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Tool 4: Justice and Gender

27 February, 2020



This Tool is part of the DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN Women Gender and Security Toolkit.

Integrating a gender perspective in the justice sector is necessary to achieve equal access to justice, to counter impunity for crimes, in particular gender-based violence, and to ensure that laws protect the rights of everyone and that justice institutions that are representative, effective and fair.

Over the past decade, in many countries, significant strides have been made towards more gender-responsive service delivery in the justice sector. Today, in many countries, there is greater representation of women in the judiciary, a greater understanding of the way in which gender bias operates and efforts to ensure the law and its application are gender-responsive and not discriminatory. However, there is still a long way to go.

Drawing on experiences and evidence from around the world, the Tool sets out both tested and innovative measures to achieve a justice sector which integrates a gender perspective and promotes gender equality:

  • Building an evidence base to inform policy and programme development.

  • Ensuring gender reform efforts are adequately planned, co-ordinated, budgeted and supported.

  • Implementing gender-responsive legal reforms.

  • Reforming and/or developing policy and procedures.

  • Establishing and strengthening gender-focused organizational structures.

  • Addressing gender-based violence.

  • Training and capacity development.

  • Developing a more representative and responsive justice sector.

  • Facilitating full and equal access to justice.

  • Engaging with informal justice providers.

  • Strengthening gender-responsive internal and external oversight of the justice sector.

  • Challenging societal gender norms and stereotypes and legally empowering the marginalized.

It presents case studies from around the world plus an institutional self-assessment checklist. 


Megan Bastick, DCAF