High-level Group on Justice for Women meets in The Hague

High-level Group on Justice for Women meets in The Hague
June 03 15:39 2018

The inaugural meeting of the High-level Group on Justice for Women took place in The Hague from 28 – 29 May.

Convened by UN Women, the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), the High-level Group consists of justice, human rights and gender experts from governments, civil society organizations, academia and intergovernmental organizations.

Together, they will advocate for the prioritization of women’s justice needs in the lead-up to the review of Sustainable Development Goal 16 during the High-level Political Forum in 2019, the UN’s main platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The inaugural meeting of the High-level Group was opened by Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation for the Netherlands and Co-Chair of the Task Force on Justice, who drew attention to the discrimination that perpetuates gender inequality in access to justice. “Access is an euphemism for describing a far larger problem: there is still structural and systematic exclusion of people from the justice system,” she said, adding, “SDG 16 represents all the strands of international development, peace and security, and sustaining peace and women’s access to justice plays a crucial part in this.”

Currently, an estimated 4 billion people are excluded from the rule of law, and over 150 countries have at least one law that discriminates against women.

Women’s access to justice is critical for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The High-level Group seeks to highlight the specific justice gaps faced by women and girls, transformative approaches for improving their access to justice and the importance of scaling up investments.

Members of the High-level Group include: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women; Abubacarr Marie Tambadou, Minister of Justice, The Gambia; Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General, the Commonwealth; Sandie Okoro, Senior Vice-President and General Counsel, World Bank Group; Irene Khan, Director-General, IDLO; Nathalie G. Drouin, Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General, Canada; Maria Fernanda Rodriguez, Under-Secretary for Access to Justice, Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, Argentina; Dubravka Simonovic, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences; Hilary Gbedemah, Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women; Rangita da Silva, Associate Dean of International Affairs, University of Pennsylvania Law School; Catherine Harrington, Campaign Manager, Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights; Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, Head, Association of Indonesian Women for Justice; Frida Gómez, Director-General, Noticias Tiemposmodernos, and National Councilor for the Evaluation and Monitoring of Public Policies on Youth, Mexican Youth Institute; and Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, Director of Information, Communications and Media, Association for Women’s Rights in Development. UN News

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