LEWUTI is focused on equipping women, especially the vulnerable and underserved, with knowledge and skills regarding their rights.
LEWUTI is focused on using digital means to equip women, especially the vulnerable and underserved, with knowledge and skills regarding their rights. BarefootLaw uses a combination of approaches including technology, audio-visual and traditional means to provide legal knowledge and assistance to women, both in rural and urban areas. The first initiative under LEWUTI was the Women’s Property Rights Initiative (WPRI) which was executed in partnership with Kubere Information Centre under Women of Ugandan Network (WOUGNET) and Teso Women Peace Activists (TEWPA) and focused on providing legal knowledge and assistance to women, both in rural and urban areas about their property rights.
LEWUTI is currently being implemented as a project in Northern Uganda, Gulu district, in partnership with Avocats Sans Frontieres (ASF), and funded by Enabel, under the Wehubit project.
Wehubit aims to support and enhance digitalisation as a tool to accelerate sustainable development, increase prosperity, reduce inequalities and empower people and businesses in developing and emerging countries.
The project’s objective is “to increase women’s access to justice through digital solutions for legal empowerment”. Due to several factors, most Ugandans have very limited access to legal services, especially in rural areas. For this reason, the project will mobilize digital solutions to overcome barriers of geography, courts’ coverage, knowledge and cost.
Access to legal assistance, information and guidance continues to be a major challenge to women in Uganda embroiled in legal dilemma ranging from land disputes, inheritance disputes, domestic disputes and numerous other socio-legal concerns.
Under the project, women will access tailored first-line legal support and information through SMS and Interactive Voice Response platforms. The use of digital solutions not only overcomes the barriers in physical reach to remote areas, it also solves language issues and allows women to access information in “safe spaces”.
The project works closely with community-based structures such as Local Councils and cultural leaders which are the first step in the access to justice journey in Uganda. From there, the environment of dispute resolution will develop its gender-sensitivity through the promotion of a rights-based approach and the standardisation of practices.
This has resulted in:
- Increased awareness of women to women’s property rights and their enforceability
- Decrease in the abuse of women’s rights
- Enforcement of the law, especially in regard to violation of women’s rights
- Creation of synergies amongst women and property rights organisations
- Increase in channels for the dissemination of supporting legal information;
- Empowerment of women to pursue and enforce their property rights through self-representation;
- An information technology platform through which women and members of the general public can get responses to a range of legal questions and concerns.
- A referral system through which women requiring further assistance on property rights can be assisted.