The Faculty's Democratic Governance and Rights Unit has 37 young women leaders in law on its 2019 Women Pioneers programme. These are UCT and UWC Law students who participate in the Women Pioneers mentorship programme. Run in partnership with the South African Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges, this programme has now run for a number of years. The programme requires students to complete between 30 and 40 contact hours with their mentor at court, to gain practical work experience.
Participants also attend various talks and workshops throughout the year, along with a visit to a Prison or a Place of Safety, and a Leadership Weekend which focuses on a range of issues around personal growth and leadership. Law Faculty Alumnus, Amanda Lamond, has set up an “exam stress” WhatsApp group to support Women Pioneers participants during exam time.
Women Pioneer graduates share their positive thoughts on the programme:
Look, when I applied for this programme, I was really just looking to get involved in something outside the lecture theatre. What I found was a motivating learning experience.
Visiting these places certainly made me a better law student because now I know what I am working towards.
This programme has touched me and exposed me to experiences I never thought possible. I have a new perspective on the challenges facing women within the legal profession and the criminal justice system generally in South Africa