Women’s Access to Justice
Women’s Access to Justice is a conceptual framework for providing women with laws and remedies to enforce their rights under national and international law.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) will remain merely an unenforceable promise unless justice systems are made more gender-responsive in practice. To do this long-standing gender discrimination needs to be addressed all along the justice chain.
Women’s Access to Justice is a conceptual framework for providing women with laws and remedies to enforce their rights under national and international law. However, a focus on policies and legislation alone is not enough. Transformational change is called for: bringing about systematic change in legal frameworks hand-in-hand with change in social and cultural norms, engaging entire communities.
UN Women promotes a comprehensive and people-centred approach to create an environment where women can seek remedies without fear of negative consequences.
Enhancing Women’s Access to Justice in Asia and the Pacific: Bridging the gap between formal and informal systems through women’s empowerment
UN Women, in partnership with the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), is implementing a five-year programme, generously funded by the Government of Sweden, entitled “Enhancing Access to Justice for Women in Asia and the Pacific: Bridging the gap between formal and informal systems through women’s empowerment”.
The Women’s Access to Justice programme focuses on three output areas:
Strengthening the judiciary and other justice providers and
promoting CEDAW compliant legislation. Learn more
Supporting grassroots women’s organizations and gender-responsive
community-based justice mechanisms. Learn more
Supporting human rights defenders and improving access
to protection mechanisms. Learn more
The aim of the partnership is to strengthen the gender responsiveness of justice providers within the formal system and at the community level, while at the same time engaging women’s organizations, women human rights defenders and entire communities to change social norms and to create an enabling environment for women to realize their rights.
Thematic focus areas 2021
The following themes, interlinking the programme’s output areas, are central to our implementation activities in 2021 across the priority countries.