Six PH Universities Receive EU's GOJUST Grants for Legal Aid and Education to Empower Women Across the Country


"Educating a girl will educate a village. Helping a woman will help a generation."

This was the resounding message collectively expressed by members of the academe and the legal community in an International Women's Day online event held today to announce the European Union's Governance in Justice programme (GOJUST) grants awarded to six Philippine universities all across the country to help improve people's access to justice, especially among marginalized sectors including women and children.


Implemented through the technical assistance by the British Council and logistical and grant management support from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), as well as the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the GOJUST grants are worth PHP 12.1 million (EUR 215,000) and are awarded to West Visayas State University, Adamson University, University of San Carlos, University of the Visayas, Father Saturnino Urios University, and St. Louis University.


In line with the 111th International Women's Day celebration today, the grant signing was held virtually with the EU Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Luc Véron, giving his keynote address where he emphasized the EU's commitment to promote gender equality in the Philippines as well as in the rest of the world.

Hosted by Issa Litton, the online event was also moderated by Nathalie Africa-Verceles as representatives from the Legal Education Board, Women's Legal and Human Rights Bureau, Philippine Association of Law Schools, and the College of Law deans of Adamson University, West Visayas State University, Father Saturnino Urios University, St. Louis University, University of the Visayas, and the dean of School of Law and Governance of University of San Carlos all presented their respective projects and advocacy to help empower women and improve access to justice services among the country's most vulnerable sectors.


Supreme Court Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando, who is also the chairperson for the Committee on Legal Education, also spoke to reiterate the importance of giving women and children the protection they deserve. "The EU's GOJUST has been very supportive in improving legal education in the country and it is giving birth to policies that help strengthen women's rights," he said.


The six university recipients of the GOJUST grant will implement the Clinical Legal Education Program (CLEP) of the Supreme Court to help improve access to justice services for women and other vulnerable groups. The CLEP is a credit-earning teaching course that aims to provide law students with knowledge on the application of the law, delivery of legal services, and promotion of social justice particularly among marginalized communities. 

Over a period of four years, the EU's GOJUST Programme grant will total PHP 1.1 billion (EUR 19 million) in supporting the Philippine Supreme Court, the Department of Justice (DoJ), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to improve the Filipinos' access to justice services for a more inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development. 


Further, GOJUST also aims to strengthen the Commission on Human Rights exertion of its constitutional mandate to protect people's civil and political rights as well as align the Commission's human rights promotion in the country with the United Nations' Paris principles.

Through the GOJUST programme and the concerted efforts of the academic and legal community, women and the marginalized sectors of society will be duly empowered so that "those who have less in life will have more in law."


 Image credit: Chelsi Peter from Pexels


Previous Post Next Post