A practitioner’s toolkit on women’s access to justice programming

Access to justice for all is a critical litmus test of peaceful and inclusive societies, and an essential condition for substantive equality, human rights, and sustainable development. Globally, women face barriers to obtaining justice in their capacities as claimants, victims, witnesses, or offenders, often driven by institutional, policy, and legislative failure to remove discrimination, gender bias, stereotyping, stigma, indifference, corruption, and impunity. Women who face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, as well as those affected by conflict, are often at the back end of justice service delivery.

“A practitioner’s toolkit on women’s access to justice programming”, developed jointly by UN Women, UNDP, UNODC, and OHCHR, and launched by Nicole Ameline, a member of the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) during the 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, demonstrates that these problems are not insurmountable. It provides practical guidance on how such challenges can be addressed across justice systems more broadly, as well as within the key context areas of marriage, family and property rights; ending violence against women; and women in conflict with the law, with special reference to country-level programming.

Designed primarily for staff of the United Nations system, the toolkit presents a menu of options for responding to current deficits in women’s access to justice programming and the growing demand for technical assistance in this area. It consolidates and complements existing resources and aims at stimulating bolder gender-responsive justice interventions for the full realization of the rights of women and girls.

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Bibliographic information

Subject area(s): Access to justice and legal protection; Access to justice post-conflict; Constitutions and legal reform; Economic empowerment; Ending violence against women and girls; Governance and national planning; Human rights; Justice reform; Land and property; Leadership and political participation; Peace and security; Productive resources; Public sector reform

Resource type: Best practices; Manuals/guides; Resource kits

UN Women office involved in publication: UN Women Headquarters

Publication year: 2018

Number of pages: 353

ISBN/ISSN: 978-1-63214-116-3

Publishing entities: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)