First, tell us about the Women’s Probono Initiative?
The Women’s Probono Initiative is a civil society organisation founded in July 2018 to advance access to justice for women and girls through awareness creation, legal representation, research and knowledge sharing.
What informed your decision to found this organisation?
I am a first born child from a family of eight. Seven girls and one boy. I have grown up in a (patriarchal) system and seen how girls are treated. My mom, for instance, kept having kids just because the community kept piling pressure on her to get a boy who would inherit the family estate and keep my father’s name. My mother is a secondary school teacher and she has told me she wanted to have four children. So we grew up knowing that we the girls are actually not enough. I soon realized that the exclusion is ingrained in the system, tradition and in our families. When I got into law school, I realized that the laws have tremendously changed but the practice has not. Our legal system was founded by men; the laws are created by men because not too many women are in the boardrooms when these laws are being written. But also the people enforcing these laws are men; so you often find that the issues that are specific to women are not incorporated in the legal system.So you find that many aspects of the criminal justice system do not have reasonable accommodation for issues specific to women and this is more apparent when it comes to issues of sexual violence. So I decided to found the Women’s Probono Initiative to represent women and girls. But we also thought we could start a discussion on these kinds of issues.