TRACE INSTITUTIONAL GRANT
One of the ZWLA main funders is Transparency, Responsiveness, Accountability and Citizen Engagement (TRACE) The funder seeks to design, build and implement a civil society with improved access to justice, human rights and responsiveness to citizen’s needs. The project’s goal is to “enhance access to justice for women and children in rural, remote and marginalized communities.” It aims to provide access to justice to women in these communities and to ensure that change is realized. The project is premised on value for money, gender mainstreaming and inclusion of the marginalized groups. It mainly targets women in marginalised communities which includes persons with disabilities. The project took a consortia approach where ZWLA, LRF and Catch partnered to maximize efforts in improving access to justice for children, women and youth. ZWLA focuses mainly on women, Catch focuses on children in contact with the law and LRF focuses on youth. The consortia approach has been beneficial as organizations maximize on each other’s strengths and ultimately produce quality results.
Implementation of the Access to Justice Project was a direct response to a number of factors such as vulnerable groups’ limited knowledge and awareness of their rights, lack of understanding of the court procedures and or processes, impeded access to courts due to high cost of living which then translates to lack of resources that are required at Court for instance Court fees and Messenger of Court and or High Court Sheriff’s fees and cultural barriers and lack of financial empowerment.
To address some of these challenges, the project is utilising three tier intervention methods which are, legal aid and empowerment, laws (legislations) and policies and advocacy reform and practice reform and judicial empowerment. The broader result that the project seeks to achieve is that women and children especially those living in rural areas and marginalised communities are empowered so as to assert their rights within a supportive and gender responsive legal environment. Activities being implemented under this project are inclusive of provision of legal aid, court monitoring. Empowerment sessions, mobile legal aid clinics, advocacy and lobbying, media engagement and documentation and awareness raising.
Specific objectives to be achieved by the project are as follows:-
- Improved access to justice by women and children living in rural areas and the marginalized.
- Strengthened capacity of justice actors to implement gender responsive laws and use gender responsive approaches.
- Progress on the legislative and policy frameworks that address and respond to women and children’s rights.
THE NETHERLANDS PROJECT
ZWLA is a recipient of the Netherlands Embassy grant in a three-year project from November 2019 to November 2022. This project seeks to provide a coordinated referral pathway for women’s rights by providing access to counselling and safe houses (Musasa Project), access to health for victims of sexual and gender-based violence (Adult Rape Clinic) and access to justice (Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association). It seeks to implement initiatives that demonstrate that violence against women and girls can be systematically addressed, reduced and with persistence eliminated.
The project has a three pronged approach focusing on three pillars namely; prevent violence against women and girls by empowering groups especially at risk of violence as well as working with traditional and faith-based leaders to prevent violence; two, improve access to services such as legal assistance, psycho-social counselling and health care, safe houses, by increasing the capacity of service providers to respond effectively to the needs of women and girls affected by violence; and three, strengthen implementation of laws, policies and action plans on violence against women and girls through data collection and analysis, and by ensuring that institutions are more effective, transparent and accountable in addressing violence against women.
The strategy for the rolling out of the program is through invigorating community-based structures and groups who are rooted and grounded in the communities. This will involve setting up of two shelters in the urban and or peri urban areas of Masvingo and Mutare. The setting up of these two shelters will bring together ZWLA, Adult Rape Clinic and Musasa to provide a comprehensive package of care for survivors housed in the shelters as well as in areas surrounding the shelters. Further, this will help support and strengthen the already existing community-based shelters in Mwenezi, Bikita, Gutu, Marange and Buhera respectively. Additionally, the project will support and strengthen two already existing community-based shelters in Gokwe and Mwenezi.
Furthermore, the project will facilitate the setting up of a One Stop Centre in Mutare and the strengthening of the Masvingo One Stop Centre. Through the shelters and One Stop Centre, Musasa together with ZWLA and ARC will develop and institutionalize an effective and functional referral system that ensures survivors receive GBV services on site. To further increase knowledge and uptake of GBV services, ARC will roll out the #72Campaign organic and virtual means of communication and participation to increase knowledge on the importance of accessing services within 72 hours, as well as increasing support for survivors throughout their recovery process. The project will also improve knowledge of healthcare providers, Magistrates and Prosecutors on SGBV Management and Response, consequently improving access to justice by survivors.
AFRICAN WOMEN DEVELOPMENT FUND PROJECT
ZWLA is being funded by the African Women Development Fund (AWDF) to implement a project with a goal of enhancing women’s safety and security through increasing their access to justice and improving implementation of the laws that protect them. This project was developed after realizing that women’s attempts to assert their autonomy is frequently opposed by family, society and state which seeks to control it. Women especially those facing gender-based violence are at a high risk of getting HIV because they have less control of their sexual and reproductive rights. ln line with the ADWF main mandate of supporting local, national and regional women’s organizations working towards the empowerment of African women and the promotion and realization of their rights, ZWLA in this project uses different strategies to enhance women access to justice with a particular focus on sexual reproductive health rights and these are legal aid provision and awareness raising. Enhancing the legal literacy and women’s rights awareness of communities thereby increasing awareness and support of women and children‘s rights by women, communities and opinion leaders and duty bearers.
The project is guided by the following major outcomes;
- To enhance the legal literacy and women’s rights awareness of communities thereby increasing awareness and support of women and children‘s rights by women, communities and opinion leaders and duty bearers.
- To strengthen legislative and policy frameworks that address and respond to women and children’s rights. This will also entail alignment of laws to the Constitution.
- To improve implementation of laws and policies that protect women and children’s rights.
- To strengthen legislative frameworks that address and respond to women and children’s rights.
- To raise awareness in targeted districts on SRHR
- To strengthen community structures to improve the implementation and protection of women and children’s rights.
HIVOS partnered with ZWLA to tackle the issues surrounding sexual harassment in the workplace for women. HIVOS is an international organization that seeks new solutions to persistent global issues. With smart projects in the right places, HIVOS opposes discrimination, inequality, abuse of power and the unsustainable use of the planet’s resources. Counterbalance alone, however, is not enough. The primary focus of HIVOS is achieving structural change. As such HIVOS cooperates with innovative businesses, citizens and their organizations. HIVOS shares a dream with them of sustainable economies and inclusive societies. HIVOS has also partnered with Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe (CFU), General Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) and Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association in the realisation of this goal.
Under the HIVOS Women @ work project, ZWLA thrives to increase knowledge and understanding of the laws pertaining to sexual harassment and violence in the world of work. The Women @ Work Campaign aims to improve labour conditions of women who work in the global supply chains of flowers and vegetables in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This is a five-year project which ZWLA joined in 2017. The project is coming to an end in May 2020. Project aims for opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men. The project thrives to protect workers from sexual harassment, improve health and safety of workers at the workplace, enforce maternal and reproductive health rights and facilitate workers representation and participation in decision making. ZWLA has continuously engaged farm workers through trainings on SRHR, advocacy, research, cooperation and collaboration.
UN WOMEN: SPOTLIGHT INITIATIVE PROJECT
ZWLA partnered with Youth Edutainment Services, South West Region on Gender Network, Maranatha Orphans Care Trust and Contact Family Counselling Centre in a consortium supported by UN Women. The project is aimed at strengthening and coordinating organizations for movement building to end violence against women and girls and promoting the rights of women and girls in Matabeleland South Province in Umzingwane, Matobo and Bulilima districts. Through a rigorous campaign, the project is contributing towards ending violence against women and girls by bringing SGBV, HP and SRHR to the public spotlight and focusing on strengthening the women’s movement in the southern Province. The campaign targets women’s groups, women’s rights groups, autonomous social movements and civil society organisations at community levels to ensure inclusion. Strategies and approaches employed include mainstreaming disability rights, HIV, VAWG and sexual reproductive health and rights of young women and girls as well as male involvement as men are targeted as champions of the campaign and key to changing social norms and behaviours that perpetually disadvantage and leave women vulnerable
EUROPEAN UNION PROJECT
ZWLA is a grantee of the European Union in a project that seeks to increase access to justice for marginalised and strengthening the rule of law. This is a consortium grant funded by EU in which ZWLA partnered with other four organisations within the justice delivery sector to provide services in 20 districts so as to enhance access to justice in these areas. These organisations are Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Legal Resources Foundation, Justice for Children Trust and Women in Law Southern Africa. The overall objective of the action is to strengthen the rule of law through increased access to justice and contributing to reforms within the justice sector. The specific objectives are to provide legal aid and assistance to the marginalised vulnerable people in remote rural and peri-urban areas of Zimbabwe; to enhance the capacity of marginalised and vulnerable groups to assert their rights and access justice and to contribute to an effective and efficient justice delivery system through research, advocacy and lobbying for legal and administrative reform.
To achieve this ZWLA provides legal services through helpdesks at Magistrates Courts, mobile legal aid clinics, court monitoring, prisons visits and awareness raising in four districts being Bubi, Umzingwane, Chegutu and Mvuma. This has enabled vulnerable groups in our society who often are unable to access justice due to prohibitive legal and travel costs to do so. In the last quarter people were assisted with free legal services and women have reported that they are now living lives that are free from violence. Another way of reaching out is through mobile legal aid clinics (MLAC), these are conducted weekly in different wards in these districts reaching the most remote of places with legal education and legal aid. In Chirumhanzu some reported that they had never interacted with the formal legal system before. This grant has therefore increased knowledge on the law and human rights and as such communities are empowered to protect themselves using the law thus combating inaction caused by lack of knowledge. The work also specifically targets people living with disabilities and those that are incarcerated to ensure that justice is accessible to all.
AMPLIFY CHANGE PROJECT
ZWLA partnered with Amplify Change to promote Sexual Reproductive Health Rights in Zimbabwe. The implementation areas for the project are Bulawayo, Gwanda, Harare and Chinhoyi. It focuses on strengthening the protection of SRHR through community legal education focusing on SRHR issues, provision of legal aid services, training of traditional leaders and community legal educators and meetings with Sexual gender based violence focal persons. Legal education is mainly on topics like sexual offences including rape, age of consent to sexual intercourse, gender mainstreaming, child marriages and termination of pregnancy. The project encourages women to break their silence and report cases of Sexual reproductive health rights violations. ZWLA also carries out court monitoring in both the formal and informal courts to ascertain how courts address and handle sexual offence cases. This is to gauge the gender sensitivity of the courts and to gauge how women are faring in these courts. Community legal educators were trained on the law and provide legal advice and make referrals in their communities to relevant service providers thus strengthening the referral pathway. The project also focuses on individuals who have been empowered by it to spread awareness. Empowerment is a ‘non-linear process and context specific. In the context of SRHR empowerment might include willingness to report GBV, willingness to seek SRHR information and services, and the ability to make important life choices such as decisions about marriage and family size.’ ZWLA thus focuses on survivors of GBV, rape, those who seek services of the Termination of Pregnancy Act, divorce and sharing of property under Unregistered Customary Law Union.