introducing the second cohort of The Feminist litigation network partners 2020-2023
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FLN Partner Lawyers: 2020-2023
The FLN welcomes a total of fourteen network partner lawyers from our Anglophone countries of focus, based in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, and South Africa. In Francophone West Africa, the network is joined by two network organisations and two network partner lawyers. ISLA is committed to working closely with these lawyers over the next three years to strengthen their strategic litigation capacity and support their ongoing strategic litigation cases before domestic courts and regional courts.
Valentine Nyokabi Njogu | Kenya
Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS (KELIN)
Nyokabi is the Legal Counsel at the Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and Aids (KELIN). She is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya who holds a Master of Laws in Human Rights from the Central European University (Budapest), A Master of Business Administration (Human Resource Management) from Daystar University (Nairobi) and a Bachelor of Laws from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (Nairobi). She has nine years professional experience, which has been gained from her previous positions as a legal researcher in the Judiciary of Kenya, a lecturer at the Kenya School of Law and in private practice.
Isabella Mwangi | Kenya
The Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW)
Isabella is a feminist with over 7 years of children and women rights. Isabella has an LLB from the University of Nairobi and is interested in Strategic Litigation with a feminist focus. She has chaired the Kilifi County Gender Based Violence (GBV) Network (2015-2017) where she advocated for proper reporting and referral mechanisms on violation to legal structures for purposes of access to justice; and played a key role in capacity building members on the laws and polices related to GBV, held consultative meetings with key stakeholders, including the development of the Terms of Reference for Kilifi GBV, technical working group.
Elsie Milimu | Kenya
The Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW)
Elsie is a feminist with 3 years of experience defending women and children; and is interested in strategic litigation on the same. She is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, holds an LLB from the University of Nairobi; and is an Accredited Mediator with the Mediation Training Institute East Africa. She has represented women and children in court in matters including GBV, Child maintenance, Divorce and Succession. Elsie has experience in the prevention and response to Sexual & Gender Based Violence and Sexual Harassment. She is a member several GBV working groups including the State Department for Gender Sector Working Group.
Emily Kinama | Kenya
Emily is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya with an LLB and LLM from the University of Pretoria, and a postgraduate diploma from the Kenya School of Law. She is a litigation and research counsel at Katiba Institute conducting public interest litigation, research and publishes articles on constitutional and human rights issues. Emily worked as a law research clerk to the Justices at the Supreme Court of Kenya and the Constitutional Court of South Africa; as an academic associate at the faculty of law, University of Pretoria and lecturer at the faculty of law, the African Nazarene University; and served in the Public Interest Litigation and Legal Aid Committee of the Law Society of Kenya.
Ruth Nyaberi Nyaboke | Kenya
Ruth is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya with an LLB from Kampala International University and Postgraduate Diploma from the Kenya School of Law. She is a Litigation and Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Advocate at Katiba Institute and specializes in Public Interest Litigation, Criminal Litigation, Security Sector governance and CVE. She has litigated cases at the Court of Appeal, High Court and Lower Courts on issues relating to good governance, human rights and institutional integrity challenging the constitutionality of legislations, illegal appointments into public offices and failure by the duty bearers to act as required by law. She has appeared as a defence counsel in criminal cases, including terror related cases.
Janet P. Anyango | Kenya
Janet is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, a graduate of Moi University with a Post Graduate Diploma from Kenya School of Law and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Project Planning and Management. She is the Senior legal Counsel at FIDA- Kenya’s Kisumu Office. Janet is an experienced litigator and has successfully litigated cases succession, matrimonial property, women land rights, child custody and maintenance amongst others. Janet is also a certified public mediator with skills in Alternative Dispute Resolution such as mediation and alternative justice systems.
Vivian Mwende | Kenya
Vivian is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, trained Trial advocate by Justice Advocacy Africa (JAA) and a graduate of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) with a Post Graduate Diploma from Kenya School of Law. She is also a certified mediator trained by Mediation Training Institute (MTI). Vivian is a Legal Counsel at FIDA-Kenya’s Nairobi Office. She is passionate about women’s and girl’s rights, specifically using the law to address structural inequalities and gender discrimination. Vivian is a litigator with legal experience in aspects including but not limited to family law, reproductive health rights, succession and women’s land rights.
Elizabeth Achola | Uganda
Women’s Probono Initiative (WPI)
Elizabeth is a Human Rights Lawyer at the Women’s Probono Initiative (WPI) in Uganda as a Programs Officer in charge of research and knowledge management. She works to amplify voices of vulnerable women and does sensitization to ensure that domestic workers, sexual assault victims, victims of human trafficking, women with mental health disabilities know their rights and the right procedures for reporting cases. She has represented WPI in Women at Work campaigns and is currently involved in litigation of various women’s rights Public Interest Cases. Previously, Liz worked as a legal Assistant leading mediation procedures, interviewing clients, conducting legal research and general court correspondences.
Beatrice Kayaga | Uganda
Women’s Probono Initiative (WPI)
Beatrice is a Human Rights lawyer at the Women’s Probono Initiative in Uganda leading advocacy on impact litigation of indigent women and girls. She has undertaken various investigations into human rights abuses such as sexual violence faced by persons with mental disabilities in Gulu District. Beatrice has handled cases involving domestic violence, human trafficking, child marriages and sexual violence; and conducted litigation surgeries where lawyers who are like minded agree on issues to litigate and develop an advocacy plan for the litigation. Her interests are Human rights and advocacy especially women’s and children’s rights, activism for marginalized groups, Sexual Reproductive and Health Rights, Economic rights and Conflict resolution.
Turyasingura Constance | Uganda
Uganda Law Society (ULS)
Constance is an Advocate of the High Court of Uganda and works as a Legal Officer within the Legal Aid and Pro-Bono Department at the Uganda Law Society (ULS). Constance holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre and a Bachelor’s degree from Makerere University. She specializes in litigation and policy research; has over 6 years of professional experience working to uphold the rule of law and access to justice; and has extensive expertise in family justice as well as alternative dispute resolution and mediation matters. She is the focal point and contact at the ULS for the Center for Domestic Violence Prevention.
Prisca Chogero | Zanzibar, Tanzania
Center for Strategic Litigation (CSL)
Prisca is an advocate of the High Court of Tanzania and Courts subordinate thereto except Primary Court. Prisca is the Program Manager – Litigation, at the Center for Strategic Litigation. She has over 8 years of experience in legal practice and is an accomplished Advocate who has successfully litigated civil and criminal cases in Tanzania. She has two years’ experience working as a member of the secretariat of a regional human rights body; supporting the work of one of its committees and engaging with Civil Societies. Prisca has worked in private practice involved in litigation and arbitration with special interest in public interest litigation.
Kumvana Mlumbe | Malawi
The Women’s Legal Resources Centre (WOLREC)
Kumvana is Human rights lawyer and an in-house Counsel at Women’s Legal Resources Centre (WOLREC) in Malawi. Kumvana litigates for women who are victims of gender-based violence, illegal land seizure, property and Deceased Estates. Kumvana trains community paralegals to entrench socio-economic empowerment and gender justice within community-level social and governance structures. Kumvana is also responsible for a project working with tea industry smallholder commercial farmers empowering them so they can advocate for better conditions. Kumvana also guest lecturers at the Polytechnic University of Malawi, lecturing a module of Human rights, Welfare & Gender in a final year Physical Planning Course.
Basetsana Koitsioe | South Africa
The Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS)
Basetsana is a human rights lawyer and dedicated activist at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS). She specializes in Gender Justice lawyering focusing on gender-based violence, in particular the trauma and structural violence people face when they are failed by the very systems that are meant to protect. She works on Home, Land and Rural Democracy, focusing on the progressive protection for socio-economic rights, ensuring that these rights are realized by the state; provides legal advice and undertakes litigation on behalf of communities and civil society organisations in line with CALS’s litigation strategy and priorities in order to achieve strategic change and improved practice. Basetsana holds BA degree in Political Science and English Literature and an LLB degree from Witwatersrand University.
Thandeka Patronela Kathi | South Africa
The Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS)
Thandeka is an Attorney at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) focusing on defending environmental and civil and political justice. Her practice upholds the rights of some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people in South Africa. She has worked on strategic litigation which helped to set ground-breaking legal precedents. Thandeka is excited to be a part of the FLN as she believes it will help her to develop knowledge and skills necessary to be a powerful Pan-African Feminist Litigator. Thandeka holds an LLB and Honours degree in Psychology and has worked for the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the Social Justice Coalition and Wits Justice Project.
FLN Partner Organisations
ISLA seeks to work with organisations who understand the long-term vision of the network, appreciate strategic litigation as one of their organisation’s strategic goals, and are committed to holding States and non-state actors accountable for violations on the basis of gender and sexuality. At the end of the pilot phase (2017 – 2020), the FLN had four network partners and eight network partner lawyers in total. These partners were the Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and Aids (KELIN) and the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) in Kenya; and the Human Rights and Awareness Promotion Forum (HRAPF) and Chapter Four in Uganda.
ISLA is pleased to welcome to the FLN Phase Two 2020 – 2023 organisations in our Anglophone countries of focus located in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa and Malawi.
Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and Aids (KELIN) joins the network as a core network partner with one network lawyer, Valentine Nyokabi Njogu. KELIN is an independent Kenyan civil society organization working to protect and promote health-related human rights in Kenya. They do this by: Advocating for integration of human rights principles in laws, policies and administrative frameworks; facilitating access to justice in respect to violation of health-related rights; training professionals & communities on rights-based approaches and initiating and participating in strategic partnerships to realize the right to health, nationally, regionally and globally. KELIN has been a core network partner since 2017, where they had 3 network partner lawyers in the pilot phase.
The Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) is a national feminist organization driving change for equal societies in Kenya. CREAW envisions a just society where women and girls enjoy full rights and live in dignity. CREAW believes in the equality of rights, with empowerment and justice made available for every woman and girl. CREAW stands for, ensuring women and girls have Power, Voice and Agency. They were part of network in the pilot phase as associate network partners with two network lawyers who have since transitioned to full-time strategic litigation positions as transitional network partner lawyers. Two additional lawyers will be part of the network in the second phase of the partnership: Isabella Mwangi, and Elsie Milimu. The FLN also continues to support two of CREAW’s Associate Network Partner lawyers who are alumni of the First Phase of the FLN. With support from the FLN, Beatrice Njeri and Winfred Odali have transitioned to full-time strategic litigation positions at CREAW.
Katiba Institute is a Kenya-based constitutional research, policy and litigation institute established to promote the implementation of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and further a culture of constitutionalism in Kenya. Katiba institute joins the network as core network partners, joined by two network partner lawyers: Emily Kinama and Ruth Nyaberi.
Women’s Link Worldwide (WLW) is a non-governmental organization duly organized under the laws of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, with the stated mission to use the power of the law to promote social change that advances the human rights of women and girls, especially those facing multiple inequalities. In its 20 years of existence WLW has promoted access to justice for women and respect for women’s rights through Strategic Impact Litigation, women’s rights monitoring, advocacy strategies, education, workshops and partnership building. WLW joins the network as an associate network partner, joined by one network lawyer: Achieng Orero
FIDA-Kenya is the premier women’s rights organization in Kenya. It is a non-profit, non-partisan and non-governmental membership organization with over 1,100 women lawyers and law students. FIDA-Kenya is committed to the creation of a society that is free of all forms of discrimination against women. In its 35 years of existence FIDA-Kenya has promoted access to justice for women and respect for women’s rights through provision of legal aid, Strategic Impact Litigation, women’s rights monitoring, advocacy, education and referral. FIDA Kenya is an associate network partner with two network partner lawyers: Janet P. Onyango and Vivian Mwende.
Women’s Pro bono Initiative (WPI) is a registered woman led Non-Government Organisation promoting a Uganda Free of violence and discrimination against women and girls. WPI uses legal tools to promote access to justice for the most vulnerable women and girls. Their Programs include Legal representation (Pro bono and strategic/impact litigations), Legal empowerment of communities, Research and Knowledge sharing to inform advocacy initiatives they engage in. WPI has legal practice exposure and has engaged in impact litigations on women’s rights in Uganda having handled cases on gender based violence, sexual reproductive rights of women with mental health disabilities and sexual violence at the work place. WPI joins the network as an associate network partner with two network partner lawyers: Elizabeth Achola and Beatrice Kayaga.
The Uganda Law Society (ULS) is the national bar association in Uganda established in 1956 by the Uganda Law Society Act Cap 276. The ULS is among other objectives enjoined to protect and assist the public of Uganda in all matters touching, ancillary/incidental to the law; to assist the Government and the Courts in all matters affecting legislation and administration and practice of law in Uganda; and to maintain and improve the standards of conduct and learning of the legal profession in Uganda. The ULS is guided by Strategic Objective 2 and 3 of her Strategic Plan 2017-2021 to promote access to justice for the indigent, vulnerable and marginalized persons; and to promote the rule of law and human rights protection. It is under these objectives that the ULS undertakes strategic litigation. The ULS is an associate network partner, joining the FLN with one network partner lawyer: Turyasingura Constance.
Center for Strategic Litigation (CSL) joins the network as an associate network partner, with one lawyer, Prisca Chogero, joining the network. CSL is a Tanzania- based non-profit that seeks to advance the vision of a just, tolerant, vibrant and inclusive democracy grounded on respect for the Rule of Law and justice for all. CSL uses the law to encourage citizen agency in advancing democracy through strategic litigation, public education, petitioning, research, legal and judicial reviews as well as strategic use of media especially online media. Founded in 2018 CSL was formed in response to growing threats to rule of law, expressive freedoms and the sanctity of the constitution in Tanzania. Due to the ongoing onslaught on civil society with the enactment of the Written Laws (Miscellaneous Amendment) Act no 3 (2019), the organization seeks alternative registration in the semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar in September 2019
The Women’s Legal Resources Centre (WOLREC) is a women’s rights NGO whose mission is to facilitate increased access to legal, social political and economic justice for all females in Malawi. WOLREC believes in respect of human rights and empowerment of vulnerable groups, especially females. WOLREC works to promote and safeguard the social, political, legal and economic development for all female Malawians by ensuring that the marginalized equally participate in all spheres. WOLREC joins the network as an associate network partner, with one lawyer, Kumvana Mlumbe, joining the network.
The Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) joins the network as an associate network partner with two network partner years: Basetsana Koitsioe and Thandeka Patronela Kathi. CALS is a civil society organisation based at the School of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand. CALS is also a law clinic, registered with the South African Legal Practice Council. As such, CALS connects the worlds of academia and social justice. CALS’ vision is a socially, economically and politically just society where repositories of power, including the state and the private sector, uphold human rights and historically marginalised people are able to able to assert their rights.
Voix des Femmes is a Burkinabe non-governmental organisation that was created in 2000 and is based in Ouagadougou. Voix de Femmes is a women’s rights organisation with the vision of : “a world where women’s rights are known and fully respected by all”. Its mission is to contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of the population in particular, those of women and children, by improving the sexual and reproductive health of Burkinabe women and girls, the development of behaviours favourable to the rights of women and children, the effective application of the legal provisions protecting them, and the fight against violence against women and children (FGM, child marriage). Voix des Femmes joins the network as one of ISLA’s Francophone Afrique’s core network partners with one core network partner lawyer.
GENRE PARITÉ ET LEADERSHIP FÉMININ (GEPALEF) is an independent Ivorian civil society organization working to protect and defend women and girls’ human rights in Côte d’Ivoire. They do this by: Advocating for integration of human rights principles in laws, policies and administrative frameworks; facilitating access to justice in respect to violation of women’s rights based on gender, early marriage, genital mutilations, social and economic rights and empowerment; training professionals & communities on gender equality based approaches and initiating and participating in strategic partnerships to realize the Objectives of GEPALEF, nationally, regionally and globally.
Founded in 2014, the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) is a Pan-African and feminist initiative with a timely remit: to strengthen strategic human rights litigation across the African continent. Essentially, we aim to change the way that strategic litigation is used so as to enable broader access to justice and to support those who seek to hold states accountable for violations of women’s human rights and sexual rights.