Amie Kandeh

Elevating women and children’s legal rights

Amie Kandeh is the Women's Protection and Empowerment Coordinator for the International Rescue Committee in Sierra Leone. After fleeing Sierra Leone with her family during the country’s civil war, Kandeh returned in 2002 to put her skills as an educator and counselor to use in rebuilding the country.


Amie Kandesh

Kandeh, herself a survivor of domestic violence, is widely regarded as one of the leading voices on women’s issues in Sierra Leone. She started and manages the Rainbo Centers, three of West Africa’s first sexual-assault referral centers. She drafted the section of Sierra Leone’s national reproductive health policy devoted to violence against women. She also authored a manual on how to recognize sexual abuse in schools and has organized legal workshops on women and children’s rights.

Kandeh helped gain passage of the Gender Acts, three national laws approved in 2007 that radically improve the rights of Sierra Leonean women. She frequently speaks about her experiences in the United States and Sierra Leone.

Read Nicholas Kristof's New York Times column about Amie.

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Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is not in any way affiliated with or in partnership with the Half the Sky Foundation, a nonprofit organization created in 1998 to enrich the lives and enhance the prospects for orphaned children in China. For more information about the Half the Sky Foundation, visit