Community-based justice: A model to accelerate justice for women, justice for all


In 2019, UN Women launched community-based justice pilot models in four countries – Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines and Timor-Leste – to enhance women’s access to justice through strengthening women’s active participation in the co-creation and delivery of gender-responsive and people-centred justice mechanisms. This brief has been developed to offer key insights into how community-based justice models advance women’s access to justice.

Surveys suggest that in many countries, women prefer community-based justice mechanisms. As they are developed and embedded in the community, holistic community-based services are often more accessible for women and common access barriers such as cost, and distance are reduced. Developed by and for the community, community-based justice mechanisms aligned with international human rights standards can facilitate better justice journeys for women and are seen as trusted sources of justice-related information and help. 

This brief offers key insights into how community-based justice models advance women’s access to justice and foster gender-responsive and people-centered justice.

UN Women piloted the community-based justice models together with grassroots and civil society organizations, community-based justice actors, women human rights defenders, justice providers, and local governments in Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines and Timor-Leste. Across all four countries, the pilot models have been recognized by local community members and national partners as a successful approach to enhancing women’s access to and participation in justice systems.

The brief has been developed under the ‘Enhancing Access to Justice for Women in Asia and the Pacific’ Regional Programme, jointly implemented by UN Women, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the International Commission of Jurists, with generous support from the Government of Sweden.

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