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2009 Women's Rights Prize

Women's Legal Centre

Laureate Profile

Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) is a nonprofit law center based in South Africa that seeks to incorporate a rights-based system into African culture. Founded in 1998, it has successfully challenged longstanding legal and cultural restrictions on women’s rights, including those involving primogeniture, intestate succession in monogamous and polygynous marriages, spousal liability for damages in an auto accident, loss of support following the death of a spouse in a polygynous marriage, and damage claims by a survivor of child abuse. WLC has helped to place stricter obligations on employers regarding the elimination of sexual harassment from the workplace, made significant progress in developing the state’s duty to enforce a woman’s right to be free from violence, and helped successfully defend legal challenges to the right to reproductive healthcare.