Bringing the Courts Closer to the People
Improving Women’s Access to Justice
Funded by the Global Spotlight Initiative is a project that is led by the Women Judges Association of Malawi and has the Women Lawyers Association and Gender Justice Unit as its partners. This project seeks to improve access to justice by bridging the gap between the promise of existing laws and policies and the realities, so that women, girls, men and boys can draw upon the laws and policies to live free from violence.
The project strives to meet the following four objectives:
- Women and girls understand and are supported to claim their individual and collective rights to live free from violence.
- Formal and informal justice services are accessible, responsive, and accountable to the hat needs of SGBV/HP survivors.
- Laws and policies promote gender equality and support comprehensive SGBV/HP service deliver.
WLA under this project plays the role of provision of pro bono legal services to victims of SGBV. This is usually done in remote areas where no justice services are available to victims of SGBV.
WLA under this project also conducts clinical legal services in the six Spotlight districts; namely, Machinga, Nsanje, Mzimba, Nkhatabay, Ntchisi and Dowa bi-annually, and mentorship of early-career lawyers, law students, and paralegals to take on SGBV/HP (Harmful Practices) and SRH (Sexual Reproductive Health) cases.
It also conducts training on public interest litigation for lawyers addressing systemic gender issues and supports public interest litigation on discriminatory provisions in relation SGBV and HP laws through targeted institutions with the capacity to litigate strategically.