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Justice Reform and Gender (Tool 4)

1 January, 2008




Acronyms iii

1. Introduction

2. What is justice reform?

3. Why is gender important to justice reform?
3.1 To ensure that states meet their responsibilities under international law
3.2 To respond to justice needs
3.3 To build trust in the justice sector
3.4 To ensure a representative and legitimate justice sector
3.5 To reform discriminatory laws and advance protection of human rights
3.6 To end impunity for gender-based violence
3.7 To ensure equal access to justice
3.8 To strengthen oversight and monitoring of the justice sector

4. How can gender be integrated into justice reform?
4.1 Gender-sensitive assessment of the justice sector
4.2 Law reform
4.3 Judicial procedures and practices to address gender-based violence
4.4 Access to justice
4.5 Traditional justice mechanisms
4.6 Addressing discrimination by judges and other judicial staff
4.7 Increasing women's participation in the justice sector
4.8 Oversight and monitoring of gender issues in justice reform
4.9 Public awareness

5. Integrating gender into justice reform in specific contexts
5.1 Post-conflict countries
5.2 Transitional countries
5.3 Developing countries
5.4 Developed countries

6. Key recommendations

7. Additional resources


This tool focuses on the institutional reform of the judiciary, law reform and access to justice, with specific emphasis on gender equality. It is directed toward the personnel responsible for justice reform within national governments, international and regional organisations and donors. Parliamentarians, law societies and judges' networks, civil society organizations and researchers focusing on justice reform may also find it useful.

It examines justice reform within the broad and often overlapping contexts of post-conflict, transitional, developing and developed countries. Any justice reform effort is highly context-specific, and no one-fits-all template can be applied to a reform process. The tool provides suggestions and recommendations that can be adapted to the specific reform context within which you are working. The tool includes:

- An introduction to justice reform
- The rationale for why integrating gender strengthens justice reform processes
- Practical actions to integrate gender into justice reform initiatives
- An overview of particular gender and justice reform issues in post-conflict, transitional, developing and developed country contexts