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Fact Sheet
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Washington, DC
November 18, 2008

Women's Justice and Empowerment Initiative

U.S. Program Goals

The Women’s Justice and Empowerment Initiative (WJEI) was announced by President Bush at the G-8 summit in June 2005, and is intended to assist four African countries that have begun efforts to combat sexual violence and abuse against women: Kenya, South Africa, Benin, and Zambia.

Major Program Components

Criminal Justice: INL lead. Strengthen capacity of legal system to protect women and punish violators. Includes improving legislation; training police to investigate abuse and domestic violence; and, improving prosecutorial and judicial ability to prosecute cases

Public Affairs/ Media outreach: USAID lead. Increase awareness of gender based violence and need for judicial protection, through conferences, media campaigns, and education

Rehabilitation and reintigration: USAID lead. Strengthen capacity of shelters and health care for women. Improve counseling services and opportunities for victims to be reintegrated into society and their communities.

Criminal Justice Program
  • Programs in the four countries are designed to strengthen justice sector capacity to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate gender based violence crimes by providing technical skills and training.

  • The program partner with host governments by placing a senior law enforcement advisor and a senior legal advisor in each country to work with their institutional counterparts. The Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training and International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program are the INL Bureau’s implementers with the WJEI project.

U.S. Program Components and Accomplishments

  •  Program highlights in Kenya include training on drafting charging documents for crimes under sexual offense acts, and training on drafting complaints to enforce gender based violence laws. In Benin, standard forms have been developed to use in gender based violence investigations and in South Africa, training has been provided on planning/execution of mock trials and utilizing pretrial procedures to protect victims and witnesses from intimidation and harm

  • In South Africa a twelve-week series of Sexual Offences Investigator courses successfully trained 332 detectives, instructing participants on the proper use of investigative tools as well as focusing on victim sensitivity.

U.S. Government Funding FY2005-2008

FY05-08: $55 million for all project components.

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