Access to Justice in the Covid-19 Era: Women, girls and Justice

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It is nearly a year since the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic. This has not only revealed challenges women and girls are experiencing through the social, economic, political and cultural structures, it is also revealing the need to strengthen the justice sector which is not an exception. These Persisting challenges and inequalities continue to contribute to unequal access to justice for women and girls in the times of Covid-19
It’s 8th March 2021, the day that every country, women, men and boys are proud of, yes, it is Women’s Day! Instead of celebrating decades of hard work towards attaining equality, women and girls still face gender-based violence, sexual violence, unequal economic opportunities, land grabbing among other injustices. Despite these challenges and inequalities, Legal empowerment is still a challenge in creating a culture of human rights and justice.
I join the world to celebrate this year as I Choose to Challenge gender, stereotypes and patriarchal laws that limit women and girls access to justice.
I choose to challenge injustices, inequalities and take on the mantle in a male dominated profession as a female lawyer, as a female community paralegal.
I choose to help the minorities and marginalized groups to access social, political and economic justice.
I choose to particularly stand strongly for girls, children, women, orphans and widows and help them realize their inherent rights and dignity to overcome injustices because I believe women and girls have an inherent right to equal opportunities.
I choose to educate and empower more women and girls to join the legal fraternity and take on these spaces so that we have more representation to advance access to justice for women and girls. This aspiration and choice make me believe more strongly that as women and girls we need each other intellectually, physically and emotionally if we are to achieve gender equality and ensure no one is left behind.
I choose to promote a culture of justice because together we can make a difference in our work;
I choose not to keep silent in the face of repressive actions because this is a partisan act which goes against my value of integrity.
As we celebrate this international women’s day march 8th 2021, I choose to challenge the culture of injustices and I hope we can start to meaningfully reconstruct the world, Africa and Uganda as a whole, and reclaim the Ubuntu philosophy that once existed in our ancestor’s societies.
I choose to say no to Injustices because who we are is defined by what we are willing to struggle for. Today is not a day of celebration or a holiday because it’s a day of struggle and endurance! It breaks my heart to see the continuous injustices and discrimination suffered by the women, children and girls in society today particularly in the current times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Let us continue together in the struggle to build a culture of human rights and justice #Ubuntu
Author
Amony Laureen Odwe
Volunteer – FIRD – Legal Department