Call for Applications: Gender Justice Legal Defenders Fellowship

Call for Applications: Gender Justice Legal Defenders Fellowship

BACKGROUND

Women and gender non-conforming individuals face more legal problems than men. They have more difficulty accessing justice due to lower literacy rates, less income, unfair or biased laws, and harmful social norms. This is known as the gender justice gap.

When it comes to gender violence, the problem is extreme. Globally, one-in-three women experience violence in their lifetime and even more experience discrimination. It is considered a crime in nearly every country and yet most cases never see the light of day. Having laws on the books is not enough to protect survivors, who are often intimidated into silence. They know if they speak truth to power and pursue justice, they risk facing stigma, abuse, and isolation. That is why action is needed to close the gender justice gap.

At SAHR, our mission is to provide legal services and advocacy support to survivors of gender violence who lack access to the tools they need to pursue justice.

THE FELLOWSHIP

We invite aspiring female or gender-nonconforming human rights lawyers and activists to apply to our Gender Justice Legal Defenders Fellowship for a paid opportunity to lead a case of  gender violence or discrimination with mentorship and support from an expert  human rights lawyer.

The Fellowship is open to women under the age of 40 who are based in the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia, and South Asia and can demonstrate a commitment to advancing human rights and equal access to justice for women, LGBTQI and gender-nonconforming individuals.

The duration of the fellowship is six months and fellows are expected to work on their case a minimum of 20 hours / week. Fellows will receive a stipend of USD $3,000.00 to cover personal and project-related expenses.

What can Fellows expect?  

With support from SAHR, Fellows will identify a specific case of gender violence or discrimination and then execute a chosen intervention towards justice, reparations, and accountability. In the process, Fellows will learn critical legal skills including fact-finding, collecting and documenting evidence, building a case, and drafting claims and petitions. The goal is to think and work like a lawyer to hold offending persons and institutions accountable, while shedding light on the abuses.

Together, we will:

  • Develop the cause of action
  • Analyse the violations vis-à-vis national and international laws
  • Fact-find and collect evidence
  • Craft legal arguments rooted in gender-equitable interpretations of religious, national and international laws and package them into letters of claims and petitions
  • Map out counter-arguments to anticipate backlash and rebuttals;
  • Execute the chosen intervention.

Fellows can expect to develop the following skills:

  • Command over the laws relating to gender violence and discrimination.
  • Knowledge of procedure for obtaining remedies.
  • Ability to use human rights jurisprudence to draft arguments and responses to challenge harmful gender and sexual stereotypes.
  • Capacity to lead a collective using survivor-centred approaches.

At the same time, Fellows are expected to meet the following goals:

  • Shed light on ongoing abuses and bring forth alternative narratives in relation to these abuses.
  • Re-shape narratives based on the lived experience of survivors.
  • Elevate the voices and experiences of survivor-advocates who face violence and discrimination.

** Please see the fellowship guidelines below for more detailed information about the fellowship, the eligibility criteria, and the application process.

N.B. The application deadline is May 15, 2019 at midnight GMT.

 

FELLOWSHIP GUIDELINES

THE GENDER JUSTICE LEGAL DEFENDERS FELLOWSHIP

The Gender Justice Legal Defenders Fellowship offers aspiring female human rights lawyers and activists a paid opportunity to take on  gender violence or discrimination case with mentorship and support from an expert human rights lawyer. Fellows will identify a specific case of gender violence or discrimination and then execute a chosen intervention towards justice, reparations, and accountability. (See eligibility criteria below.)

WHAT CAN FELLOWS EXPECT?  

With support from SAHR, Fellows will identify a specific case of gender violence or discrimination and then execute a chosen intervention towards justice, reparations, and accountability. In the process, Fellows will learn critical legal skills including fact-finding, collecting and documenting evidence, building a case, and drafting claims and petitions. The goal is to think and work like a lawyer to hold offending persons and institutions accountable, while shedding light on the abuses. Fellows will work on their case a minimum of  20 hours / week for a duration of six months.

Together, we will:

  • Develop the cause of action

  • Analyse the violations vis-à-vis national and international laws

  • Fact-find and collect evidence

  • Craft legal arguments rooted in gender-equitable interpretations of religious, national and international laws and package them into letters of claims and petitions

  • Map out counter-arguments to anticipate backlash and rebuttals;

  • Execute the chosen intervention.

Fellows can expect to develop the following skills:

  • Command over the laws relating to gender violence and discrimination.

  • Knowledge of procedure for obtaining remedies.

  • Ability to use human rights jurisprudence to draft arguments and responses to challenge harmful gender and sexual stereotypes.

  • Capacity to lead a collective using survivor-centred approaches.

At the same time, Fellows are expected to meet the following goals:

  • Shed light on ongoing abuses and bring forth alternative narratives in relation to these abuses.

  • Re-shape narratives based on the lived experience of survivors.

  • Elevate the voices and experiences of survivor-advocates who face violence and

COMPENSATION

Fellows (or group of Fellows if applying as such) will receive a total stipend of USD $3,000.00 to be disbursed in installments. The stipend can be used to cover personal and project-related expenses (including payment of a “salary”).

In addition, Fellows will be mentored and trained by an expert international human rights lawyer and may be eligible for tailored opportunities from SAHR’s network.

We do not fund the following:

  • Enrollment in an academic institution for degree or non-degree study, including dissertation research.

  • Lobbying activities.

  • Attendance at conferences and events.

CASE ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES

This Fellowship only supports work on a specific case of gender violence or discrimination against an identifiable survivor or survivors. It does not support general projects even if they relate to gender violence/discrimination. Before submitting your application, please read the case eligibility guidelines carefully.

Your case is eligible if:

Your case is ineligible if:

The violation is a form of gender discrimination or violence, i.e. the violation was committed on the basis of the survivors’ gender.

 

*We follow CEDAW’s definitions. See Annex 1 on CEDAW General Recommendation 19 on gender discrimination and violence.

The  violation was not committed on the basis of gender, even if it is still a violation of human rights.

At the time of submitting this proposal, you can identify at least 2 survivors. Preferably they are related to the same case, but it is not necessary.

The violation affects only 1 woman OR the violation is known to affect at least two women, but you cannot personally identify or cannot readily them OR your proposal describes a generally occurring problem but does not identify individual survivors.

You can demonstrate that the violation is being committed systematically or at some scale. The violation need not  be widespread, but you must be able to identify at least 5 survivors to work with by the end of the project.

The violation is an isolated case.

You can identify a public authority, institution, organization, corporation, or enterprise which has committed the violation by virtue of its consent, silence, acquiescence or action OR offenders in the employ of the above OR private offenders of an offence happening at scale.

You are unable to identify offenders.

You are already in contact with the survivors or can readily contact and access them.

You are not in contact with the survivors and can not demonstrate an ability to readily access them.

You have demonstrated that 1 or more of the survivors will agree to participate in the intervention (even if anonymously) OR you can justify an assumption that survivors will agree to participate in the intervention.

You cannot justify your assumption that survivors will agree to participate in the intervention.

You have generally shown that the violation is a crime or a tort ( wrongful act) under the law or relevant protocols.

The violation is not a crime or tort (wrongful act).

E.g. if under the law, adultery is a crime and a woman is prosecuted according to the law, then the prosecution is not for the purposes of this project, a violation.

 

If however, the prosecution of the woman is not conducted according to the law, then a violation can be established.

You can demonstrate understanding of the risks involved in carrying out the project.

 

You are equipped to mitigate and manage the risks.

 

You can demonstrate that the project will not pose a high-risk to the life and safety of the applicant and others involved.

You fail to demonstrate an understanding of the risks involved.

 

You have not provided reasonable actions to mitigate and manage the risks.

 

The project might pose a high-risk to the life and safety of the applicant and others involved.

You have demonstrated understanding of how your use of legal arguments will advance the case.

You have not demonstrated how legal arguments will advance the case.

You have demonstrated how survivors will be included in the design, execution and monitoring of key parts of the project.

You have not demonstrated sufficient inclusion of participants in the project.

* Please note that the work of the Fellow will be included in our official documents and communications.

PROSPECTIVE TIMELINE

The Fellowship will begin on a mutually-agreed upon date and last for a duration of six month. Fellows are expected to work on their projects part-time (20 hours/week), but may choose to do work on them full-time.

Timeline

Activity

Month 1

Conduct an initial fact-finding to assess nature and scale of violation.

Month 1

Analyse the said violations vis-à-vis national and international laws.

Month 2

Develop the cause of action.

Month 1, 2

Collect and document evidence in line with cause of action.

Month 3

Conduct public awareness and education sessions to encourage more people to report, build solidarity and consensus to take collective action.

Month 3

Determine the interventions.

 

MID-TERM REPORT

Month 4

Craft legal arguments rooted in gender-equitable interpretations of religious, national and international laws and package them into letters of claims and petitions in line with the said interventions.

Month 4

Map out counter-arguments to anticipate backlash and rebuttal.

Month 5, 6

Execute, monitor and follow up.

Month 7

END REPORT

FELLOWSHIP ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

We welcome you to apply either as an individual or a group, so long as you:

  • Were born female, identify as one, or identify as gender-plural/neutral;

  • Are an active human rights defender on issues related to gender justice and equality (including LGBTQI issues);

  • Are leading an ongoing project on interpersonal and institutional prejudice (or have a clear idea for one);

  • Are in contact with or can readily access survivors of gender-based discrimination/violence for the project;

  • Can connect the concerning violation to institutional action or negligence (either by the state or non-state actor);

  • Can demonstrate that a strong command of the law and ability to use legal or other accountability procedures are essential to your project;

  • Are based in or have significant ties to survivors in the Middle East, North Africa,  Central Asia, or South Asia;

  • Are proficient in English and the local language or dialect which survivors speak;

  • Have experience in community organizing or activism

Additionally, you will be given preferential consideration if:

  • You are below the age of 40 at the time of applying

  • You can demonstrate how you will use what you learn through this Fellowship to advance gender justice in your future professional endeavors

  • You have been directly affected by gender discrimination and/or violence.  

  • You have or are seeking a career in law or legal-based activism.  

APPLICATION PROCESS

Please submit this completed application form in English by 15 May 2019 (midnight GMT ). You will be asked to upload the following documents to the application form:

  1. Resume or CV

  2. One Letter of Recommendation

  3. [Optional] URL Link to a 3- 5-minute video explaining your project and who you are (uploaded onto YouTube) OR alternatively a 3-5 minute audio/voice recording.

You may preview all the questions on the application form here.

NOTE: your responses are not automatically saved and you cannot return to the form once you leave the browser. So please save your answers in a separate document. If you face technical difficulties, please copy and paste the questions from the application form into a word document and answer them there. You can email it along with the other required documents  to fellowship@sa-hr.org “your name_country” in the subject line.

We will not consider multiple submissions from the same applicant or proposals that include several project ideas in a single submission.

The selection panel will only invite a limited number of candidates to interview. If you are selected, we will notify you at least two weeks in advance of the interview.  

Please contact us at fellowship@sa-hr.org if you have any questions or technical difficulties.

ANNEX 1 – GLOSSARY

1. The definition of discrimination includes gender-based violence, that is, violence that is directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately. It includes acts that inflict physical, mental or sexual harm or suffering, threats of such acts, coercion and other deprivations of liberty.

2. Gender-based violence, impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of human rights and fundamental freedoms. These rights and freedoms include: 

(a) The right to life;

(b) The right not to be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

(c) The right to equal protection according to humanitarian norms in time of international or internal armed conflict;

(d) The right to liberty and security of person;

(e) The right to equal protection under the law;

(f) The right to equality in the family;

(g) The right to the highest standard attainable of physical and mental health;

(h) The right to just and favourable conditions of work.

3. The Convention applies to violence perpetrated by public authorities.  

4. It is emphasized, however, that discrimination under the Convention is not restricted to action by or on behalf of Governments (see articles 2(e), 2(f) and 5). For example, under article 2(e) the Convention calls on States parties to take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women by any person, organization or enterprise. Under general international law and specific human rights covenants, States may also be responsible for private acts if they fail to act with due diligence to prevent violations of rights or to investigate and punish acts of violence, and for providing compensation.

5. Articles 2(f), 5 and 10(c) of the Convention

Traditional attitudes by which women are regarded as subordinate to men or as having stereotyped roles perpetuate widespread practices involving violence or coercion, such as family violence and abuse, forced marriage, dowry deaths, acid attacks and female circumcision. Such prejudices and practices may justify gender-based violence as a form of protection or control of women. The effect of such violence on the physical and mental integrity of women is to deprive them the equal enjoyment, exercise and knowledge of human rights and fundamental freedoms. While this comment addresses mainly actual or threatened violence the underlying consequences of these forms of gender-based violence help to maintain women in subordinate roles and contribute to the low level of political participation and to their lower level of education, skills and work opportunities.

6. These attitudes also contribute to the propagation of pornography and the depiction and other commercial exploitation of women as sexual objects, rather than as individuals. This in turn contributes to gender-based violence.