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Since the incep­tion of the LRC in 1979, women’s rights has played an inte­gral role in our pur­suit of social jus­tice. The pri­mary objec­tive is to ensure sub­stan­tive equal­ity for all women in South Africa through the alle­vi­a­tion of poverty and inequal­ity. The focus areas include:

  • gender-based vio­lence
  • harass­ment
  • dis­crim­i­na­tion
  • equal­ity in the work­place
  • cus­tom­ary and reli­gious laws
  • access to land and hous­ing

The LRC seeks cre­ative and effec­tive solu­tions to achieve its aims. These include using a range of strate­gies includ­ing impact lit­i­ga­tion, law reform ini­tia­tives, par­tic­i­pa­tion in devel­op­ment processes, edu­ca­tion and net­work­ing within and out­side of South Africa. Through strate­gic lit­i­ga­tion, the LRC has been instru­men­tal in devel­op­ing a strong jurispru­dence of sub­stan­tive gen­der equal­ity.

Among many oth­ers, the LRC was involved in the fol­low­ing key court deci­sions:

The LRC rep­re­sented par­ties in the Con­sti­tu­tional Court deci­sions in Shibi and Bhe, where the Court sus­pended cus­tom­ary law rules of male pri­mo­gen­i­ture until such time as Par­lia­ment could redress them. In the Kam­bule case, the LRC obtained a judg­ment, which pro­vided that a cus­tom­ary law mar­riage, though not reg­is­tered under the Transkei Mar­riages Act, was still valid, help­ing to ensure legal ben­e­fits for the sur­viv­ing spouse. In a more recent case Shilubana, the LRC rep­re­sented the amici in a land­mark judg­ment in which the Con­sti­tu­tional Court ruled that the devel­op­ment of liv­ing cus­tom­ary law by tra­di­tional author­i­ties in accor­dance with the con­sti­tu­tional right to equal­ity was valid and thus a woman can be a tra­di­tional chief.

Engel­brecht, the LRC assisted the Cen­tre for Applied Legal Stud­ies (CALS) as ami­cus con­cern­ing the effects of ‘Bat­tered Woman Syn­drome’ on vic­tims of domes­tic vio­lence.

Although sig­nif­i­cant gains have been made over the past few years, sub­stan­tial gen­der inequal­i­ties remain. The LRC will there­fore con­tinue to empower women by pro­vid­ing free legal advice and, if nec­es­sary, effec­tive legal rep­re­sen­ta­tion.






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National Offices

Tel: +27 11 836 9831
Email: info@lrc.org.za

Address: 15th and 16th Floor, Bram Fis­cher Tow­ers,
20 Albert Street, Mar­shall­town, Johan­nes­burg
PO Box 9495, Johan­nes­burg 2000

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