International Development Law Organization

Gender Equality

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 and Gender Justice: Shifting the Terms of the Debate

In India, a student — still nameless — is fatally gang-raped on a Delhi bus; in Pakistan, teenager Malala Yousafzai is shot in the head for advocating girls’ education; in Afghanistan, a young woman, Lal Bibi, is abducted and raped as payback in a family feud. Elsewhere — countless other women and girls, brutalized, trafficked, denied basic rights, either in law or in practice.

Gender Reforms in Kenya's Public Service

IDLO is working with the Government of Kenya to advance gender equality across the country and enact gender provisions contained in the Constitution. Since 2013, IDLO has partnered to enhance the capacity of the Government of Kenya to mainstream gender at both the national and county levels. IDLO’s support included strategic policy development, critical legislative review, expert technical advice, and institutional strengthening.

Women, the Law and Peace

An event organized by IDLO to coincide with the 22nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva heard from a great number of participants. Focusing on women’s access to justice, the meeting was supported by the Australian, Austrian and Finnish governments.

IDLO’s interview with Benvinda Levi: Women and Girls on the Frontlines of Changing Mentalities

Chaotic decolonization scenario, Marxist one-party state, war-ravaged nation, democracy, star economic reformer: in the last four decades, Mozambique has collected about as many labels as any developing country could. And in the past fifteen years, its geopolitical compass needle has swung from despairing to promising. 

Securing Kenya’s Constitutional Development

While the new Constitution of Kenya, 2010 provides for the right of every Kenyan to access justice, its implementation is vital to strengthen and support the changes required for a better Kenya. IDLO is supporting the Kenyan Government to implement the Constitution in an effective, efficient and sustainable manner, in accordance with international standards and best practices. This is being done with a view to enhancing access to justice for Kenyans, especially for women, children and other vulnerable populations.

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Key Initiatives

  • The 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.
  • As part of IDLO’s continuous commitment to accountability and results-based management, IDLO is pleased to share this Evaluation Brief for the project, "Integrating Legal Empowerment and Social Accountability for Quality HIV Health Services for Adolescent Girls and Young Women". The evaluation has been conducted by independent evaluation experts, supervised by IDLO’s Evaluation Unit. This exercise utilized a theory-driven, mixed-method approach, in line with the IDLO Evaluation Guidelines and OECD DAC standards.
  • Since the revolution in 2011, Tunisia has experienced a period of significant political transition and change culminating in the adoption of a new constitution in 2014, which called for justice reform and protection of women’s rights. However, the practical application of the framework for legal assistance in Tunisia demonstrates the insufficiency of existing relevant mechanisms. Therefore, there is the strong need to empower women to access justice and claim their rights.
  • 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.
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