Cyprus Mail

Women’s legal rights group wins global recognition

By Evie Andreou

A GROUP which aims to educate women on the basic rights to prevent violence against them, has won global recognition this week and included among 16 worthy human rights causes around the world, its founder said on Thursday.

Patricia Martin said that One Woman At A Time-Cyprus project (OWAAT), was selected by Stephanie Williams, co-chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) International Human Rights Committee as one of the top 16 Global Human Rights Causes To Support in 2016.

The OWAAT project was launched in 2014 by Martin, a US constitutional law civil rights litigator, and international human rights advocate, who received a Fulbright research scholarship to facilitate the work of the project, implemented in cooperation with the University of Nicosia Law Clinic programme.

Williams, who posts on her blog at the beginning of each year a list of “noteworthy organisations, causes, and individuals committed to the advancement of human rights or the protection of Mother Earth”, included OWAAT in this year’s list and labelled it as a “unique organisation”.

“This wonderful acknowledgement of Cyprus as a nation also honours the many men and women on the island who came together last year during my US Fulbright endeavours and to this day, continue their dedicated work in support of OWAAT aims; empowering abused women to self-help, their human right to privacy and obtain emergency no-contact orders,” Martin said.

OWAAT aims to teach women how to take a grasp of the law, become self-represented litigants, and get access to court for no-contact orders against their abusers, without the help of a lawyer.

Martin said that OWAAT-Cyprus created the first national and international campaign to declare the “vital and virtual human rights message of zero tolerance of abuse against women”.

In December 2014, Martin said, OWAAT launched its website “which also marked the first international self-help toolbox to help guide abused women to first know what human rights they have and then how to assert their right to privacy and an effective remedy to obtain emergency civil protection to prevent all forms of abuse.”

“In 2016, OWAAT volunteers will launch phase two of this international toolbox, to provide translations in Greek, Russian and Arabic. New additions to the OWAAT website will include self-help divorce by simplified fill-in-the-blank application forms,” Martin said.

Williams’ 2016 list can be found here

For more information visit OWAAT

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