She may have already lived 61 years, but Bineta Diop is finally being recognized for her work to advance gender equality, and not a minute too soon.

The only African woman on TIME’s list, Diop is founder of Femmes Africa Solidarité (F.A.S).  The organization focuses on empowering women as peacemakers in the most fragile African nations.  By encouraging women through skill and leadership training, F.A.S seeks to give women a platform to be the positive change needed in many of their own countries.

Respected by many within the United Nations, and international diplomatic community at large, Diop first put her approach to work to help rebuild her home country, Senegal.  She has since lead teams to post-conflict areas such as Liberia, and has expanded bringing F.A.S’ programs to other countries including Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Her advocacy of gender parity is seen as once of the key reasons the African Union currently has five elected women on its Commissioners’ bench.

As TIME puts it:

“Women are the economic drivers of Africa, on average working twice as many productive hours as men. They are also the constituency most incentivized to build peace. A gender-based approach to conflict prevention has the potential to transform the continent. And at the forefront of that approach is Bineta Diop.”

It’s great to see Ms. Diop’s work being recognized on a large scale.  Congrats to her and the entire staff at F.A.S.

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