March 24, 2023


Sierra Leone Entertainment News

Black Tuesday Movement: The Campaign that changed Sierra Leone’s laws

Four years ago the Asmaa James Foundation introduced Sierra Leone to the Black Tuesday Movement to raise awareness about sexual violence and child rape.

What began with a simple request to wear black in solidarity with rape survivors and protest grew into a campaign that educates communities about safeguarding girls.

When Sierra Leone announced a national emergency on rape in 2019 and changed legislation for more punitive rape laws in 2020, Black Tuesday had been pivotal to those milestones. 

After being forced into a hiatus due to the pandemic Black Tuesday was relaunched in 2022 as a GirlsPlus Sierra Leone project. With SGBV still at an alarming rate and thousands of girls still at risk, GirlsPlus is taking Black Tuesday to girls at school.

In October and November 2022, the  Movement engaged hundreds of girls at FAWE Waterloo and Sengbe Pieh Academy at Lungi. The two health and wellness talk  themes were “What It Means To Be A Girl, Our Rights, And Our Future” and  “What It Means To Be A Girl, My Pride, My Dignity.” This new approach focuses on girls instead of communities to increase girls’ agency in the fight against rape. If we are going to end child rape in Sierra Leone girls need to be empowered to say no and to speak up.

“We need to educate our women, girls, and men that no means no! No man has the right to violate a girl. I will continue this fight until girls have the protection they need,” said Asmaa James who was recognized by the President of Sierra Leone for her advocacy 

The award-winning Black Tuesday movement is recognized and supported by partner organizations and stakeholders all united around the common goal of making Sierra Leone better and safer for girls. In 2023, GirlsPlus will continue its mission to empower girls with Black Tuesday.