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"Knowledge from the region, for the region"
10 Nov

WANA Institute Awarded Clifford Chance 2015 Access to Justice Award

The WANA Institute is honored to announce that leading international law firm Clifford Chance has named the institute as the sixth winner of its annual Access to Justice Award.

As part of the award, WANA will receive a £50,000 donation from the Clifford Chance Foundation and 500 hours of pro bono work. Clifford Chance hopes to actively contribute to WANA's goal of working towards creating a force for change in the West Asia and North Africa region, by looking to progress development using the rule of law and social justice. 

Roger Leese, pro bono partner at Clifford Chance said, "At the heart of Clifford Chance is our commitment to access to justice. After five successful years, we have seen the pro bono hours and resources awarded by Clifford Chance make a big contribution to important causes. This year, yet again, we heard from a number of organisations doing incredible work across many challenging areas. WANA Institute is a worthy winner of our 2015 Access to Justice Award. We look forward to working with Erica and the organisation to support WANA's fantastic work.'

Erica Harper, WANA's Executive Director, commented "In much of the region, the justice system does not afford equal opportunity and legal protection to women. Such exclusion from the justice system is harmful and has proven negative implications for economic growth, livelihoods, social equity and stability. The funding and pro-bono staff hours provided through the Access to Justice Award will allow the WANA Institute to further the work that it has been doing in regards to women’s legal empowerment. Our work in this area has involved the piloting of innovative change patterns, including combining legislative reform with training for lawyers and judges and raising the awareness of women’s legal empowerment through mediums that correspond with their everyday lives in the region. We’re honoured to be working with Clifford Chance to expand this project, which we believe will result in civil society practitioners and religious leaders becoming more committed to women’s legal rights.”

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty and one of the judges, said "At a time when access to justice in the UK is under attack, it has been humbling to learn of so many wonderful organisations striving to make this ideal a reality for some of the most vulnerable people on the planet. It was an honour to take part in the judging process and the WANA Institute is a truly deserving winner, working tirelessly to reform a region defined by conflict through social justice and educational empowerment.”

Clifford Chance has previously worked with WANA, at the start of the year, on a 6 month training initiative. The project involved Clifford Chance funding an educational programme aimed at empowering civil society legal practitioners with the knowledge, skills and tools to more effectively uphold women’s rights.

The organisations shortlisted for the award focused on a variety of areas including combating discrimination, ending violence against women, labour exploitation, human rights protection and human trafficking. A group of independent, external and internal judges helped to select the winner, looking for not-for-profit organisations that help individuals, groups or communities preserve or secure their rights to the basic necessities of life.

Read more about the Access to Justice Award on Clifford Chance's website

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