Access to Justice

SAWF’s Access to Justice thematic was conceptualised following the infamous Delhi Bus Rape case of 2012; an incident which aroused collective anger and calls for justice for all women, across the region. Decades of activism, research and lived experiences highlighted the severe challenges faced by women survivors of violence in accessing justice mechanisms at all levels, especially in the primary courts. We also recognise that in a court process that is inherently hostile to women, there is great power and resistance in hearing a woman voice her experience of violation and obtain justice under the law.

Funding under this thematic aims to enable and support women in this process and strengthen a regional movement grounded in feminist praxis, which calls for access to justice for women. 

Legal Fellowship Programme

The Legal Fellowship programme was launched in 2013. The fellowships provide financial and technical resources to women lawyers working in the primary courts in South Asia and builds a regional cohort of feminist lawyers.

Support to Organisations

The second component, under which grant-making is conducted to women and trans* groups, organisations and networks, was initiated in 2015-16. This component supports interventions which address critical gaps and needs in terms of access to justice for women and trans* people

Some of the key strategies and activities SAWF supports under this thematic are:

  • Litigation work
  • Strengthening legal awareness at the community level
  • Increasing access to legal aid for women and trans* people
  • Strengthening the capacity of paralegals and supporting their work at the community level
  • Providing holistic support (including psychosocial support) to survivors of violence