Women Legal Aid Centre (WLAC) is a non-profit NGO that works to empower women to attain their rights and to improve vulnerable population’s access to justice across Tanzania.
The provision of accessible, high quality legal aid services to vulnerable women and children is at the core of WLAC’s mandate. Women and children are disproportionately affected by poverty, and WLAC’s provision of legal services addresses this directly by enabling them to have access to land and economic opportunities that they are routinely denied due to discriminatory cultural practices and values.
The most common types of cases brought to WLAC are matrimonial, land and inheritance; however, WLAC’s capable legal staff and volunteers are equipped to handle a wide range of legal issues. Many of these have included refugee, child maintenance, child custody, labour, rape, insurance, and defamation, to name a few. WLAC provides reconciliation, client coaching, case follow-up, in-court representation, document drafting services, and legal and human rights education. In addition to our head office in Kinondoni and our field offices in Kasulu, Muleba, and Kibondo, these legal services are delivered through a variety of channels – including mobile legal aid clinics, the Children in Conflict with the Law program, and our toll-free hotline.
Advocacy and Networking
WLAC’s believes that by networking and collaborating with likeminded organizations, it can strengthen its capacity to improve women and children’s access to justice and strengthen gender equality in Tanzania. For this reason, WLAC’s strategic aim to lobby and advocate for desirable changes in policies and practices pertaining to women and children’s rights informs a great deal of the organization’s activities.
Paralegal, Training and Outreach
Due to a growing demand for legal services and awareness across Tanzania, WLAC offers a variety of programs to provide both legal professionals and members of the community with capacity training and learning opportunities. WLAC believes paralegals play a fundamental role in grassroots advocacy and are every bit as important as lawyers – offering citizens living in remote areas invaluable access to legal services. Through WLAC’s training, paralegals are taught to perform substantive legal work – they help prepare cases for trial, perform research, assist with depositions and obtain affidavits. Additionally, WLAC trains paralegals and delivers refresher trainings on file management, report writing, project monitoring and evaluation, and recordkeeping, provides training on land matters, women’s rights, and human trafficking for community leaders, and informs legal officers and volunteers on the standards for the provision of legal aid and legal aid referrals.