Colani Hlatjwako, the National Director of Women and Law Southern Africa-Swaziland (WLSA) and Africa’s Regional Coordinator for the One Billion Rising Campaign was recognized by the International Human Rights Law Society (IHRLS) at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School for working to protect the rights of women and girl in Swaziland on April 2nd 2016.
WLSA’s mandate in Swaziland is to contribute to the socio-economic, political, and legal advancement as well as protection of women and girls. This is achieved through strategic action research in the socio-legal field, lobbying advocacy for legal reforms, policy changes, laws (including Swazi law and custom) and practices which discriminate and disadvantage women and girls. WLSA also works with women and girls’ groups to empower them to have access to information about their rights and to use it in asserting these rights, including in the relevant structures of the justice delivery system.
This award belongs not only to WLSA but everyone who has worked tirelessly to contribute to the mission and vision of the organization. One of the reasons that WLSA was recognized for this award is due to its involvement with the 0ne Billion Rising Campaign which aims to eradicate violence against women and girls; where a number of campaigns aimed at raising the voices of marginalized women and girls in Swaziland were conducted. Through the One Billion campaign, Colani has organized the biggest marches in Swaziland to end abuse and violence against women and girls and campaigns against child marriage.
In addition to receiving this prestigious award, the student organization hosted a fundraising dinner to benefit WLSA. Part of the donation is currently being used to cover expenses related to the proposal of legislation and advocacy to eradicate child marriage.