Legal Services Program
“If I spoke to another abused woman, I would tell her to get help from WJI. I would tell her that she doesn’t have to live with violence in her home. As women, we have rights and nobody should mistreat us. We should get help, and not let this continue to happen.”
María, Legal Services
The Legal Services Program provides free legal services directly to women in need by bringing lawyers and paralegals to their communities and by providing bilingual Mayan-Spanish resources. WJI’s mobile legal outreach ensures that the most marginalized women, who may not be able to leave their homes or communities, can access legal support and counseling. In doing so, WJI greatly expands women’s access to justice.
The Legal Services Program advises clients on a range of legal issues, including domestic violence, property rights, inheritance, and family law. The program focuses on combatting gender-based violence and securing women’s economic rights, through land titling and registration, child support, alimony, and paternity cases. The program works closely with the municipal government, receiving referrals and training key service providers, including the Justice of the Peace and the police.
WJI’s mobile legal outreach ensures that the most marginalized women have access to legal services.
Women’s Rights Education Program
“All my life I have felt pain and suffering, but through WJI, I started to feel better because I was able to speak with others about my problems. For the first time, I understood that I have rights. I learned that I have value.Toda mi vida he sentido dolor y sufrimiento, pero a través de IDM, empecé a sentirme mejor porque fui capaz de hablar con otras acerca de mis problemas. Por primera vez entendí que tengo derechos. Aprendí que tengo valor.”
Teresa, Women’s Rights Education Program Participant
The Women’s Rights Education Program is a six-month legal literacy and empowerment course that educates women on asserting and protecting their rights. Through the program women receive training on issues that affect many of them, including domestic violence, sexual and reproductive rights, and property rights and inheritance. The program provides skill-building workshops, focusing on leadership, decision-making, and communication skills.
By increasing women’s legal literacy and building their leadership capacity, WJI provides participants with the tools to better protect their rights and improve their lives.
Adolescent Girls Program
“In the past, community leaders haven’t paid much attention to child marriage and other problems facing girls in our communities. After participating in WJI’s program, we have realized the importance of addressing these issues and working with our community to end child marriage.”
Lucio, Community Mayor
WJI works with key stakeholders to protect girls and end child marriage in rural Guatemala.
WJI’s Adolescent Girls Program works to prevent early and forced marriage through the implementation of community-based interventions and protection mechanisms. The program improves girls’ knowledge of their rights; transforms local norms that condone child marriage; and ensures parents and community leaders take action to delay early marriage.
Through a yearlong Girls Empowerment, Rights, and Leadership course, WJI teaches girls the skills to assert their rights, delay marriage, and achieve their personal goals. Through workshops with parents on delaying marriage and improving gender equality, WJI works to ensure girls have the support they need in their homes. To ensure a wider and more sustainable impact, WJI works with leaders to develop community action plans to prevent and respond to child marriage.
Community Advocates Program
“I am a woman who is no longer afraid to confront the challenges in my life, in my family, and even in my community. I have discovered myself and know that I have value.”
Angelica, WJI Community Advocate
The Community Advocates Program is a leadership development initiative. WJI selects graduates of its Women’s Rights Education Program to serve in leadership positions in their communities as Community Advocates. Community Advocates participate in a two-year training program that combines comprehensive human rights education with leadership development.
Through the program these women become leaders, women’s rights educators, and mentors to their peers. They multiply WJI’s impact by facilitating workshops in their communities and providing accompaniment to women seeking legal support services from WJI.