In one of Lawyers Against Poverty (LAP)’s early initiatives, seven LAP members of visited Tajikistan to work with the Oxfam team based in the capital Dushanbe on issues including legal education and women’s rights. This collaboration led to the launch of LAP’s Twinning Programme, a scheme that pairs legal professionals in different jurisdictions as ‘Twins’ for a year of peer learning and mutual mentorship.
Zebo Sharifova, the Executive Director of the League of Women Lawyers in Tajikistan, was paired with LAP member Nahalia Li. The League of Women Lawyers of Tajikistan aims at improving the legal consciousness of citizens of the Republic of Tajikistan, the protection of civil, social, economic and cultural rights of women in Tajikistan, gender equality, improving women’s status in society lawyer, as well as assisting in the preparation of legal training among young girls.
Zebo Sharifova said of her experience:
This Twinning project is very important for me, as representative of a legal non-governmental organization of Tajikistan that deals with protecting human rights, mainly pro bono for the poor and less-protected citizens, because during the sessions with my pair, Ms Nathalia Li, we exchanged experiences.
For example, I introduce the legal norms of Tajikistan to my partner; we discussed and shared experiences and our impressions on the process of protection the rights of poor and vulnerable people in Tajikistan. In addition, I get great satisfaction from communicating with professional and experienced lawyers through Lawyers Against Poverty, who are willing to share their practical advice and personal examples.
I am grateful to Natalia Li, who is my partner in this project, because our communication increases my knowledge and experience in the sphere of protection of human rights, and because she generously shares her experience with me. After our sessions, I feel elation!
Since our first Twinning exchanges, we have paired lawyers across Europe, Asia and Africa and now offer the programme to universities and other legal professionals.