Phase II Grantees & Project Descriptions

Date : 01 October 2013

UN Women’s "Action to Promote the Legal Empowerment of Women in the Context of HIV and AIDS", a programme implemented in sub-Saharan Africa and supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development – Canada.

Central Africa

1.       AVEGA (Rwanda): AVEGA will enhance the capacity of HIV-positive widows of genocide to claim and access their property and inheritance rights. AVEGA-trained paralegals in Kigali and South Province will continue to sensitize community members; and follow up on identified cases of WPIR violations and provide legal assistance to affected women. The project also aims to establish community-level mechanisms to protect the rights of genocide widows and orphans, especially those living with HIV.

2.       Reseau (Rwanda): Building on the evidence-base collected under the first grant, Reseau will continue to build the capacity of women living with HIV to seek and claim their property and inheritance rights, and strengthen the associations created by transforming them into formal cooperatives aimed at reducing women’s vulnerability to HIV.

3.       CONGEH (Cameroon): CONGEH intends to strengthen the enabling environment for promoting and protecting women’s property and inheritance rights. CONGEH will provide women living with HIV or affected by AIDS with services and resources required to create, develop or protect their land, housing or inheritance rights. Specifically, it will develop Simplified Procedure Documents, a Matrimonial Regime manual and a Model Will intended to equip women with the tools needed to better assert their property and inheritance rights. CONGEH also aims to improve the quality of legal information provided to women and to seek supportive partnerships with notaries, lawyers and customary authorities and to sensitize and educate community and institutional stakeholders on women’s property and inheritance rights and the connections between gender, HIV and access to housing.

East and Horn of Africa

4.       GROOTS (Kenya): GROOTS will scale up the work of Watch Dog Groups in four counties in Kenya and establish new watch dog groups in an additional four constituencies to curb asset-stripping and land dispossession. GROOTS will engage with custodians of culture to address harmful cultural practices that hinder the access and control of land by widows and orphans and continue to build the capacity of women living with HIV and affected by AIDS, especially those who have been disinherited, to better understand their land and property rights under Kenya’s new Constitution, national land policy and other legal instruments that promote the rights of women and children.   
5.       Young Widows Advancement Programme (Kenya): YWAP will expand its intervention services aimed at reducing widows’ vulnerability to HIV by promoting their property and inheritance rights in Embakasi and Kasarani constituencies of Nairobi. Specifically, YWAP will support affected women with succession planning, will writing and memory books; train community-based paralegals; and work with communities to improve attitudes related to women’s property, inheritance and other rights.
6.       Maasai Women’s Development Organization (MWEDO) (United Republic of Tanzania): MWEDO will strengthen access to property and inheritance rights for over 500 women living with HIV or affected by AIDS by building the capacity of the Pastoralists Women Cooperatives; facilitate community dialogues on property and inheritance rights which engage key government stakeholders and traditional leaders; and strengthen the capacity of community paralegals to deliver effective legal services and support to women for claiming their property and inheritance rights.  
Southern Africa

7.       Ntengwe for Community Development (Zimbabwe): Ntengwe will engage existing and new partners to enhance women’s access to property and inheritance rights in Victoria Falls and Hwange, districts with prevalence rates four times higher than the national average in Zimbabwe. Ntengwe will target sex workers and engage the Alliance of Community Home-Based Caregivers in their efforts. Ntengwe also plans to engage and build the capacity of judges, magistrates and other law enforcement actors (i.e. police, local authorities) as well as leverage the media to disseminate information and knowledge and to enhance the visibility of women’s property and inheritance rights in the context of HIV.

8.       Women and Law in Southern Africa (Zimbabwe): WLSA-Zimbabwe seeks to contribute to the enhancement of women’s property and inheritance rights in the context of HIV and AIDS through a strengthened and effective legal framework. Specifically, WLSA-Zimbabwe will provide legal aid and services to 400 women through help desks in Harare, Norton, and Chitungwiza and mobile legal aid clinics in Norton, Hopley, Epworth and Ruwa; assist 100 women to write responsible wills; engage 100 men to take action on responsible will writing and registration of marriages; build the capacity of 25 justice providers on correct application of inheritance laws; filing a strategic case on women’s property and inheritance rights in the High Court of Zimbabwe; and engage print and social media to create dialogue on women’s property and inheritance rights and contribute to law reform on marriage, property and inheritance rights.  
West Africa

9.       Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC) (Nigeria): CIRRDOC will continue advocating for the enforcement of existing legal frameworks and for the development of new ones in Cross Rivers and Ebonyi states to promote and strengthen women’s property and inheritance rights, especially in the context of HIV. In partnership with the First Lady of Ebonyi state, CIRDDOC will advocate for the passage of the anti-Stigma and Gender Bills into law. Additionally, CIRDDOC will facilitate women’s access to justice by strengthening a cadre of community (including anti-violence-against-women committees) and legal service-providers; further sensitizing communities and women living with HIV and affected by AIDS on these rights; and questioning customary laws which discriminate against women, particularly women living with HIV or affected by AIDS.

10.   International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA-GHANA): FIDA-GHANA aims to address the structural inequalities that preclude women living with HIV to access their property and inheritance rights. FIDA-Ghana will provide women with appropriate information on property and inheritance rights and increase their access to legal aid; as well as engage and build consensus among policymakers and gender advocates to ensure that national AIDS policies uphold and promote women’s rights.