Facia Boyenoh Harris

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: The Young Women Empowerment, Protection and Participation ProjectLiberia

Facia Boyenoh Harris is a life-long activist for women’s rights and against gender-based violence in Liberia. As a co-founder of the Paramount Young Women Initiative, she has worked for decades to address the pervasive sexual assault and harassment of school-aged girls, create opportunities for education and provide leadership training for the next generation of female leaders. She is a feminist activist for women’s rights, gender equality and social justice. She has led anti-rape campaigns like the “#We Are Unprotected” Campaign, which arose in response to the “More Than Me” and “Unprotected” reports released by ProPublica and TIME Magazine on Thursday, October 11, 2018. 

Facia is also a community organizer, co-founding the Liberian Feminist Forum to facilitate coordination among female advocacy groups and foster neighborhood activism. She organizes groups on issues as wide-ranging as political participation, sanitation and rape. Facia’s courageous activism—which in some cases has been met with threats and harassment—began in the wake of the civil crises in Liberia, where rape, female genital mutilation, and sexual harassment continue to threaten girls and women of all ages. Facia is inspired by the many works of the women who fought for the liberation of other women, marginalized and minority groups. Facia is an attorney-at-law, journalist, with a master's degree in public sector management and experienced Access-to-Information practitioner. 

IVLP Impact Award Project: The Young Women Empowerment, Protection and Participation Project

This project promoted women's political participation, leadership, and representation, especially in Liberia's 2023 presidential and legislative elections. It raised public awareness about the prevention of Violence Against Women in Elections (VAWiE) and empowered women and communities in Grand Cape Mount, Bong, and Montserrado Counties to prevent violence in elections. Facia organized several activities, including four community dialogues with 142 women, first-time voters, traditional leaders, and other local stakeholders, civic and voter education awareness activities. The dialogues discussed the causes, forms, and prevention of violence against women in elections and the importance of women's political participation, representation, and leadership in Liberia. She also partnered with civil society organizations to advocate for and create awareness about violence against women in elections. The campaigns reached about 300 people in the community. The community dialogues and awareness activities empowered young women and first-time voters to participate actively and engage in peaceful and friendly conversations regardless of their political affiliations.


"It is my hope that through the IVLP Impact Award more and more women, men, and holders of power will be able to raise their voices for women's rights and gender equality, spreading awareness and breaking down the system that enables and celebrates violence against women in all its forms, especially in elections, by ending impunity for violence against women." - Facia Boyenoh Harris

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Facia was a recipient of the International Women of Courage Award, organized by the U.S. Department of State and Meridian International Center.

Facia's exchange experience led to the development of her IVLP Impact Award Project: "I was reawakened and made renewed commitments to continue to fight for the marginalized and most vulnerable from the stories of women across diversities across the room with Women of Courage."

U.S. Communities Visited

Washington, DC; Minneapolis, MN

Country: Liberia

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