THE CONTEXT WE ARE WORKING IN
Currently, over 150 countries have at least one law that discriminates against women. Women and girls all over the world are especially vulnerable to violence and punished for their efforts to claim justice.
As a result of gender-bias in multiple justice systems in the world, crimes against women are not adequately investigated and prosecuted. When a woman is raped or otherwise abused, she is often blamed for it. These cases involve the most atrocious women's rights violations, including acid attacks, rape, pedophilia, beatings, sexual abuse, forced prostitution and marriage, even forced suicide.
Additionally, the justice system is often a site for further violence and re-trauma. Cases hang for years on end. Victims are forced to recount their stories again and again. They are inappropriately questioned and humiliated through multiple physical exams and intimidated to silence.
Without access to a fair trial or other recourse to justice, she is powerless to enforce her rights as an equal member of society. And so the self-perpetuating cycle of gender inequality and violence against women continues.
We are unique because our mission goes beyond case representation.
Through our interventions, we are
transform processes in the justice chain.
We target systemic issues which allow gender-discrimination to thrive in the first place.
Accompany HRDs who take on cases of sexual violence to plan strategic interventions using feminist, survivor-centered and intersectional approaches to the law through our flagship Gender Justice Legal Defenders Fellowship Program;
Represent survivors in their pursuit of justice by documenting evidence, drafting powerful submissions, and, effectively advocating key decision makers such as prosecutors, judges and government officials;
Facilitate workshops to bring HRDs together, share regional, inter-generational and specialist knowledge and co-create strategies and tools that lead to winning solutions;
Translate the lessons we have learned in our cases into positive and large-scale changes to laws, norms, practices and systems through advocacy and awareness-raising interventions aimed at strategizing to overcome constraints and seize opportunities to drive change;
Pioneer collaborative ARTivism to build communities’ support around our movement of change, taking a stand against patriarchy and misogyny, interrogating existing structures of power and reimagining a more just and equitable future.
"Very few organisations have the subject expertise that we do. We have been doing this for 10 years.
We pore through every precedent, every legal journal, NGO report. We leave no stone unturned. That's my guarantee.
That's SAHR's guarantee."
Natasha Latiff -Founder and Legal Director
Over the past 10 years, our team has put in 20,000 pro bono hours with unwavering commitment to practice the law through a feminist lens.
Our legal interventions have brought justice to hundreds of survivors of gender-based violence. We have secured the release of women imprisoned for moral crimes such as adultery, some as a result of being raped.
We have also trained over 124 defenders and activists on how to strategically litigate cases of crimes against women, challenging biased stereotypes, victim-blaming attitudes as well as oppressive patriarchal norms that fuel the endless spirals of violence. These lawyers and defenders have used SAHR’s training to represent and raise awareness to over 385 survivors across the globe and bring perpetrators of gender violence to justice.This is one of our proudest accomplishments.
In 2019, we created our flagship program, the Gender Justice Defenders Fellowship with the goal of strengthening our engagement with human rights defenders and lawyers, seeking justice for sexual and gender-based crimes worldwide. Through the Program, we fund lawyers and HRDs and support them with dedicated and specialised legal expertise to secure justice for survivors.
The Justice Effect
Our legal team comprises practitioners qualified to practice in multiple jurisdictions and when necessary, we also work closely with local lawyers.
Recognizing that sexual offences are the hardest crimes to prosecute, we convene spaces to enhance the technical competencies of field human rights lawyers and defenders through our“Gender Justice Legal Defenders Fellowship Program” and our empowerment workshops “Tactical Approaches to Combating Sexual Violence”.
Part of our mission is also to serve as a platform for bold actions, precedent-setting cases and strategic alliances with those fighting on the frontlines to pin accountability to powerful sexual predators. We fulfill it by bringing together lawyers and judges as well as other individuals, collectives, and organizations dedicated to gender justice. This is how we close the gender justice gap and build equity for survivors.
As feminist legal practitioners, we believe it is our duty to listen to the voices of the those who are rendered the most vulnerable and to put into practice their ideas about how to improve the situation.