Women Rights, Justice System

On Justice the Experts call for:

1. The Secretary-General to appoint a panel of experts to assess the gaps in international and national laws and standards pertaining to the protection of women in conflict and post- conflict situations and women’s role in peace-building.

2. State Parties to the Statute of the International Criminal Court to undertake national law reform to ensure compatibility with the Statute as a matter of priority, with particular attention given to the substantive and procedural provisions regarding crimes against women.

3. National legal systems to penalize and remedy all forms of violence against women in conflict and post-conflict situations. Specially trained police units should be established to investigate crimes against women and law enforcement officials, including judges, police and armed forces, should be sensitized about such crimes. Women’s access to justice should be ensured through legal literacy programmes, support services and legal aid.

4. Gender equality in constitutional, legislative and policy reforms. The principle of gender should be integrated into all relevant constitutional clauses, reaffirming the principles of non- discrimination, equality, affirmative action, freedom and security. Special attention should be given to family, civil and labour laws and land reforms.

5. Rapid establishment by the UN of interim judicial systems capable of dealing effectively with violations against women by family members and society at large. Rape and sexual violence should be addressed by post-conflict truth- and justice-seeking mechanisms at national and local levels. The treatment of crimes against women in traditional mechanisms should be consistent with international standards.

6. National electoral laws and international electoral assistance to establish quotas to achieve gender parity in decision-making positions, beginning with a minimum of 30 per cent, to ensure voter registration and education for women, to increase the ratio of women in electoral commissions and observer missions and to provide training for women candidates.

Chapter written by Johnson-Sirleaf Ellen, President of Liberia.

 

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