Launching the first law firm for only women in Iraq
In June 15, 2017, Mercy Hands launched "Lawyers for Women" Center, the first law office in Iraq that is formed of a group of Iraqi female lawyers who provide pro bono legal services to women in Iraq.
The idea of the center came after some of the lawyers working at Mercy Hands noticed as they go to the court and work with people that many wronged women do not get their legal rights and that is either because they cannot afford to attain the services of a lawyer, do not have enough awareness of the legal system or legal rights, and/or lack of resourcefulness.
One of the lawyers of the center says "We the female lawyers at Mercy Hands decided to work together to overcome those obstacles and to provide legal services to any Iraqi girl or woman who is in need for legal assistance. The message we want to deliver to every wronged woman is that do not be scared, you are not alone, we are with you and for you".
Mercy Hands' executive administration and the management of protection department worked together with the lawyers to set a structure for the center and design its operational plan and work tools. The lawyers of the center work as volunteers to provide pro bono legal services to the women. The services include: legal representation, consultations, and mediation and reconciliation. The lawyers are experienced in divorce cases, alimony, inheritance, gender-based-violence, domestic and spouse violence, rape, and child molestation.
Mercy Hands supports the center both financially and administratively. Currently, the center has three offices, in Baghdad, Babil, and Mosul.
In addition to the lawyers, a group of experienced social workers (all females) work in the center. These socials workers provide psychosocial support to the center’s clients.