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35th Session of the Human Rights Council: Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on the Issue of Discrimination Against Women in Law and in Practice

8 Jun 2017

STATEMENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LAW ORGANIZATION

35th Session of the Human Rights Council: Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on the Issue of Discrimination Against Women in Law and in Practice

June 8, 2017

Geneva

Delivered by Hector Guerra, Office of the Permanent Observer to the United Nations and other International Organizations, IDLO

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Madam/Mr. Chair

The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) welcomes the report of the Working Group and its insightful analysis of good practices to eliminate discrimination against women and promote women’s empowerment.

As the report reflects, despite the progress made in promoting women’s rights in many fields, the reality is that women continue to face discrimination in law and practice. We are currently bearing witness to a growing backlash against the hard-fought for advancement of women’s rights, placing millions of women and girls around the world in vulnerable and discriminatory environments.

Gender responsive laws and legal frameworks are vital in dismantling discriminatory structures and creating equal opportunities for women, but they alone cannot uproot deeply entrenched discriminatory social norms and structures. Justice institutions are critical to providing legal protection for women and accountability for rights violations.  Women must be empowered, not only with the knowledge of their rights, but also with information on the process to claim and safeguard their rights. 

IDLO works in countries around the world to strengthen gender-responsive legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks; enhance women’s access to justice; and promote women’s legal empowerment.

  • In Kenya, IDLO has worked with the Government to implement the gender equality principles and provisions that are contained in the Constitution.
  • In Tunisia, IDLO supports the Ministry of Women, Family and Childhood to strengthen its legal drafting capacities, with a specific focus on new laws on gender.
  • In Afghanistan, Honduras, Liberia, Mongolia, Tanzania and Uganda, IDLO is working to strengthen the capacities of judges, prosecutors, police, women’s organizations, women’s shelters and legal aid organizations, whilst also building women’s capacities and power to claim and realize their rights.

Lastly, we strongly believe in women’s representation within justice institutions – it is essential to women’s political participation as well as women’s access to justice.

We take this opportunity to ask the Working Group:

  1. What measures can be taken to combat the backlash against women’s rights?
  2. What processes are in place for the sharing of good and promising practices? How can we ensure an interactive, dynamic and practical exchange across various stakeholders?
  3. IDLO, which promotes synergies between rule of law, gender equality and women’s empowerment, is interested to know how the Working Group will advance this report within the framework of the SDGs, particularly SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions and SDG 5 on gender equality?

IDLO reiterates its gratitude and full support for the important work of the Working Group.

Thank you.

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The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) enables governments and empowers people to reform laws and strengthen institutions to promote peace, justice, sustainable development and economic opportunity.