About WLSA

Vision of WLSA Zimbabwe

A society where justice is equitably accessed claimed and enjoyed by women and girls in all spheres of life.

Mission of WLSA

WLSA Zimbabwe is to organize; coordinate and support evidence based interventions that promote and protect women and girl’s rights through legal and policy reform and changes to discriminatory socio-cultural practices.

 WLSA Goal

WLSA goal is to contribute to gender equality and fulfillment of women and girls rights.


 WLSA Zimbabwe is guided by the following values:

  • Ownership
  • Professionalism
  • Accountability and transparency
  • Integrity
  • Solidarity
  • Equal rights and opportunities

Target beneficiary /constituency

Marginalized women and girls are the direct target group for WLSA. We have defined marginalized women and girls as those who are disadvantaged women in rural, peri-urban and urban areas. These are women and girls who:

  • have been left out in development issues
  • are socially, economically, politically and culturally marginalized
  • have limited access to resources which are critical for their survival.
  • have low literacy levels
  • who also suffer multiple jeopardy
  • lack access to information, education and campaign materials on issues that affect them.
  • are infected and affected by HIV and Aids

Secondary beneficiaries include men, boys, Law and Policy makers, Journalists/media, Community leaders/members, civil society and the public in general and communities at large.

Mission related programme areas

  • Gender justice and equality
  • Legal rights education and capacity building
  • Legal aid and support services

HIV/AIDS and women’s economic empowerment are cross cutting themes


  • Action research
  • Advocacy and lobbying
  • Partnerships, collaboration and networking
  • Regional and international linkages
  • Development of models
  • Inclusivity and participation

Organizational development

  •  Strong governance and management
  • Raising the right quality and quantity of funds
  • Human resource development for staff and Board
  • Developing and maintaining strong accountability systems
  • Being a learning organization

Research phases

 Guided by the regional research program, WLSA has to date completed five research phases as follows

  • Laws of Maintenance: 1990 – 1992
  • Laws of Inheritance: 1992 – 1994
  • The Position of Women in the Family – Women’s Access to and Control over Resources: 1994 – 1997
  • Women and the Justice Delivery System – problems and constraints: 1997 – 2001
  • Gender, HIV/Aids and the Law: 2003 – 2006

We have published monographs and booklets on the following;

  • Lobola ( bride price) and its effects on reproductive health rights
  • Women and access to land
  • Venia Magaya inheritance case
  • Human Trafficking and the UN anti trafficking protocol.

Full list and titles of WLSA Zimbabwe publications.  R at the end denotes co-publication with the WLSA Regional office. 

  1. Challenging the status quo: Gender, HIV/Aids and the law in Zimbabwe – A rights based approach ( 2006)
  2. Combating international trafficking in women and children : The 2000 UN protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children through a Zimbabwean lens (2007)
  3. Venia Magaya’s sacrifice : A case of custom gone awry ( 2003)
  4. Lobola: Its implications for women’s reproductive rights in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe R ( 2003)
  5. A critical analysis of women’s access to land in the WLSA countries R ( 2007)
  6. Pregnancy and childbirth: Joy or despair? Women and gender generated reproductive  crimes of violence (2001)
  7. In the shadow of the law: Women and justice delivery in Zimbabwe ( 2000)
  8. Paradigms of exclusion : Women’s access to resources in Zimbabwe ( 1997)
  9. Reconceptualising the family in a changing Southern Africa environment R ( 2001)
  10. Paving a way forward : A review and research primer R ( 1996)
  11. Continuity and change : The family in Zimbabwe ( 1995)
  12. Widowhood, inheritance laws, customs and practices in Southern Africa R ( 1999)
  13. Regional WLSA impact study report R ( 1996)
  14. Inheritance in Zimbabwe : Laws, customs, practices  ( 1992)
  15. Who pays the price? Maintenance law in Zimbabwe ( 1990)
  16. Women and law in Southern Africa R  ( 1987)
  17. Legal situation on women in Southern Africa R ( 1987)
  18. Struggling over scarce resources: Women and maintenance in Southern Africa R ( 1999)
  19. Principles of the law of succession in Zimbabwe: Incorporating a women’s rights perspective(2015)

 Journal  ( once)

  • Property and inheritance rights journal in Zimbabwe : Volume 1, Number 1, 2012

Position papers

  • Harmonization of marriage laws in Zimbabwe  and putative marriages (2013)
  • Alignment of family laws and laws related to inheritance with the new Constitution(2014)

Baseline surveys

  • Baseline study on enhancing women’s  representation and participation at all levels of political structures in Zimbabwe ( 2010)
  • Baseline survey on enhancing gender equality through effective property and inheritance rights


  • Strengthening the legal framework to enhance women’s access to property and inheritance rights in the context of HIV/Aids ( 2011)
  • Creating a conducive legal and policy environment for women in mining in Zimbabwe ( 2011)
  • Amplifying the voice of women in politics and decision making in Zimbabwe ( 2011)


  • Gender guide

Manuals and handbooks

  • The Wills and Inheritance laws program training manual for the communication campaign
  • Paralegal handbook for community based paralegal program, Manicaland , Zimbabwe Volumes 1 and 2
  • Peer educators inheritance laws handbook
  • Resource book and training manual on domestic violence in Zimbabwe
  • Training module for traditional court officials and paralegals on gender equality with a focus on GBV

In phase 6, 2003 -2006 WLSA focused on human trafficking, which is a form of violence against women.

Past and current Campaigns

 Redlight campaign on human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and girls:  (2006 -2010) This campaign aimed at raising awareness on human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls in relation to the World Cup 2010 held in South Africa in July 2010 and beyond 2010.  

 Priority areas

 For the years 2014 -2018 WLSA will focus on the following women’s human rights and gender equality priority areas as informed by the strategic plan

  • Action research on issues of law and gender
  • Gender auditing
  • Monitoring of courts and court decisions
  • Development of model legislation
  • Shadow reporting
  • Linking with institutions supporting democracy such as the Gender Commission
  • Enhancing women’s access to justice
  • Enhancing gender equality and gender mainstreaming including capacity building
  • Gender based violence – To include human trafficking
  • Democracy and women’s participation in politics and decision making including elections and electoral processes
  • Land, property and inheritance rights
  • Engendering the extractive industry especially women in mining
  • Sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • Using the law to promote economic empowerment
  • HIV and AIDS, law, policy and human rights
  • Gender and climate change
  • Capacity building of WLSA and its partners
  • Women and labour
  • Women in the front lines as human rights defenders
  • Peace building  and conflict resolution
  • Strategic litigation
  • Provision of legal aid and services

WLSA Consultancy services

 We offer consultancy services in the following areas:

  • Action/ participatory  research on gender, laws and policies that affect women
  • Gender audits/analysis/training on gender mainstreaming
  • Baseline surveys/studies
  • Review and assessment of regional and international women’s rights instruments
  • Shadow reporting
  • Model legislation
  • M and E training
  • Communication training and facilitation techniques
  • Sustainability models
  • Develop advocacy  and lobbying strategies
  • Development of IEC and training material
  • Legal education and training
  • Hosting and organizing National and Regional Conferences
  • Documenting conference and workshop proceedings
  • Workshop and conference facilitation
  • Communication campaigns
  • Rapportuering
  • Proposal development /resource mobilization

Recent consultancies

 ZADT –Gender audit, production of gender mainstreaming training manual; training of staff and Board on gender  (January to March 2016).

Caritas Australia: Gender audit of Caritas Gokwe – October/November 2014

 ZINAHCO: November 2013: Gender audit of the by-laws on housing cooperatives and gender mainstreaming training

 CAFOD: June to July 2013: Gender audit of Caritas Mutare, Masvingo and Hwange and gender mainstreaming training

Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development/ UNDP: 2013 –Development of training manual on family laws and training of officers on family laws

 CAFOD:  July to September 2012: Gender audit of Caritas National and Gweru offices in Zimbabwe

 PLAN Zimbabwe: August to September 2011: Baseline study on the Because I am a girl campaign

 FAO:   (November 2007 to March 2008) WLSA conducted a mapping exercise of organizations that are involved in property and inheritance rights linking this to gender, HIV and Aids.

CONCERN World Wide:  (December 2007 to January 2008 and September 2010): WLSA offered training and technical support to CONCERN World Wide staff to facilitate training in gender, HIV and Aids related legal framework. This involved training staff on laws and policies related to HIV and Aids co-facilitate training of communities in Gokwe and producing a training manual.

IPAS:  (November 2006 to March 2007): Desk study on access to safe abortion in Zimbabwe.

Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development/UNDP: 2009 -2011: Producing family laws handbook and IEC material