Legal Fellowship Program 2021-22 by South Asia Women Foundation India [SAWF IN]: Apply by Jan 26

SAWF IN or South Asia Women Foundation India is calling for a year-long legal fellowship to women lawyers practicing at district courts in India.


South Asia Women Foundation India, SAWF IN, is the national women’s fund in India. It supports women and trans* led organizations, collectives, and individuals in their efforts towards movement-building for gender justice in India. SAWF IN mobilizes financial and non-financial resources for strengthening grassroots initiatives led by women and trans people.

SAWF IN was founded by Priya Paul and Suneeta Dhar in 2015, following deliberations on the need for securing local and indigenous resources to support women and trans rights and justice work in India. SAWF IN seeks to influence mainstream philanthropy and nurture a community of donors so that women and trans-led initiatives are able to access flexible and sustained resources.

SAWF IN works in collaboration with many women’s rights organizations, women’s funds such as Women’s Fund Asia, and international feminist networks such as Prospera- International Women’s Fund Network.

The Fellowship

The Legal Fellowship Programme was initiated by SAWF IN in 2017 in partnership with Women’s Fund Asia. The year-long fellowship support is aimed at enabling women lawyers to hone feminist lawyering and litigation skills and advocate for women and trans rights. At the same time, the program offers opportunities for peer learning, building networks with lawyers from other countries, and receiving mentoring support from senior feminist lawyers.

The background of this fellowship launched by SAWF IN is the humanitarian crisis unleashed by COVID-19. The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated social and economic inequalities in all forms. Numerous studies have shown that the effects of COVID have been particularly harsh on women and trans* people. Women’s groups have reported exacerbated incidents of interspousal abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. For many such women, legal recourse for the violations faced by them is highly challenging as they are either unaware of the remedies available or the legal system is highly intimidating and unresponsive to their situation. Further, the high cost of litigation also deters women from seeking the rights granted to them under the law.

Through the fellowship SAWF IN wishes to address the unmet need for litigation support to women who choose to use the legal remedies they are entitled to. The fellowship will support women lawyers practicing at district courts to:

  • Provide free legal aid and support to women and trans litigants
  • Build their own skills in feminist lawyering in primary courts, particularly in building constitutional arguments.
  • Advocate for more gender-responsive lawyering at district courts
  • Lead and participate in actions that directly contribute to realizing the rights of women and trans*

Please remember that the SUBMISSION DEADLINE for all applications is January 26th 2021, Midnight IST.

You can email the application format and documents to legalfellowship.sawfin[at]

Who can Apply?

  • Applicant must be a citizen of India.
  • Women and Trans lawyers practicing in the district court of any state in India.
  • With at least 1 year of experience in Courts, preferably on laws to protect the rights of women, children, and trans.
  • Applicants below the age of 45 will be preferred.
  • Preference will be given to individual applicants who belong to socially, economically, and ethnically marginalized communities.
  • Persons with experience of engaging with communities of women or trans people, facilitating their leadership, or has been an active supporter of the Indian women’s rights movement will be preferred.
  • A self-motivated person.
  • Good articulation skills and willingness to document their work extensively.
  • Can dedicate one year towards the fellowship program.
  • Has internet connection or phone connectivity to participate in fellowship updates, workshops
    and reporting.

Review and Selection Process

  • The last date for receiving applications is midnight of January 26th, 2021.
  • A Webinar will be organized to discuss the application call and process. Please log onto to
    here for more details.
  • Applicants can expect an acknowledgment of their application within 24 hours of submission
    or else please get in touch on legalfellowship.sawfin[at]
  • Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for an interview on the phone or online with a selection
    a panel consisting of experienced and senior feminist lawyers.
  • The final selected legal fellows for 2021-22 will be announced tentatively by February 25, 2021.

Important Links

Contact Information

Please read all documents before applying. For any query please feel free to write to legalfellowship.sawfin[at]


Click here for the application format.


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