Strengthening Women’s Access to Justice

At the high level debate of the 67th UN General Assembly, world leaders will focus on strengthening the rule of law, underlining its central role in international peace and security and in the achievement of universal human rights.

This first high-level meeting of the General Assembly dedicated solely to the rule of law, will bring together governments and civil society to review progress made and challenges that exist at the national and international level on ensuring the rule of law.

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Today, the rule of law often rules women out. Ahead of the meeting, UN Women is calling on governments to show strong commitment, and accelerate actions and policies to increase women's access to justice and foster a responsive justice system that advances women's equal rights, opportunity and participation.

With Member States and civil society partners, UN Women is organizing several events on strengthening women's access to justice during the General Assembly. Highlighting that justice is the foundation for gender equality and women's empowerment, the events will call for urgent actions to:

  • Increase women's access to justice from the local to the national levels, greater participation of women in the justice sector, innovative institutional reforms, an engagement with informal justice, and a focus on establishing women's rights to justice during the post-conflict period through transitional justice mechanisms and reparations processes;
  • Prevent sexual violence and crimes in conflict and protect women — from mass rapes to mass displacements since they are systematically targeted in conflict and post-conflict countries;
  • Secure justice for survivors in post-conflict countries and set up a comprehensive justice and criminal accountability for sexual crimes. The combination of violence and weakened social protection threatens to undermine progress in women's rights. Reparations for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence is key and can link redress for individuals with efforts to eliminate economic and social marginalization, addressing some of the root causes of violence against women in countries undergoing transition.