SDG 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
All women need to be able to turn to fair, effective institutions to access justice and essential services. Without these, instability and injustice spread, and discrimination is perpetuated. In both developing and developed countries, however, a variety of institutions continue to fail women and girls, especially through impunity for gender-based violence.
This denies the reality that almost half of all women victims of intentional homicide in 2012 died at the hands of an intimate partner or family member.
Where conflict strikes, men are more likely to die on battlefields, but a disproportionate share of women will be targeted for sexual violence, among other violations, and homicide rates among women typically rise. Even though the gender dimensions of conflict are increasingly well documented, along with women’s wide-ranging contributions to peace processes, women remain poorly represented in formal mechanisms for negotiating and sustaining peace.
More broadly, whether in global, regional or national governance, women tend to be underrepresented in the governance of institutions. This is discriminatory, but it also entrenches gender disparities, during times of war and peace, as women’s voices go unheard in decision-making.
UN Women advances peace and inclusion by backing the engagement of women in all aspects of peace processes. In all country contexts, we support women to lead, participate in and benefit equally from governance systems. Programmes assist with the gender-responsive reform of justice and security institutions, the introduction and implementation of laws against violence against women, and the provision of public services that fully meet women’s needs.
From where I stand: “Women are the leaders of today”
For Khadeja Ramali from Libya, empowering young women to participate in the peacebuilding process is crucial to rebuilding the country post Arab Spring. She co-founded an initiative focused on increasing the participation of women in peacebuilding, as a response to the growing frustration of young women who felt they were not being heard in post-conflict Lybia.
Sepur Zarco: In pursuit of truth, justice, and now reparations
Thirty-four years after the rape and slavery of indigenous Q’eqchi’ women of Sepur Zarco, a Guatemalan court convicted former military officers of crimes against humanity. It was the first time that a national court anywhere in the world had ruled on charges of sexual slavery during an armed conflict. The court also ruled to grant reparations to the survivors and their communities.
Women in Bangladesh bolster efforts to turn the tide on rising extremism
As community leaders, professionals, and as mothers, wives, sisters and daughters in family settings, women shape the values of their community members. A UN Women programme in Bangladesh and Indonesia is empowering women economically and facilitating their access to decision-making to promote social cohesion within communities.