International Federation of Women Lawyers
|Purpose||To promote legal professionalism|
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (IFWL), in Spanish Federacion Internacional de Abogadas (FIDA), is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) that enhances the status of women and children by providing legal aid, legal literacy and education programs, and through advocacy, law reform, research and publications.
History and activities
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (created in 1944) should not be confused with the International Federation of Female Lawyers and Judges (or Fédération internationale des femmes magistrats et avocats) founded in 1928 in Paris. According to the organization's history, 60 années d'histoire de la fédération international des femmes des carrières juridiques (Melun: FIFCJ, 1989), the federation was created by Vera Poska-Grünthal (Estonia), Clara Campoamor (Spain), Marcelle Kraemer-Bach (France), Agathe Dyvrande-Thévenin (France), and Margarete Berent (Germany). (Later sources say that Spanish politician and feminist lawyer Clara Campoamor and three other lawyers founded an earlier organization called the International Federation of Women Lawyers in Paris in 1928.)
The Federacion Internacional de Abogadas was established in 1944 in Mexico City. It obtained United Nations Consultative status in 1954. It works with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). FIDA publishes La Abogada Newsletter four times a year in Spanish and English, for members only. Every two years FIDA publishes La Abogada Internacional in English, French and Spanish.
In 2011 UNESCO said of the organization: "The quality of the work of the IFWL, a professional organization whose geographical extension is fair and representativeness relatively balanced, is undoubted. Admitted to Category C in 1961, it has co-operated with UNESCO since 1953 in the context of the consultative arrangements. It received a financial contribution from UNESCO for organizing the international congress of lawyers (1989). Its co-operation with UNESCO, which is operational in nature, has slackened in the last few years. It might consider drawing closer to NGOs that operate in similar fields."
As of 2011 there were affiliated organizations and individuals in 73 countries:
- Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Togo
- Argentina, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, United States of America, Venezuela
- Bangladesh, Hong Kong/China, India, Indonesia, Iran - Islamic Republic of, Israel, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan/China, Thailand
- Australia, New Zealand
- Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
FIDA Ghana was founded in 1974. The association set up the first legal aid program in Ghana in 1985, mainly targeting indigent women and children. To help people understand the law, FIDA Ghana has developed booklets that present some of the existing laws affecting the status of women and children in simple English, and in translations into the Dagbani, Ewe, Ga, and Akan languages.
FIDA Kenya was formed in 1985 after the third United Nations World Conference on Women, which was held in Nairobi. FIDA Kenya was affiliated to the Federation International De Abogadas until 1993. As of 2011 FIDA Kenya had over 600 members. FIDA Kenya prepared a "shadow report" on the Kenyan Government's 2007 report on the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The report questioned the accuracy of the government's report and raised concerns about lack of government commitment to the advancement of women.
FIDA-Nigeria was founded in May 1982 to promote the welfare of women and children and remove harmful laws. It provides free legal services to women and children, provides education and publications to help explain the law, and runs seminars, workshops and conferences.
Pamphlets cover subjects such as juvenile delinquency, rights of women, forced and early marriages and the effects of female circumcision.
- "International Federation of Women Lawyers". Global Hand. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
- FIFCJ (1989). Fédération internationale des femmes des carrières juridiques. 60 années d'histoire. Melun: FIFCJ.
- Janet Pérez, Maureen Ihrie (2002). The Feminist Encyclopedia of Spanish Literature: A-M. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 95. ISBN 0-313-32444-1.
- "Who we are?". International Federation of Women Lawyers. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
- "International Federation of Women Lawyers". UNESCO. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
- "International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Ghana". Friends of the United Nations. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
- "About FIDA". FIDA Kenya. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
- "A SHADOW REPORT TO THE 5TH AND 6TH COMBINED REPORT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA, ON THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN (CEDAW)" (PDF). FIDA Kenya. 23 July – 10 August 2007. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
- "International Federation of Women Lawyers - Nigeria (FIDA)". Wiser Earth. Retrieved 2011-09-27.