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Empowering women and tackling gender-based violence in Lesotho

In this session of our Gender Community of Practice you will hear from legal practitioner, gender activist and social justice enthusiast Adv. Joanna Jonas. Joanna is the Director and Co-Founder of Nairasha Legal Support.

Nairasha’s track record in the empowerment of women and girls extends to a project that is aimed at strengthening law enforcement capacity to respond to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence as a strategy to encourage and empower more women to report cases of GBV. At the conclusion of this project, Nairasha also held capacity building workshops for community health workers, who were capacitated with skills to offer victims and survivors basic psychosocial support, which will empower them to withstand the psychological impacts of the violence they experienced as well as to encourage them not only to report the cases but to also be able to withstand the stress and psychological effects of prosecution to finality.

The project was implemented in partnership with Dolen Cymru Wales-Lesotho Link and funded through HCA’s Women Empowerment Grant.

Nairasha Legal Support

Nairasha Legal Support is a social legal enterprise from Maseru, Lesotho. Nairasha is a Swahili word which, loosely translated, means “a new Thing”. It is a new thing because it is a new kind of law firm that is aimed at empowerment of women through, inter alia, affording every woman access to justice through their low cost and pro bono legal services. They provide free legal services and support to victims and survivors of GBV, run legal education programmes for women and offer low cost legal services for women entrepreneurs.

Nairasha’s guiding principle is, “if access to justice is the pathway to full enjoyment of human rights, then everyone should have access to a lawyer.” They live through this principle by having established a program called “Nairasha Assist”, which seeks to assist at least one woman and/or girl in a year by empowerment and/or mentorship.

Nairasha continues to engage and participate in initiatives aimed at empowerment of women and girls and tackling Gender-Based Violence through panel discussions and strategic meetings.

If you are joining our Gender Community for the first time:

HCA’s Gender Community of Practice is an open group of practitioners with an interest in gender equality and empowerment work, who come together bi-monthly to facilitate peer support, exchange, and learning.

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