Windhoek — The Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) is celebrating a quarter of a century of advocating and raising awareness on the rights of women and children, as well as gender equality in Namibia. LAC's Directorate for Gender Research & Advocacy Project (GR&AP) was established in 1993 to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women through legal research, law reform and related advocacy work.
Narrating the organization's achievements through a press statement issued yesterday, Toni Hancox, director of LAC, said in the past years the organization has managed to produce several major research studies and given input on legislation on a wide variety of issues relating to women and children, including gender-based violence, family law and child protection.
Honcox said GR&AP has managed to successfully execute its mandate that includes explaining existing and proposed laws in accessible language, as well as producing educational materials ranging from guides to specific laws for service providers for films, animations and comic books aimed at the general public.
Hancox said GR&AP has also developed a good working relationship with the non-governmental organisation community of Namibia, and often works on lobbying and advocacy campaigns alongside a range of other groups, and regularly works in partnership with the government on specific projects, and has a particularly close working relationship with the Law Reform and Development Commission, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare and the Ministry of Justice. GR&AP also regularly works with development partners such as UNICEF.
"GR&AP manages to produce a huge volume of work with only a very small staff of three full-time employees, but it has been assisted over the years by more than 100 volunteers and interns from Namibia and countries around the world, producing a cadre of visitors who return to their home countries as ambassadors for Namibia," said Hancox in the statement.
Diane Hubbard, the coordinator of GR&AP, said Namibia as a nation has made great strides in the advancement of women's and children's rights since independence, although there is still much more work to do on gender-based violence and family law in particular.
"I have been fortunate to work with dedicated and committed staff and volunteers over the years, and I am proud to be a part of the Legal Assistance Centre," she said.