Call for Applications: Peer Support Programme for Women Lawyers in sub-Saharan Africa
One-to-One Peer Support, October 2022 to October 2023
Media Defence is calling for applications from women lawyers based in sub-Saharan Africa to participate in a peer support programme, which is aimed at women lawyers with demonstrated interest in digital rights, as well as in independent peer learning and peer support with fellow women lawyers. The peer support programme will be the first such initiative within our new project Empowering Women in Digital Rights Advocacy. Media Defence aims to provide a platform for newly trained women lawyers to build their expertise and confidence, and to receive support on various issues relevant to women lawyers. At the same time, the peer support programme shall allow more experienced women lawyers to contribute to developing a strong professional network and to increase their competence and confidence by offering guidance to their peers.
The peer support programme will be designed as a one-to-one programme – one experienced lawyer will be matched with a newly trained lawyer taking into account their interests and backgrounds. Successful applicants will be matched and commit to meeting with their partner once a month online over a course of 12 months from October 2022 to October 2023. Participants will become active members of our Media Defence network, which will provide further opportunities for engagement regionally and internationally to develop a sustainable network of women lawyers.
Participants will meet independently and the peer support sessions will not be monitored or supervised by Media Defence. Therefore, Media Defence will not carry any responsibility for the content and quality of the programme. However, all participants will be invited to quarterly know-how events offered by Media Defence’s in-house legal team to get additional information and to make the programme more interactive.
Peer Support Objectives
Media Defence provides legal support to journalists, bloggers and independent media and aims to contribute to building and promoting a strong network of lawyers. In this context, the peer support programme shall offer a platform to women lawyers in sub-Saharan Africa to discuss relevant topics independently and to build connections.
The objectives of this peer support programme are:
- To offer a platform to independently discuss legal and personal challenges which are particularly relevant to women journalists and lawyers, such as professional growth and network, career and experience in litigating relevant cases;
- To build a digital rights network of women lawyers;
- To support and develop working relationships amongst women lawyers who are interested in digital rights and freedom of expression online
Media Defence will aim to contribute in building a strong network by hosting quarterly know-how events where all participants come together and have discussions as a group of women lawyers. However, Media Defence is not responsible for the content of the one-to-one sessions. We will only provide participants with monthly prompts and leading questions which can be discussed.
Criteria for Eligibility
Participants will be selected on the following criteria:
- The peer support programme is open to women lawyers who work and reside in sub-Saharan Africa;
- Applicants must have a demonstrated interest in and/or knowledge of freedom of expression, digital rights, internet freedom and/or related issues;
- Previous attendance at one of Media Defence’s litigation surgeries;
- Applicants must be proficient in English;
- The women lawyers can either be working in private practice or be working for or be affiliated with NGOs promoting the right to freedom of expression in East Africa through litigation. Exceptionally strong applications from lawyers who have not yet undertaken freedom of expression work, but have experience litigating other human rights cases and have a strong interest in undertaking freedom of expression work will be considered as well;
- Potential for future collaboration with Media Defence; and,
- Commitment to the continued engagement with the network of digital rights lawyers in the region.
A maximum of 24 participants will be selected. Media Defence is committed to equality and diversity and will therefore consider gender, age and country of origin in the selection of participants. Due to gender disparity in previous events and programmes, this event is exclusively for women lawyers.
Deadline:30 September 2022