Legal Assistance Centre



The Gender Research & Advocacy Project seeks to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women through legal research, law reform and related advocacy work.

The following are the key goals of the project:

  • To conduct research aimed at assessing the effectiveness of existing laws in serving the needs of women and men and making proposals for new laws where necessary
  • To encourage and facilitate law reform
  • To increase public involvement in the law reform process
  • To raise public awareness of new and existing laws and the underlying issues they address
  • To provide training materials and training of trainers for key service providers involved in the implementation of gender-related laws
  • To ensure that gender concerns are incorporated into programmes aimed at good governance and improved social welfare


GR&AP was established as a department of the LAC in February 1993. It seeks to promote the rights of women and children through legal research, law reform and related advocacy, training and education. 

GR&AP has produced extensive research reports in the areas including gender-based violence, family law, sex work and LGBT rights. We have worked with the government’s Law Reform and Development Commission and various government ministries to assist with the drafting of numerous pieces of legislation, including the Combating of Rape Act 8 of 2000, Combating of Domestic Violence Act 4 of 2003, Maintenance Act 9 of 2003 and the Child Care and Protection Act 3 of 2015. We have provided influential input on specific aspects of other draft bills. The role of GR&AP in influencing law reform on gender-related issues has been repeatedly acknowledged by governmental and public bodies.

GR&AP has also produced a large number of educational materials in a variety of media, including booklets, comic books, newspaper and magazine articles, films, short animations, training DVDs for service providers, radio broadcasts, posters, murals on school walls and PowerPoint presentations.

GR&AP has excellent relationships with governmental bodies and other NGOs, and often works in collaboration with other groups. GR&AP has a good relationship with Parliament and with a range of government agencies, whilst retaining the necessary independence to be critical when necessary. Many government agencies have recognised the expertise available at GR&AP and have responded well to past advocacy. The government’s Law Reform and Development Commission, for example, has repeatedly acknowledged the role of GR&AP’s research in influencing its law reform proposals, and GR&AP has worked in close partnership with a range of government ministries and agencies to help shape gender laws and policy. Research performed by GR&AP is often utilised and publicly acknowledged by the government.

Meet the staff of GR&AP

You can find an OVERVIEW of GR&AP publications here.

To learn more about the activities of GR&AP, read our annual updates:

For overviews of the past work of GR&AP, see
  • this 2013 article and this 2013 publication on the project’s 20th anniversary
  • this 2003 article on the project’s 10th anniversary
  • this 1998 article on the project’s 5th anniversary

GR&AP also circulated an overview of its work in this newspaper supplement, which was published in 2006.

In February 2018, GR&AP celebrated its 25th birthday as a project of the Legal Assistance Centre. To mark the occasion, we issued a press release and made a poster highlighting some of our many publications over the years.