Who We Are
“Making the law work for women and girls”
Women and Law in Southern African Research and Education Trust (WLSA) Zimbabwe started as a local Chapter of a sub-regional network in 1989. WLSA is now registered and operates as Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) in Zimbabwe. The network member countries include Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia. The purpose of the network is to contribute to sustained well-being of women and girl children through action-oriented research in the socio-legal field and advocating for women’s rights. WLSA work incorporates action into research by questioning and challenging the law, instigating campaigns for changes in laws, policies and plans of action, educating women and girls about their rights, providing legal advice and gender sensitizing communities and leadership.
The work of WLSA Zimbabwe has been guided by strategic plans with the current plan being for the period 2014 – 2018. The strategic plans are elaborated in programme documents and/or operational plans by detailing WLSA activities on yearly basis. With the current strategic plan drawing to end a new strategy, “Making the law work for women and girls” has been developed and is accompanied by a detailed programme document.
We will employ the strategies which have served us well in past in delivering on the programme pillars. To the five strategies from the past, we are adding a new strategy on utilisation of media platforms to have six key strategies as follows:
- Action research as basis of evidence for designing actions (programmes/projects) for policy influencing and advocacy.
- Advocacy and lobbying: whereby WLSA recognises the structural and systemic causes of gender inequality and injustices and therefore advocate for policy and practise change.
- Partnerships, collaboration and networking whereby WLSA recognises that gender equality and fulfilment of women’s rights can only be achieved through concerted efforts of duty bearers, the rights holders themselves and other stakeholders including civil society organisations and donors.
- Regional and international linkages for learning and sharing of best practises across countries and regions and for advocating and influencing gender policies and actions plans of bodies such as SADC, AU and UN organisations.
- Development of models for adoption by other stakeholders for replication and scaling up of best practises for greater national level impact.
- Inclusivity and participation whereby WLSA encourages genuine involvement of both females and males and youths in promoting gender equality and justice.
- Use of different media platforms for reaching out with messages on gender equality and women and girls’ rights and for the visibility of WLSA as an organisation.