Strategic Advocacy for Human Rights INC.

Tranformative Gender Justice

aka SAHR   |   San Francisco, CA   |  www.sa-hr.org

Mission

Our mission is to fuel a worldwide network of courageous Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) to strengthen laws, policies and practices to end SGBV. We are a nonprofit organization registered in the US.

Notes from the nonprofit

Women's rights defense work is dangerous and sensitive. That is why over the past 10 years we had to operate underground and under-the-radar with very little financial resources, through trusted local partners and networks. However complex and challenging, we must continue to stop impunities and make sure that all survivors of violence can access equal and transformative justice. Our team is a testimony to the big changes that can be made by a small team of dedicated people. We now need funding to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of women and girls who are most impacted by systemic inequities and to train creative, feminist lawyers to fearlessly take on + 200 cases per year and defend survivors that are wrongfully prosecuted, blamed for crimes committed against them and denied a fair trial. Not a day goes by when we are not reminded by the power of our unwavering commitment to create a world where justice is healing and healing is justice.

Ruling year info

2015

Founder & Co-Executive Director

Natasha Mohamed Yusof

Co-Executive Director

Sara Bergamaschi

Main address

2443 Fillmore street

San Francisco, CA 94115 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

FEMIN IJTIHAD INC

EIN

46-3224011

NTEE code info

Women's Rights (R24)

Protection Against and Prevention of Neglect, Abuse, Exploitation (I70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

One-in-three women in the world experience physical or sexual abuse in their lifetimes.The rate is much higher in countries that rank lower on gender equality measures. When this happens, deeply rooted patriarchal norms lead people to blame the victim for the crimes committed against her. Too often, she will be intimidated into silence. If she tries to seek justice, the courts in some countries may send her to prison on charges of “moral crimes” (i.e. adultery). And if she tries to defend herself during the trial, she risks being subjected to humiliating questioning and to harmful, medically disreputable physical exams. It’s time to challenge the status quo. Impunity must stop. We stand for all allegations of violence to be adequately investigated, for crimes to be prosecuted, and for victims to be treated with dignity and respect throughout the judicial process. We are on a mission to reform biased judicial systems and transform mindsets that deny women equal rights.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

The SAHR JUSTICE LAB : Capacity Building and Training

We lead and co-facilitate workshops for advocates on specialised legal and policy subjects around SGBV, specifically for human rights defenders and lawyers who are at the frontlines of strategic litigation, and systems reform.

In the past, we have delivered workshops on using gender-equitable interpretations of Islamic law, drafting laws and policies on rape and sexual assault, interviewing survivors, fact-finding, case management and others.

Our themes are multi-disciplinary and intersectional, covering law, trauma-informed practices, and concepts such as gender and intersectionality.

Population(s) Served

As part of SAHR Justice Lab, we have started to produce and disseminate video and audio podcasts with diverse range of experts and advocates, who we handpick amongst our peers.

By expanding our Justice Lab to encompass video and audio media, specialist subjects on SGBV law and policy will become more accessible and interesting for advocates who want to learn on the go.

Population(s) Served

We partner with HRDs working on justice and accountability issues through roundtables, events, seminars and webinars.

Through this network, we exchange ideas, information, and do joint-advocacy on urgent issues and cases.

Population(s) Served

We provide survivors of gender-based violence and HRDs urgent legal, protection and advocacy support.

We advocate for justice and accountability at the highest levels including before governments, the EU, US State Department and we collaborate with UN Special Rapporteurs.

Our work in Afghanistan is done in partnership with our sister organisation in Afghanistan.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Women and girls
Women and girls
Women and girls
Women and girls

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

1) Litigate cases of gender-based crimes, including rape, honor killings, domestic abuse etc. to defend women from wrongful punishment, prosecute offenders, and win reparations for victims.

2) Hold States accountable when it fails to uphold human rights or incriminates women on the basis of oppressive cultural norms.

3) Create safe spaces for collective healing and restorative justice, often in collaboration with local activists. This includes developing storytelling workshops and other forums for survivors to work through harmful notions of shame.

4) Advocate for better laws and policies to make courtrooms friendlier to women.

5) Train local human rights lawyers in gender-competent strategic litigation and to advocate for reforms to biased legal systems. We also encourage women to become lawyers and judges and we support them along the way.

6) Support and co-create survivor-led movements for change at the global level, such as #MeToo.

Our team of human rights lawyers challenges gender stereotypes by practicing the law through a feminist and grassroots lens. We are unique because our mission goes beyond case representation. Through our petitions and interventions, we are institutionalizing gender-sensitive processes into the justice chain; we target systemic issues which allow gender-discrimination to thrive in the first place; we push courts to recognize women’s rights and needs. And when they don’t, we find ways for women to collectively testify to their truth so that they can heal from their trauma and move on.

Specifically:

- We work with local lawyers to investigate and collect evidence of violence against women in order to advise and represent survivors in court. Drawing on our gender-sensitive perspective on local and international law, we:
> assist lawyers and prosecutors to discover and evaluate evidence
>Prosecute perpetrators of crimes such as honor killings, intimate partner abuse and rape.
> Defend women who are in conflict with the law to ensure they are afforded a fair trial and not taken advantage of during the justice process.
> Secure the release of individuals who have been arbitrarily detained.
> Obtain redress and compensation for survivors of violence
> apply for confidentiality or anonymity measures to support clients and witnesses testify safely.
> ensure that our clients are offered the option of in-camera trials.
> petition for presence of support persons to help them testify and ease the process.
> advocate for trauma evidence to ensure that sentencing or compensation reflects all injuries suffered by our clients.
>hold court personnel accountable to their duties.
>challenge victim-blaming or gender-biased attitudes and language in court.
>hold police, prosecutors and judges accountable to their duties under the procedure.

- Through our individual casework, we also identify systemic gaps within the justice system and address them through public interest litigation, trainings, and policy advocacy

- We share our research and analysis of human rights violations through reports and toolkits to advocate for a more nuanced understanding of the gender justice across sectors.

- Through our trainings, we build capacities of lawyers and activists to navigate legal systems in innovative and gender-sensitive ways in order to enhance their support to survivors.

- we work with local community leaders to subvert harmful gender perceptions and stereotypes.

- we look for justice alternative to the formal courts settings, which are too often inadequate and not ready for the real transformation.

- we cultivate opportunities for survivors and communities to speak out about what changes they would like to see and provide resources to help them achieve it, because we recognise that formal justice isn’t always what individuals need. Restorative justice, instead, helps to reconcile feelings, relationships and accounts.

Women's rights defense work is extremely dangerous and sensitive. That is why over the past 10 years we had to operate underground and under-the-radar with very little funding, through our trusted grassroots partners and local networks.

However complex and challenging, we continue to do this, because of the urgency to stop impunities and make sure that all survivors of violence can access equal, healing and transformative justice.

With more funding for our vision of gender justice for all, we can scale and transform lives of community women leaders, lawyers and advocates who are most impacted by systemic inequities. We have already proven that we could deliver substantially and meaningfully over ten years with our own time, resources and energies. Our team is a testimony to the big changes that can be made by a small team of dedicated people.

More investments will make it possible for SAHR to train creative, feminist lawyers to fearlessly take on 200 cases per year and defend women and girls that are wrongfully prosecuted, subjected to virginity testing, blamed for crimes accused against them and denied a fair trial or even just the chance to speak the truth of their personal accounts.

We have a team of 50 effective, organized, trustworthy advocates that now need the necessaries resources to continue doing this work full time, as a priority, and to dedicate to it energy and skills. Not a day goes by when we are not reminded by the power of our unwavering commitment to create a world where healing is justice and justice is healing.

- Provided over 20,000 hours of pro-bono legal services.

- Raised awareness of women’s legally-sanctioned economic rights among 300 community leaders in two Afghan provinces

- Trained and mentored more than 100 lawyers in Afghanistan:
> To strengthen their defence submissions
> To secure the release of rape victims imprisoned for adultery and moral crimes
> To secure divorces for victims of domestic violence
> To overcome discriminatory court directives
>To prosecute perpetrators of sexual violence

- Advised more than 100 women’s rights advocates around the world on using legal arguments presented in cross-disciplinary journals and judgments to strengthen their cases.

- Promoted progressive interpretations of Islamic law in Court by highlighting more than 50 landmark rulings on women’ rights in family and criminal law in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India.

- Encouraged the criminalization of sexual violence in war by creating and sharing toolkits that summarize successful prosecution strategies from the International Criminal Court Tribunals in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda

- Showcased and amplified the groundbreaking work of grassroots coalitions and networks such as The Red Elephant Foundation, Medica Afghanistan, Kranti, and The Bussy Project.

- Assisted in securing asylum for 5 individuals and their families who were being persecuted in Syria, Palestine, Libya and Afghanistan.

- Empowered more than 100 lawyers, journalists, academics and activists to fight for women’s rights through a series of educational seminars and workshops known as Digital Dialogues on Gender and Human Rights

- Supported the families of disappeared and/or abducted persons across South Asia and the Middle East in their quest to track down their loved ones.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    women human rights defenders and advocates

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Case management notes, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    establish a geographic focus.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We don’t use any of these practices,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Strategic Advocacy for Human Rights INC.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Strategic Advocacy for Human Rights INC.

Board of directors
as of 10/25/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Sun-Min Kim

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit

Sara Bergamaschi

SAHR Co-Executive Director

Kelsi Kriitmaa

WHO Foundation at Philanthropy Advisors

Alexander Sultan-Khan

International Committee of the Red Cross

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/25/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/25/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.