As a side event to the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), UNDP and the Huairou Commission, On March 4th, 2013, organized a panel discussion on women's access to justice.

Sponsored by UND and coordinated by HC, women from over 70 communities in seven countries across Africa for over a year participated in an action research on local obstacles to women's access to justice and new models to remove judicial bottlenecks.

These 70 groups are dealing with issues ranging from domestic violence to HIV/AIDS, care for handicapped children and social development. Through their research, they revealed contradictions and gaps in legal frameworks that prohibit women's access to justice -- findings which they have built upon in their collective responses and which will likely factor into future policy-making within UNDP.

Shorai Chitongo, representing Ray of Hope Zimbabwe, an organization dealing primarily with domestic violence, was among the panelists that participated in the research, along with local headman Gilbert Tendai Mungate, who talk about their collaboration.

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