"Experience shows that there can be no gender equality unless women can access justice and dispense justice," IDLO Director of External Relations Judit Arenas has said at the launch of the GQUAL campaign for gender parity in international bodies.
Gender inequality is an affront to human dignity, a challenge to the rule of law and an obstacle to development. Denying women of their rightful place in society – by depriving them of equal access to education, justice or livelihood – means robbing societies of the talent and potential of half of their members. In securing every social need from peace to food, the role of women has been shown to be paramount.
Although gender equality is increasingly a feature of national Constitutions, the law often continues to restrict women's rights and freedoms, dictates their submission to male relatives, or limits what they may own or inherit.
IDLO, in conjunction with the Kenyan government, has launched a Gender Management System (GMS) training manual and guide, aimed at increasing knowledge and institutional capacity on gender-related concepts and issues.
Good laws are one thing; implementation is another. Texts and statutes are critical instruments in advancing the rule of law -- but their benefits are limited if those tasked with their application, let alone their intended beneficiaries, fail to understand them. Where a gap develops between the law and what the legal profession makes of it, abuse and injustice will thrive.
“Women’s participation is a matter of basic human rights and democratic principles. We cannot afford not to include women. This is not simply a question of what benefits women, but of what benefits the whole of society,” Ioana Liana Cazacu, Romanian Secretary of State for Gender Equality, told participants at a roundtable on women, business and the rule of law in New York .
In the past month in Afghanistan:
"Peace and justice cannot exist without a full realization of women's rights," The Hague Deputy Mayor Ingrid K. van Engelshoven told fellow panelists at a roundtable in the city. There was an ever-present need for what she called a 'gender lens'.
It was Valentine’s day – a time for celebrating love and friendship for many - but in Kunduz province Afghanistan, a newly-wed pregnant woman lost her baby, reportedly, in a brutal exorcism carried out by a local mullah.
Today, November 25th, the world marks the International Day for the Eliminate of Violence Against Women.
Tunisia is regarded as a leader in the region, and even globally, on progressive gender legislation and initiatives, including on women’s participation in all aspects of public life. The 2014 Constitution upholds the principles of equality of rights and duties between men and women, and confirmed the obligation of the State to protect and strengthen women’s gains and their equal representation in senior positions and in elected bodies. However, operationalizing the constitutional mandate in the justice sector remains challenging.
Adolescent girls and young women account for 71 percent of new HIV infections among young people in sub-Saharan Africa. They are more vulnerable to HIV because they are often subjected to a range of gender and age based biases, discrimination and violence, including sexual assault, forced marriage and trafficking. Despite growing HIV-related responses, they and their communities most often do not have the capacity, voice and power to hold these service providers accountable for improved delivery of quality HIV-related services.
Despite having reached satisfactory standards of democracy and improved the respect for human rights, Mongolia faces some serious issues in addressing high levels of domestic violence against women. Mechanisms and services for protection of and support to victims of domestic violence are still very limited. A lack of training, procedural guidelines and inter-agency coordination between justice sector actors often creates obstacles for victims and hinders an efficient response to domestic abuse.
While Tunisia has long served as a regional model of women’s rights, actual implementation of the Constitution’s provisions on women’s rights and the eradication of all forms of gender-based violence (GBV) remains a challenge.
In Burundi, land tenure registration is the primary way for the government to deal with the large number of land disputes across the country. A series of pilot programs aimed at resolving land rights issues have been initiated in recent years. To date, however, it is unclear whether these pilot programs have had their intended effect of reducing the number of land disputes.
In June 2015, IDLO commenced the project: Researching the Impact of Land Tenure Registration on Land Disputes and Women’s Land Rights in Burundi.
Land Tenure Registration (LTR) programs involve issuing proof of ownership to holders of land rights to increase their legal certainty. Such programs are undertaken for a variety of reasons. While much is known about the impact of LTR on factors like access to credit and agricultural output, there is a gap in knowledge of its impact on land disputes, particularly in post-conflict settings.
Mongolia has formally joined IDLO, the latest stage in an expanding partnership for the advancement the rule of law. The first communist-ruled nation outside the Soviet Union, Mongolia has over the last two decades built a democracy that is untypical of its region. But for all the efforts of its political class and civil society, it has some way to go to improve governance, enhance access to justice, and reduce inequality.
IDLO is working with the Government of Kenya to advance gender equality across the country and enact gender provisions contained in the Constitution. Since 2013, IDLO has partnered to enhance the capacity of the Government of Kenya to mainstream gender at both the national and county levels. IDLO’s support included strategic policy development, critical legislative review, expert technical advice, and institutional strengthening.
While the new Constitution of Kenya, 2010 provides for the right of every Kenyan to access justice, its implementation is vital to strengthen and support the changes required for a better Kenya. IDLO is supporting the Kenyan Government to implement the Constitution in an effective, efficient and sustainable manner, in accordance with international standards and best practices. This is being done with a view to enhancing access to justice for Kenyans, especially for women, children and other vulnerable populations.