We aim to develop feminist jurisprudence that recognises and advances womxn’s rights.
While South Africa has a sound Constitution in place, the majority of black womxn have not experienced a real improvement in their everyday lives especially in the rural areas. Levels of gender based violence are extremely high, womxn are left impoverished and vulnerable on the dissolution of their relationships (losing access to assets acquired during the relationship), and many womxn do not have basic access to land or shelter. Discrimination in the workplace is an everyday occurrence with womxn employed (if at all) in the most vulnerable sectors of our economy. Womxn are more likely to be infected by and severely affected by the HIV AIDS pandemic and struggle to obtain access to basic health care. Gains made in the area of reproductive rights are constantly under challenge.
Exercising their constitutional rights is a major obstacle for womxn. The high cost of taking cases to court puts it out of reach of the womxn who are the most in need of legal protection. The Women’s Legal Centre is trying to change that, taking on test court cases on behalf of womxn free of charge, to challenge established principles and overturn discriminatory laws.
In 1999, in Cape Town, a small group of womxn lawyers founded a non-profit independently funded legal centre that would focus exclusively on womxn’s rights. Since then Women’s Legal Centre has established a solid reputation in South Africa and internationally for its advancement of womxn’s rights, and several precedents have been set which will have a profound impact on many womxn’s lives.
Established in 1999
WHAT WE DO
Our Focus Areas
The Right to favourable and just working conditions
The recognition and protection of labour right’s for vulnerable and marginalised womxn workers, in particular the rights of sex workers, farm workers, domesitc workers and migrant workers.Read more
The Right to Land Housing and Property
Womxn have an independent right to access land in an equitable and affordable manner, and are provided with tenure security, economic freedom, and a safe, accessible and healthy place to liveRead more
Equality in Relationships
The advancement and recognition of womxn’s independent rights within, and on the dissolution of, a relationship, so as to ensure fair and equitable access to resources and rights.Read more
Sexual And Reproductive Health And Rights
The realisation of SRHR that enable womxn’s rights to access health services in a manner that is non-coercive, free from violence and all forms of discriminationRead more
The right to be free from violence
An accessible system that takes account of, and supports, the particular needs of womxn impacted by violence, and that provides optimal services and protection by the state and private entities, and reduces secondary victimisationRead more