Free Legal Aid Clinic


A group of Soroptimist Associates which transitioned into The Proposed Soroptimist Club Esperance which then became Soroptimist International Esperance, facilitated a free Legal Aid Clinic placing emphasis on legal issues which disproportionately affect women.

The session was held at the Esperance Regional Complex recently. The program included a presentation aimed at creating awareness of Soroptimism.

Free Legal Aid Project

 

The programme focused on areas of law such as cohabitational relationships, wills and probate and property ownership. Participants were then afforded one on one consultations with lawyers who contributed their time to the cause. 

Women, particularly those who live in rural communities, have been traditionally disadvantaged with respect to the distribution of assets, due to:

1) lack of education and information,

2) cultural biases,

2) slow pace of justice 

4) the lack of financial resources to access sound legal advice.

The end result is the unequal distribution of wealth between men and women. The clinic was created to dispel misinformation and lack of information on legal matters.

 

Soroptimist Jayanti Lutchmedial addressing common legal issues.

 

These issues were of particular concern of two of the Soroptimist Associates who are lawyers, and the project idea to educate and empower women on legal rights was born. 

Soroptimist Jayanti Lutchmedial discussing a legal issue.

 

The clinic was open to both men and women, as it was also seen as an opportunity to educate men on the need for making provision for the women in their families. 

The legal team L-R. Shastri Parsad, Soroptimist Arnella Laloo, Robert Abdool-Mitchell, Soroptimist Jayanti Lutchmedial, Anushka Ameerali, Ganesh Rampersad.

 

The project involved:

1) Rental of a facility,

2) Sourcing volunteer attorneys,

3) Providing refreshments,

4) Developing Presentation and hand-outs,

5) Setting up on the day of the clinic (AV equipment, refreshments, tables, etc.),

6) Developing and distributing “exit survey”,

7) Acquiring photographer,

8) Preparing media, Facebook, and website information/presentation of the clinic.

The Soroptimist Team.

The Registration Form

The Registration Team


This resulted in women knowing their rights when it comes to inheritance, the division of assets in a divorce, and access to maintenance or alimony for themselves and their children. The clinic also provided estate and property distribution information. This education opportunity provided economic empowerment and will enable a more equitable distribution of resources which is critical to the advancement of women, the achievement of gender equality, and the realization of women’s rights.

Quote from a beneficiary,
“Thank you…I now feel like I can do something for myself and my children.”

Behind the Scenes with the Soroptimists