Empowering poor women to engage effectively in governance
On the 3rd of May 2012 Oxfam and The Lawyer’s circle hosted an evening networking reception as a side event to the International Association of Women Judges Conference. The event was titled “Breathing Life into the African Women’s Protocol” and sought to more widely promote the African Women’s Protocol in the preparation and prosecution of cases.
The main presentation was given by Caroline Muthoni, who shared her practical experiences of using the Protocol across Africa to promote women’s legal rights and access to justice. Caroline is an experienced women’s rights lawyer from Oxfam’s pan African partner in Kenya, Equality Now who host the SOAWR Secretariat. She works to support the promotion and protection of women's legal rights across Africa under the umbrella of the new and powerful legal framework offered by the Africa Women's Rights Protocol. Her work has given her a solid understanding of the full range of regional human and legal rights issues and practical experience of training judges and human rights activists to better use the Protocol in the preparation of cases. See below for the powerpoint which accompanied her speech.
The Lawyers’ Circle
The Lawyers’ Circle was set up to deploy skills and resources to support poor and marginalised women’s rights through Oxfam’s work. The network has chosen to support Oxfam’s ‘Raising Her Voice’ programme in Africa to implement the African Women’s Protocol to end gender inequality and discrimination. Lawyers involved include senior partners, QCs and Solicitors.
The objective of the Lawyers’ Circle is to support Oxfam’s RHV programme in Africa, focusing on the implementation of the Maputo protocol to guarantee comprehensive rights to women. This is to be achieved by:
The International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization of more than 4,000 members at all judicial levels in 103 nations. Since forming in 1991, the IAWJ has united women judges from diverse legal-judicial systems who share a commitment to equal justice and the rule of law.
The IAWJ believes that women judges are in a unique position to advance the rights of women through the judicial system, and to protect and empower women throughout the world. Through pioneering judicial education programs and worldwide collaboration, the IAWJ is working to advance human rights, eliminate discrimination on the basis of gender, and make courts accessible to all.
In dialogue with women judges from all levels and different types of courts, IAWJ members share experiences and best practices in such areas as violence and discrimination against women, international child abduction and gender bias in the courts.
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