Capacity Building in Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law
Masters, PhD and Research Program for Capacity Building in the Field of Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law at Law Faculties in Southern and Eastern Africa. The overall aim is to strengthen teaching and research capacity in the intersecting fields of women’s law, equality and anti-discrimination law and socio-economic rights.
From a seminar on sexual harassment at the University of Zimbabwe in 2017. Foto: Signe Breivik, Norad.
About the project
The project, which is funded by the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED), facilitates capacity building at law faculties in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya and Norway.
The overall aim is to strengthen teaching and research capacity in the intersecting fields of women’s law, equality and anti-discrimination law and socio-economic rights.
The project is a long standing cooperation, that started in 2014 and runs out in 2020, between the Institute of Women’s Law, Child Law, Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law at the University of Oslo and the Southern and Eastern African Regional Center of Women’s Law (SEARCWL) at the University of Zimbabwe.
The title of the project is: “Masters, PhD and research programme for capacity building in law faculties to mainstream gender, non-discrimination, human rights and socio-economic rights frameworks and analysis into the application and administration of the law”.
The project involves cooperation in curriculum development, teaching and research between the University of Oslo, Chancellor College University of Malawi, School of Law University of Nairobi Kenya, University of Zambia (UNZA) and Faculty of Law, University of Zimbabwe.
The project is coordinated by SEARCW, Professor Julie Stewart.
Norwegian project coordinator is professor Anne Hellum, UiO.
Extending SEARCWL’s Master and PhD progammes to staff development
The NORHED program supports SEARCWL’s master’s and PhD programme which is conducted in cooperation with the Institute of Women’s Law at UiO. To promote capacity building in institutions of higher legal education, SEARCWL’s Master and PhD program has been revised and extended to staff development in the field of gender and law, equality and anti-discrimination law and relevant social and economic rights. It has availed doctoral, postdoctoral fellows and staff under the partnership with annual opportunities for training in research methodology, sharing experiences and information, and peer learning
University of Oslo staff has taught the following course modules at SEARCWL’s Master Programme
- Equality and anti-discrimination law: Professor Anne Hellum
- Social and economic rights: Professor Ingunn Ikdahl
- Disability rights: Professor Aslak Syse
- Child rights: Professor Kirsten Sandberg
University of Oslo by professor Anne Hellum has been part of the Programme’s yearly PhD and staff development seminars arranged by SEARCWL
Undergraduate and postgraduate law curricula have been reviewed with a view to whether and how a gender perspective, the right to equality and protection against discrimination and relevant social and economic rights have been included.
New courses and new perspectives
New, obligatory courses on human rights, gender and the law, and equality and anti discrimination law have been introduced at the four African partner universities. For instance, The Faculty of Law at the University of Malawi has made gender and the law a compulsory course. Nairobi has pioneered in making equality and anti-discrimination law a compulsory course along with requiring the adoption of gender perspectives in other obligatory courses like property law. The School of Law at the university of Zambia has changed both undergraduate and postgraduate curricula. All undergraduate courses now include gender issues in the objectives, the context and topics.
Strengthened gender mainstreaming strategy at UiO
In this long-running institutional cooperation in engendering legal education, learning has not flowed only from the North to the South. The rapid process of gender mainstreaming that was taking place at the cooperating law faculties in southern and eastern Africa, was an eye opener and source of inspiration for the Faculty of law at University of Oslo's new strategy to integrate a gender perspective in all obligatory courses.
Promotion of staff
Staff has through post doc stipends in the field of equality and anti-discrimination law been promoted.Professor Patrica Kameri-Mbote has, on the basis of her research, been granted the University of Nairobi’s highest academic degree.
NORHED II scholars, appointments
Recently appointed judges in Malawi with a Master’s degree in Women’s Law from SEARCWL: Anneline Kanthambi, Violet Chipao and Charlotte Wezi Malonda.
Production of new knowledge
Publication of journal articles and edited books building the stock of knowledge as well as providing the required materials for teaching has taken place:
- Ellah Siang'andu (NORHED post doc fellow at UNZA) and Jeremy Sarkin. Africa’s Role and Contribution to International Criminal Justice, Intersentia 2020
- Mbote, Hellum, Stewart, Kanyongolo og Mulela (2019). Engendering and decolonising legal education: South - South and South - North Cooperation, in Halvorsen, Skare Orgeret and Krøvel (eds), Sharing Knowledge, Transforming Societies: The Norhed Programme. Cape Town: African Minds (published as open access article in October 2019).
- Special Issue on Gender, Equality and Non-Discrimination, East African Law Journal, School of Law, University of Nairobi (2018)
- Hellum, Anne; Ikdahl, Ingunn & Kameri-Mbote, Patricia (2015). Turning the Tide: Engendering the Human Right to Water and Sanitation, In Anne Hellum; Patricia Kameri-Mbote & Barbara van Koppen (ed.), Water is Life - Women's human rights in national and local water governance in Southern and Eastern Africa. Weaver Press.
- Hellum, Anne; Kameri-Mbote, Patricia & van Koppen, Barbara (2015). The Human Right to Water and Sanitation in a Legal Pluralist Landscape: Perspectives of Southern and Eastern African Women, In Anne Hellum; Patricia Kameri-Mbote & Barbara van Koppen (ed.), Water is Life - Women's human rights in national and local water governance in Southern and Eastern Africa. Weaver Press.
- Regional Program Coordinator: Professor Julie Stewart, SEARCWL, University of Zimbabwe
- Norwegian Program Coordinator: Professor Anne Hellum, University of Oslo
- Kenyan Program Coordinator: Professor Patricia Kameri-Mbote, University of Nairobi
- Malawian Program Coordinator: Professor Ngeyi Kanyongolo, University of Malawi
- Zambian Program Coordinator: Professor Margaret Mulela, University of Zambia