Recent research shows that sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is one of the leading problems impacting communities across Myanmar. Women in particular face significant and widespread levels of SGBV, with both formal and informal systems failing to provide satisfactory remedies. Inadequate legal protections, combined with pervasive cultural and social stigma, low public legal awareness, and deep mistrust in the formal justice system, pose a daunting range of barriers to accessing justice and other services such as legal, medical and psycho-social support.
Gender inequality is an affront to human dignity, a challenge to the rule of law and an obstacle to development. Denying women of their rightful place in society – by depriving them of equal access to education, justice or livelihood – means robbing societies of the talent and potential of half of their members. In securing every social need from peace to food, the role of women has been shown to be paramount.
Although gender equality is increasingly a feature of national Constitutions, the law often continues to restrict women's rights and freedoms, dictates their submission to male relatives, or limits what they may own or inherit.
IDLO acknowledges with profound sorrow the untimely loss of Asma Jahangir, esteemed Pakistani lawyer and human rights activist who passed away in her native Lahore on February 11, 2018.
With domestic violence only recently classified as a crime in Mongolia, police officers, judges and other justice professionals initially had to navigate unfamiliar territory. Capacity building programs are helping them to support victims in line with the new legislation and resolve cases through coordinated response mechanisms.
Strengthening the domestic violence response in Mongolia
IDLO is implementing a project in Mongolia that aims to strengthen the response to domestic violence and increase access to justice for survivors.
IDLO and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) convened a forum in Casablanca, Morocco on 14-15 December 2017 to lay the foundations for the first regional network for women judges in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region – Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, and West Bank and Gaza.
On 26 July 2017, Tunisia’s parliament approved a landmark bill seeking to eliminate all forms of violence against women. The passage of the bill, which is set to enter force in 2018, represents the first national legislation dealing with violence against women based on a human rights approach.
A regional workshop co-organized by IDLO brought together female judges, lawyers and academics in Sousse, Tunisia to discuss women’s effective participation in justice delivery and policy making across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
EBRD and IDLO lay foundations of regional women judges’ platform
Strengthening the Legal Environment for Food Security and Nutrition of Vulnerable Groups as part of the COVID-19 Response and RecoveryThe COVID-19 pandemic poses a significant threat to the right to food for populations, and especially for marginalized groups. In many countries, COVID-19 is intertwining with pre-existing factors affecting food security and nutrition, by limiting the access to affordable and nutritious food, including lack of economic opportunities, extreme weather conditions, ongoing conflicts and more.
For over 15 years, IDLO has been assisting the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan develop accessible, accountable, effective and efficient justice sector institutions. While significant progress has been made, many challenges remain, frequently perceived to be rooted in the ongoing conflict, the impact of insecurity and the public’s fear for their safety. There is a strong need to address the concerns and goals of the justice sector and find innovative solutions and methods to strengthen its resilience.
Lack of access to a fair and equitable justice system is one of the most pressing problems confronting modern Somalia on its path towards stability and reconstruction. Informal justice systems, offering alternative dispute resolution are often much better placed to respond to the immediate justice needs of many Somalis seeking justice, as they have more legitimacy and are more easily accessible. To enhance access to justice in Somalia, it is therefore essential to engage with the alternative dispute resolution systems.
The Government of Mongolia has taken a number of legislative and policy steps aimed at tackling domestic violence. While the new legal framework undeniably offers an improved, holistic and more victim-centered approach, its practical implementation and adherence to ensuring the needs of victims requires significant technical assistance, ongoing monitoring, and effective coordination among all the relevant actors.