On video: women lawyers address barriers faced in accessing justice

Lawyers from a diverse range of countries, including Egypt, Lebanon, Nepal, the Philippines, Tunisia and Uzbekistan have identified the many barriers that women typically face in accessing justice in their countries.

Common trends and practices identified included socio-economic marginalization, gender stereotypes and patriarchal attitudes.

The observations came during two training workshops held in Geneva in June and September to coincide with sessions of the UN Human Right Council and UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. The workshops were part of a project on enhancing women’s access to justice through UN human rights mechanisms, supported by the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the UN in Geneva.

A lawyer from Uzbekistan noted that domestic violence flourishes in states where common attitudes hold that this is an internal matter to be resolved within families.

A particular concern raised in respect of Lebanon was discrimination linked to transference of nationality, where Lebanese women married to a foreigner cannot pass their nationality to their children but Lebanese men married to a foreigner can.

Meera Maharjan, lawyer from Nepal, noted the cultural, educational and economic barriers that impede women from being able to take on decision-making roles and the impact this has on the exercise of their rights.

Malaysian lawyer Yvonne Lim explained that the women who are often in need of access to justice tend to be from the lower rungs of the socio-economic strata and lack the resources, support and basic awareness about their human rights and the remedies that may be available to them.

During the September training session the ICJ organized a side event to the 39th session of the Human Rights Council on ‘applying a women-centred approach to access to justice’ to further explore these issues.

Secretary-General Saman Zia-Zarifi moderated the event and panelists included:

• ICJ Commissioner Justice Sanji Monageng, former Vice-President of the International Criminal Court
• Lisa Gormley, Research Officer for the Centre for Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economics
• Meera Maharjan, Nepalese lawyer and legal officer for Resilience for Sustainable Women Empowerment (RISE)

You can watch a recording of the event, and interviews with two of the workshop participants below.

Live now! Side Event #HRC39 "Applying a #WomenCentered approach to access to #Justice" at the UN GenevaMonday 17 September, 14.00 – 15.00pmPalais des Nations, Room XXIVThis panel discussion will address barriers for women accessing justice and look at ways to implement a women-centred approach to address these issues, considering ways to ensure that #GenderIssues are robustly integrated into #HumanRights investigations and judicial mechanisms and are properly implemented by the actors operating within these areas.Moderator-Saman Zia-Zarifi, Secretary General of the International Commission of Jurists.Panellists- Lisa Gormley, Research Officer, Centre for Women, Peace and Security, The London School of Economics and Political Science – LSE – Meera Maharjan, Lawyer and Legal Officer for Resilience for Sustainable Empowerment (RISE)- Justice Sanji Monageng, Former Justice and Vice President of the International Criminal Court and ICJ Commissioner.Event organized by the International Commission of Jurists in co-ordination with the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN, and UN Women.

Posted by Red Internacional de Derechos Humanos on Monday, September 17, 2018

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