My engagement with ISLA since its formation, as member of the Advisory Council and resource person for a few of its litigation clinics has been an enriching experience. ISLA methodology of working consistently with a select number of partner organizations during Phase One of their Litigation Institutes provided time and space for the beneficiary organizations to strengthen their knowledge of the thematic areas (women’s land and property rights; violence against women) from a feminist perspective, gain insights into historical and contemporary legal resources both from Africa and the globe, build skills and capacities for strategic litigation and move from theory to practice in women’s human rights litigation. ISLA methodology unlike any other has built-in sustainability from the start as partner organizations are carefully selected and the litigation issues they adopt become part of their overall litigation portfolio.
Participating in different litigation institutes between 2017 to 2019, I have observed ideas become opportunity, spurred by knowledge transform into legal strategy and ultimately lead to action to secure the rights of the most marginalized in Africa. In the short space of its existence, ISLA has built a strong network of feminist lawyers, impacted the lives and rights of women in target countries, but contributed to expanding human rights jurisprudence in Africa. The depth of research and planning that goes into ISLA Litigation Institutes becomes obvious in the vast amount of resources made available not only to the Advisory Panel, but also partner organizations on thematic issues, normative standards and principles; and legal precedents. I commend the indefatigable team at ISLA who work round the clock to build the tools and resources needed to carry out its important work. I had no doubt when I ‘joined’ ISLA, that its ideas were timely, relevant, revolutionary and urgent for the women of Africa. I am proud to associate.