International Development Law Organization
Home > News E-Library > Policy Statements

International Women’s Day

Statement by the Director-General, Ms Jan Beagle

8 March 2024

On this International Women's Day, IDLO calls for accelerated investment in advancing gender equality to urgently reduce the justice gap for women and girls.

Evidence shows that when governments, institutions and communities invest in justice for women, it enables gender equality and women’s empowerment, driving human development, economic growth and peace. Yet, efforts to close the gender justice gap remain largely underfunded, with organizations championing women’s rights receiving just 0.13 per cent of total development assistance.

This year’s International Women's Day theme, "Invest in women: Accelerate progress," is an opportunity to mobilize the political will to ensure that gender-transformative legal reform is fast-tracked, not just on paper but in practice. In the face of intersecting global crises, the need to invest in women and girls is more urgent than ever.

As the only global intergovernmental organization exclusively devoted to promoting the rule of law to advance peace and sustainable development, IDLO integrates gender equality throughout its programmes, research and policy advocacy. We directly target specific justice challenges faced by women, such as discriminatory laws and policies, gender-based violence, and barriers to women’s participation in the justice sector.

On International Women’s Day, IDLO reaffirms its commitment to bridge the widening justice gap for women and girls through the prism of the rule of law. We propose three critical areas where increased investment can help to break down the barriers hindering gender equality and justice.

First, we must eliminate discriminatory laws and establish gender-responsive legal and policy frameworks. Investment in comprehensive legal assessments is critical, especially in areas where women’s rights are often most on the line, such as family courts, legal aid and small claims tribunals.

Second, we must champion survivor-centred approaches to address gender-based violence. Funding efforts to strengthen the capacity of formal and informal justice institutions to respond to gender-based violence, and empowering women to claim their rights, is essential.

Third, we must amplify the voices and leadership of women in the justice sector, including through increased financing and allocation of resources on gender equality and justice for women. Women must be able to take an active role in shaping justice systems as policymakers, adjudicators and implementers of justice.

Justice will only be possible when it is backed by investment and action. We invite our partners to collaborate with us in turning this human right into a reality for every woman, everywhere.