a commitment to create a network for African women’s rights.


The network was formally established in 1990 in Harare, Zimbabwe after a long process of contextual analysis, needs identification, training and planning of members to strengthen local programmes and coordination.

WiLDAF has been involved in developing programmes for mobilising women’s rights advocacy groups at national, sub-regional and pan-African levels at various forums. It has centralised and made available to member organisations and individuals information on developments and strategies in the field of women’s rights in Africa and elsewhere. It has provided members with the various skills needed to increase the effectiveness of their programmes. Through its actions, WiLDAF has come to be recognised as a regional body for women’s rights.

WILDAF was eventually recognised as a regional body for women’s rights. It was the African coordinating organisation for the campaign for the recognition of women’s human rights at the UN Commission on Human Rights meeting in Vienna in 1993. WILDAF was the focal point for human rights at the African preparatory conference in Dakar in 1994 and the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. It was the regional network of women’s NGOs involved in the launch in Burkina Faso in 1996 of the campaign against impunity in Africa. It is the recipient of the 1996 International Human Rights Group’s Award of Organizations in Washington.   The Economic Commission for Africa and the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa have identified WILDAF as a partner for programme implementation in Africa.

1993 : Coordination of the campaign for the recognition of women’s human rights on the occasion of the UN Commission on Human Rights meeting in Vienna ;

1994 : Focal point for human rights at the African preparatory conference in Dakar and the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 ;

1996 : Involvement in the launch of the campaign against impunity in Africa in Burkina Faso;

1996 : Recipient of the Award for organisations from the International Human Rights Group in Washington in 1996 ;

1997 : Creation of sub-regional offices ;

1999 : Mobilisation and coordination of women’s rights organisations for the elaboration of the draft Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on Women’s Rights.


To better serve the members and maintain excellent communication between them, autonomous sub-regional coordinations have been created, including the one in West Africa.

Women In Law and Development – Afrique de l’Ouest  (WiLDAF-WA) established in April 1997, is a sub-regional network of organisations working on several aspects of women’s rights issues. The headquarters of the sub-regional office for West Africa (WiLDAF-AO) is based in Lomé, Togo.

WiLDAF-AO is currently in charge of The Regional Secretariat

Our story

 Estabilshment of Women in Law and Development in Africa- Afrique de l’Ouest (WiLDAF-AO) based in Lomé, Togo. Its mandate is to boost the network in the sub-region. It began its activities at its inception.

The network is present in 11 West African countries : Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea-Conakry, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Togo and Côte d'Ivoire and plans to expand to Cape Verde, Gambia, Mauritania and Sierra Leone where it works with 4 focal points


1997 :  Training of trainers programme in legal education and legal aid for women in Guinea and Sierra Leone

Capacity building programme for national women's rights networks to contribute to the implementation of women's human rights  


1999 à ce jour : Activities around the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (advocacy for the adoption, ratification and implementation of the Protocol)

 implementation of capacity building programmes for women's rights organisations

Implementation of capacity building programmes for judicial and extra-judicial actors involved in the implementation of women's rights

Implementation of a sub-regional programme on "Good governance and women's participation in decision making "

Obtaining the programme agreement, renewable every 3 years

2007 : Celebration 10 years of existence

2007 : Establishment of the legal aid centre in the central market of Lomé

 Obtaining the headquarters agreement


2009 à ce jour : programme to promote the economic, political and social empowerment of rural women, women traders, women in the extractive industry...

Relocation of the regional headquarters from Harare, Zimbabwe to Lomé, Togo

participation in the Grow campaign in West Africa


2012 Obtaining the iso quality certificate ISO 9001 : 2008 Version

Inauguration of WiLDAF-AO headquarters

Participation in the "Kilimanjaro Initiative in Africa" with the climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in October 2016 in Tanzania.  


2016 à ce jour : Implementation of programmes to combat child marriage in West Africa

Implementation of programmes to prevent early pregnancy, to promote and protect the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls

Participation in the programme to combat inequalities in the sahel

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WiLDAF, Sub Regional Office for West Africa was established in April 1997. It is part of a pan African women’s rights network established in 1990, initially based in Harare, but now based in Lomé, Togo. It dedicated to promoting and strengthening strategies which link law and development to increase women’s participation and influence at the community, national and international levels.

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Tokon Witti, Lome Togo

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