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The SAHR Gender Justice Accelerator Program is a twelve-month funded program preparing human rights defenders (Fellows) with the skills and tools to meaningfully participate in SGBV law and policy-making and implementation.


1. Fellows receive a grant of USD $3,000 to put their ideas into action and collaborate with subject matter experts and other leaders and changemakers through our community of practice.


2. The Accelerator Program provides Fellows with a safe space and the resources to

  • focus on local priorities and areas of concern related to SGBV, and

  • test new ideas and approaches for bringing about systemic legal and policy change on the relevant SGBV issues affecting their communities.


3. The Accelerator Program offers Fellows the opportunity to:

  • engage in specialized skills-building workshops to enhance their technical knowledge and understanding and 

  • learn from, build relationships and grow their networks with other human rights and gender justice leaders and changemakers.

4. The Accelerator Program also expects Fellows to use the expertise they have learned throughout the program to

  • Train local community leaders, law enforcement officers and/or legal professionals (paralegals, lawyers, judges etc.) and

  • Respond to SGBV cases in an intersectional, trauma-informed and survivor-centered way.​



Since the launch of the Accelerator in 2020/2021, SAHR received over 300 applications of which only 171 applications were shortlisted for review and out of which, only 13 were appointed as fellows because of lack of funds for more fellows. We received applications from over 30 countries in Latin America, Africa, South West Asia, Central and South Asia. 


Through the 2022 fellowship cycle, we mentored 6 civil society leaders on multiple gender justice projects targeting widespread and systematic sexual violence committed in Argentina (the municipality of Buenos Aires), Pakistan (university), Nigeria (community affected by Boko Haram), Mexico (a prison) and Indonesia (disabled community in Banda Aceh). 


Through the 2023/2024 fellowship cycle, we have been mentoring 6 human rights defenders from Kenya, Afghanistan and Argentina to:

  • Research and document incidences of SGBV in their communities 

  • Draft local and policy responses to SGBV

  • Train a network of 30 paralegals and;

  • Advise on cases of sexual and gender-based violence 


SAHR mentorship accompaniment was significant because it used the following approaches:

  • Intersectional to take into account victims’ multiple vulnerabilities,

  • Trauma-informed to take into account of victims’ trauma 

  • Survivor-centered to put survivors’ well-being, security and choices at the heart of our response.

Click on the pictures to read the stories of our Fellows from 2021/2022

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SAHR's 2021/2022 Fellow, Hadiza Abba from Nigeria
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SAHR's 2021/2022 Fellow, Irna Susrianti from Indonesia.
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SAHR's 2021/2022 Fellow, Jimena Gibertoni from Argentina.
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SAHR's 2021/2022 Fellows, Libertad and Pacha from Mexico

Yasmine Bjornum

Founder of SISTA
Check out their incredible work here!

The SAHR team guided me to collect evidence and provide input into legal arguments while developing my legal skills.


Thanks to their incredible team, I finally was able to execute an intervention that was rooted in a survivor centered approach. I would not have the confidence or ability or will to do so, if I hadn't met the team at SAHR.


Please know the work you guys do transcends beyond us and we are coming together as women to help other women.

SAHR working with Yasmine on case of sexual violence before Vanuatu courts
SAHR working with Yasmine on a case of sexual violence before Vanuatu courts

Why it matters

Having a network of peers through the fellowship, who we can rely on for technical support can be uplifting and rewarding.


It gives us confidence in our interventions, and, empowers us to dream big and seize opportunities in law and policy, to change things.

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