|Justice for women is one of the main accelerators for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Not only does investing in justice for women help to achieve gender equality and advance women’s empowerment, but it also creates a foundation for long-term growth and peaceful and inclusive societies. Despite the recent progress made in this area globally, women still face barriers to accessing justice that are often the result of policy, legislative, institutional, and societal failure to remove discrimination, gender bias, stereotyping, stigma, and indifference. Shortcomings of the justice system, including corruption and impunity, have also further undermined women’s needs. Women who continue to face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination as well as those affected by crisis, conflict, and disasters, are often exposed to heightened risks of exclusion, violence, and abuse and do not receive adequate support.
This practitioners Toolkit on Women’s Access to Justice, developed by UNDP, UN Women, UNODC, and OHCHR provides evidence-based guidance for a coherent and consistent policy and programming approach to overcoming these obstacles. This guidance will help to ensure UN system coordinated responses when addressing legal and justice challenges that women face within the context areas of marriage, family, and property rights; ending violence against women; and women in conflict with the law. Designed primarily for staff of the UN system, the toolkit presents a menu of options for scaling-up work and responding to current deficits in women’s access to justice programming and the growing demand for technical assistance in this area. This toolkit consolidates and complements existing resources and aims at enhancing the impact of UN support by stimulating bolder gender-responsive justice interventions for the full realization of the rights of women and girls.