Women’s access to justice Progressive laws and functioning justice systems are the foundation for gender equality and can provide the means for women to demand accountability
Groundbreaking cases • Maria da Penha Fernandes • v Government of Brazil • Governments have ‘due diligence’ obligations to uphold women’s human rights. • Brazil enacted a wide-ranging law on domestic violence, mandating preventative measures, special courts and tough sentences. Maria DaPenha, 2011. Credit: ConselhoNacionalJustica
Groundbreaking cases • Gonzalez and others • (‘Cotton Field’) v Mexico • Cuidad Juarez murders –systemic violence based on gender, age and social class • Ordered the Govt to pay reparations: symbolic and guarantees of non-repetition to ‘identify and eliminate the structural factors of discrimination’.
Groundbreaking cases • Jessica Gonzales v. USA • First time the USA held accountable for preventing domestic violence, as a human rights violation. • Uses the principle of ‘due diligence’ to argue that govts have a responsibility to prevent private acts of violence.
Women’s economic rights • More than half of the world’s • working women are in • vulnerable employment • These jobs are often unregulated and unprotected by labour legislation • Important steps are being taken to extend labour rights to domestic workers Domestic workers win worker’s rights Source: Global Fund for Women
Gender-sensitive laws can change society and help to achieve women’s rights • Prevalence, laws and perceptions of domestic violence • Where there are laws in place on domestic violence, prevalence is lower and fewer people think that violence against women is justifiable.
Rape case attrition in a sample of European countries • Only a fraction of reported rape cases result in conviction.
Making justice systems work for women • Specialized legal aid • DEMI employs indigenous women lawyers and social workers to provide legal advice and support. • Develops policies and programmes to prevent violence and discrimination against indigenous women
Women on the front line of justice • There is a clear positive correlation betweenwomen’s representation in the police and reporting of sexual assault.
Making justice systems work for women • Specialized domestic violence courts • By streamlining navigation of the system, they provide greater accountability and victim protection. • In 2008, the Supreme Court of Argentina, established a dedicated Office of Domestic Violence to provide rapid access to justice and facilitate coordination between agencies.
Women’s empowerment Women as agents of change: as legislators, lawyers and judges, and as community activists. Increases in women’s representation in political decision-making can lead to more progressive laws.
Women’s empowerment • Women shaping indigenous justice systems • Ecuador:Women have the right to participate in indigenous governance and justice systems Indigenous women in Ecuador queue at a polling station during the constitutional reform referendum in 2007. Source: Getty Images