Le­gis­la­tion and ac­cess to justice

Reliable access to justice and the enforcement of the rights of women and girls provide women and girls with opportunities for self-determined development and a free and equal life.

However, deep-rooted discriminatory, gender-specific attitudes, norms and practices – in the judiciary as well as in society generally – prevent women from having full access to justice and from being able to rely on gender-independent accountability by the judicial system. Law enforcement, recognition and compensation are crucial factors in this respect. 

Many countries have parallel structures to their formal legal systems, such as customary and religious laws, which significantly impact on the reality of law and jurisdiction. These parallel systems often discriminate women more strongly than men such as in matters of marriage, inheritance and child custody.

Info: Women then experience restrictions in their rights to non-violent lives, to sexual and reproductive health, and to decent work and land use.