Gender Justice & The Law
Implications of inequality before the law
for full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence
Tuesday 23 March 2021
14:00 – 16:00 Cairo time (8:00 – 10:00 EDT)
Format: virtual event with required pre-registration
Link for registration to the event: here
Jordan, The Jordanian Commission for Women
Morocco, The Ministry of Solidarity, Women, Family and Social Development
UNDP, UN Women, UNFPA and ESCWA
Opening Remarks by UN Women and UNFPA
Closing remarks by ESCWA and UNDP
In the Arab states region, multiple sources of law, the persistence of customary practices, the lack of coordination of the judicial and security sectors to promote “women's full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”, hindering the achievement of gender equality and therefore the Sustainable Development Goals, especially goals 5, 10 and 16.
In order to gether the evidence on the legal framework in the region, and with the ultimate aim of encouraging policy and institutional reforms to enhance equal rights for women and protection from violence, in December 2018, UNDP, UN Women, UNFPA and ESCWA launched a series of 18 national reports, verified at the country level, on Gender Justice and the Law in the Arab Region. The reports identified legal measures in place to address gender-based violence. Through their publication, the partners sought to encourage policy and institutional reforms and address structural barriers to gender equality and women’s empowerment. All reports were released on Human Rights Day on the 10th of December 2018, at a high level and very well attended event that produced a set of encouraging recommendation at national and regional levels for the way forward including (1) promoting multi-sectoral country dialogues to identify each country’s priorities for possible reforms, (2) recognition that the laws and the information gathered are not static, hence a request for an innovative mechanism to keep all the documentation ‘alive’ through an online platform and (3) encouraging the four UN Agencies to continue to provide intellectual leadership and facilitating multi-country exchanges on Gender Justice to advance equality.
In December 2019, the regional report on Gender Justice & Equality before the Law: Analysis of progress and challenges in the Arab States region was launched, as was the complementary Gender Justice and the Law Dashboard (color-coded chart) that visually illustrates the status of legislation in 18 Arab States.
Early 2020, the four partners embarked on expanding the list of laws and defined criteria to assess legislation compliance with international standards, with the aim to support countries in their gender-sensitive legal and policy reform. The Gender Justice and the Law initiative is currently partnering with countries to validate national reports after completing updated versions that expand the coverage of laws examined. A designated webpage, hosted by ESCWA, shares the dashboard. Every year based on updated laws received from the governments, experts from the four agencies examine newly adopted laws and revise the color-coded chart to reflect progress made. Results are announced on the 10th of December every year and shared with countries in the region.
2. Objectives of the Side event
This side event during CSW65 would build on the 2020 annual meeting of the Governmental Subcommittee on Gender Equality and the Sustainable Development Goals. The objective of the session would be to:
- Introduce the Gender Justice and the Law tool, which seeks to engage countries at the national level to enhance their adherence to international frameworks;
- Advocate for the adoption of the tool by UN partners in other regions;
- Examine the implications of inequality before the law for gender equality and for the empowerment of woment and girls, and particularly women’s participation in public life;
- Discuss strategies and interventions in the short, mid and long term to:
- Accelerate the adoption of laws that advance women’s rights and address existing gender inequalities; and
- Enhance the empowerment of present and future generations of women and girls in the region.