Women's rights and gender equality is at the core of Global Rights' work. Our particular emphasis on the rights of women is woven through all of our initiatives rather than as an add-on activity.
We first began working with Afghan women in refugee camps in Pakistan and established our Kabul field office right after the Taliban fell in 2001. We now work to promote women’s rights in Afghanistan. In the first program of its kind in Afghanistan, Global Rights is also working to increase access to justice for Kabul family court clients through our Family Law Clinical Training Program (FLC). Its goal? Legal services for poor and marginalized populations—particularly women—so that they can understand and assert their rights in family court cases involving issues such as forced marriage, domestic violence, and child custody.
Global Rights opened its Morocco field office in March 2000 and since then has established itself in a leadership role throughout North Africa. Today, we are strengthening our local partners with skills and experience to conduct grassroots awareness-raising and community mobilization around women’s rights; utilize international human rights standards in strategic litigation to promote and protect those rights; and facilitate networking and collaboration between and among urban and rural non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.
Elsewhere in Africa, gender based violence touches women in many places. In Uganda, our paralegal services are raising awareness of this behavior and are working to increase basic interventions by the police. In Nigeria, gender based violence is also a significant issue, particularly among military units assigned to protect installations developed by extractive industries, oil being the most important. Our paralegal services in those regions as well as the north of the country are an important service with which to address this pervasive issue.
Our work creates examples that can be replicated wherever women find their rights denied, their prospects to maximize their potential limited, and their legal protection compromised.