Women's access to justice

While there has been a remarkable advancement of women’s legal rights in the last century, access for women to an effective, responsive, accessible and fair justice systems remains limited. The Commission on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) assessed that discrimination against women ‘based on gender stereotypes, stigma, harmful and patriarchal cultural norms, and gender-based violence, which particularly affect women, have an adverse impact on the ability of women to gain access to justice on an equal basis with men.’ The inaccessibility of justice for women constitute a flagrant violations of women’s human rights.

UN Women Egypt adopted a holistic approach to increase women’s access to justice based on three main pillars: First, the enhancement of legal and justice services to be effective, gender-responsive and accessible to women; second, the establishment of gender justice specialists and advocates in the penal chain; and third, the development of legal awareness on women’s rights and mechanisms to their accessibility.

UN Women Egypt supports the integration of national services provided by different government sectors to end VAW&G based on which the Ministry of Justice announced its commitment to lead – together with the National Council for Women - the integration of VAW&G government strategies. Furthermore, the Ministry announced a number of important steps to eliminate VAW&G: 1) create special courts for VAW survivors to increase accessibility and responsiveness of justice to VAWG survivors; 2) include a subject on VAW&G in the curriculum of the National Center for Judicial Studies; 3) form a committee to study cases of domestic violence and formulate legislations to combat it; 4) establish a committee of doctors from the Forensic Department and specialized agencies, to give an opinion on whether female genital mutilation results in permanent disability which would allow for higher punitive measures of perpetrators.

Based on these strategic entry points, and the existing strategic partnerships with the government, academic institutions, and civil society, UN Women Egypt will continue to deepen its work under Access to Justice.

This project is being implemented with the generous support of the Embassy of Japan in Egypt.