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Tool 4: Justice and Gender



This Tool is part of the DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN Women Gender and Security Toolkit, which comprises nine Tools and a series of Policy Briefs.

Integrating a gender perspective in the justice sector improves security and the rule of law by facilitating equal access to justice. It counters impunity for crimes, in particular crimes of GBV, and improves protection against such crimes. It contributes to laws which protect the rights of everyone, and justice institutions that are representative, effective and fair. Such gender reforms in the justice sector contribute to transforming discrimination and inequality of resources, opportunities and power within society, which themselves feed insecurity and violence and retard development.

This Tool is intended mainly for use by Ministry of Justice personnel, judges, lawyers, court administrators and others working in justice institutions, as well as those educating or training judicial and legal professionals. This Tool will also be of value to those who work with justice institutions to advance gender equality, such as civil society organizations (CSOs), national human rights institutions, parliamentary committees and international actors engaged with justice sector reform.


This Tool:

- describes why gender is important to the work of the justice sector and introduces key concepts.
- provides a vision of what a justice sector that integrates a gender perspective into its work and advances gender equality will look like.
- discusses what measures need to be taken to achieve a justice sector which integrates a gender perspective and promotes gender equality.
- presents case studies that illustrate where efforts to integrate a gender perspective and promote gender equality in and through the justice system have achieved sustained results or represent important progress.
- suggests elements of a self-assessment checklist for justice institutions.
- lists other useful resources.


Megan Bastick