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The Women's Legal Centre

Contact Person: Michelle O'Sullivan
Address: 1st Floor Glaston House 63 Church Street
City: Cape Town
Country: South Africa
Postal Code: 8000
Phone Number: (021) 424 0870
Fax Number: (021) 424 0875
General Information: The WLC seeks to advance the struggle for equality for women, particularly black women, who suffer socio-economic disadvantage, through the promotion and development of human rights for women.

In order to fulfill its objectives, the WLC will, free of charge:

Litigate cases which advance women's rights and are in the public interest, particularly constitutional cases; and
Produce briefs to assist courts in constitutional cases which concern women's rights and gender equality.
In addition, where resources permit, the WLC aims to provide women's organisations with technical legal assistance in making submissions to parliament and other institutions.
Our plans include strategies to provide training and capacity building program for para-legals and women lawyers who wish to conduct constitutional litigation in regard to gender issues.

We believe that there is a need to collaborate with women's organisations in all our activities.

The Women's Legal Centre will strive to litigate cases and conduct advocacy in the following areas:

Women's access to housing; especially on behalf of farm workers;
Women's access to land; especially on behalf of farm workers;
Women's access to health care services, including reproductive health care services; and other women's health issues;
Violence against women;
Domestic worker's access to social security;
Customary and Religious Laws and practices;
Principles which govern Litigation:

Any litigation conducted by the WLC should advance substantive equality for women. Substantive equality is advanced through litigation that seeks to improve the lives of women who have been disadvantaged by social and economic conditions.
All litigation will be outcomes based. The potential outcomes which could result from litigation include:
Legislation is overturned;
New jurisprudence is created;
Existing jurisprudence is extended;
The Court makes positive orders for enforcement;
The Court orders the enactment of legislation.
Litigation must have a wide impact. A substantial group of women must benefit from the outcome of a particular case.
The WLC will endeavour to work with women's organisations in all its cases.
All cases should have a good factual basis.
Such litigation will be conducted on behalf of women or organisations who lack the financial means to pay for legal costs.
Other strategies will be explored to save costs, prior to litigation.
Referrals to other law centres or clinics, legal aid or attorneys in private practice will be considered.
As far as possible, the cost implications of potential litigation will be assessed in advance.
Cases which are not directly related to these areas can only be taken on by WLC if, after heightened scrutiny, the Trustees agree to such litigation.
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