is an all-women organisation of lawyers and activists that seeks to educate and empower women as to their legal rights. By offering legal representation, training and advocacy, it addresses the barriers faced by women in accessing justice. GMSP is working with Majlis to train the judiciary, the police, medical officers, child protection committees and other state agencies to respond effectively to victims of domestic and sexual violence.
women and child survivors of violence supported
private, public and community stakeholders trained on legal rights and procedures
For many victims of violence, seeking legal justice can be a scary and difficult prospect. There is the fear of not being believed, the fear of a lengthy and expensive process and the fear of being humiliated by having your private life and character openly scrutinised. Deeply rooted gender bias and discrimination has led to women’s claims often being viewed with suspicion, if not outright hostility, from the community, police and judiciary.
In a landmark case that triggered the anti-rape movement in 1980, judges acquitted policemen in the gang rape of a 16-year-old who was poor, illiterate and belonged to a marginalised community. The ruling was based on the grounds that the lack of marks or injuries on her body indicated consent. Details from her private life were also used to discredit her, thus removing the focus entirely from the violent act that had taken place.
Majlis was established in response to a pressing need for lawyers who could combat entrenched gender bias in the judicial system. Majlis lawyers and activists offer legal representation to women in need across the socio-economic spectrum through litigation, mediation and settlements.
Majlis works to create awareness in the community and among state agencies about rights and best practices. It provides crucial training to judges which it hopes will have a ripple effect on the whole judicial system.
The training explore the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder in cases of domestic and sexual violence. The training provides practical examples and case studies, best practices, standard operating procedures and an attempt to dismantle stereotypes and prejudices.