Organisation Internationale de Droit du Développement

Gender-based Violence Survivors at the Core of Justice Programming

ROUNDTABLE PANEL: Gender-based Violence Survivors at the Core of Justice Programming

Gender-based violence (GBV) against women and girls remains one of the most pressing justice challenges of our times and the most widespread violation of women’s human rights. The WHO estimates that intimate partner violence, which is the most prevalent form of gender-based violence, affects one in three women in their lifetimes. In some crisis settings, GBV affects over seventy per cent of women. And yet, justice for women survivors of GBV remains elusive in most cases. More than one billion women lack legal protection from sexual violence by an intimate partner. Even where legislation exists, enforcement may be weak, due to serious gaps in those laws, or inadequate police and judicial responses. Justice outcomes are rarely in line with international standards or guarantees of equality. Seeking justice may even put survivors of GBV at risk.

Preventing and responding to GBV has moved to the top of the global agenda. As UN Member States mark the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, the 20th Anniversary of Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, as well as the 5th anniversary of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is imperative to use these commitments to intensify national efforts and international co-operation to eliminate GBV.

In 2019, the High-level Group on Justice for Women co-convened by IDLO, UN Women, the World Bank and the Pathfinder’s Task Force on Justice adopted its report on Justice for Women and endorsed an eight-point Call to Action to make tangible progress toward the 2030 Agenda. Among its action priorities is the enactment and enforcement of legislation and measures to prevent and respond to violence against women. This includes the urgent adoption and full implementation of effective survivor-centered measures in the justice sector to address GBV.

The expert panel will discuss strategies and approaches to realize the Call to Action on preventing and responding to GBV drawing from results of the latest cutting-edge research, as well as practice-informed lessons learned from justice programs around the world.

Key questions:

  • What are some of the best practices for justice sector programming to prevent and respond to gender-based violence against women and girls? How do we know they work?
  • What is the role of specialized services in increasing access to justice for GBV survivors? How can we foster multi-sector and inter-agency cooperation on GBV that includes the justice sector?
  • What are the main ethical considerations when involving survivors of GBV in justice sector programs?

Panel speakers and moderator:

  • Prof. Mary Ellsberg, Director of the Global Women’s Institute, George Washington University
  • Caroline Meenagh, Policy Specialist, Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) Section, UN Women
  • Angeella Barekzai, Legal Specialist, IDLO Afghanistan
  • Alfred Hill, Program Coordinator, and Chinyelumugo Okoh, Program Manager, IDLO Myanmar
  • Anna Wrange, Counsellor, Embassy of Sweden in the Netherlands
  • Anne-Floor Dekker, Program Manager Gender, Peace and Security, WO=MEN Dutch Gender Platform
  • Dr. Ilaria Bottigliero, Director, Policy, Research and Learning, IDLO (Moderator)


15:00 – 17:00  |  Thursday, 27 February 2020  |  IDLO Office, Hofweg 9E, The Hague, Netherlands

Light refreshments will be served after the panel discussion. 


Please RSVP to IDLO here (

The panel is organized by IDLO, UN Women and the Wo=Men Dutch Gender Platform​