Liberia, April 2012. Gbarnga Peace Hub, one of five facilities being built with help from the UN Peacebuilding Support Office to increase access access to justice in Liberia. Photo: Emmanuel Tobey, UN Photo.

Ensuring women's access to justice

About half of the people of Sub-Saharan Africa live below the poverty line, and 80 per cent of them are women. Their access to justice is guaranteed by international and domestic laws. But these laws mean little or nothing without government support and adequate funding. A new policy note from the Nordic Africa Institute offers recommendations on how to secure access to justice.

All development work, from water access to education, should be streamlined with a gender focus on access to justice. Questions aimed at revealing deificiencies in the access to justice should be included in demographic surveys in order to produce a more efficient basis for decision-making. Also, funding should be provided to develop smart phone apps that facilitate for women in rural areas to file complaints and get legal support. These are some of the recommendations in the new policy note.

Ensuring African Women’s Access to Justice : Engendering Rights for Poverty Reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa​ – Policy Note No 2:2019
Download the full-text version from our online repository Diva or read it online as an e-booklet.

About the authors

David Lawson, Senior Researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute

Adam Dubin, Assistant Professor of Human Rights Law, Universidad Pontificia Comillas

Lea Mwambene, Associate Professor of Law at University of Western Cape

– with Bisrat Woldemichael, intern at the Nordic Africa Institute

Rule of law – index and ranking. The WJP Rule of Law Index 2019 measures how the rule of law is experienced and perceived by the general public in 126 countries and jurisdictions worldwide based on more than 120,000 household and 3,800 expert surveys.

Source: WJP Rule of Law Index 2019 (download data in xlsx-format)

Access to justice in 45 countries – six of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa. The WJP report Global Insights on Access to Justice is based on a general population poll in 45 countries, 6 of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa – Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi and Senegal.

Source: WJP report Global Insights on Access to Justice (download data in xlsx-format).

About our policy note series

NAI Policy Notes is a series of short briefs on relevant topics, intended for strategists, analysts and decision makers in foreign policy, aid and development. They aim to inform public debate and generate input into the sphere of policymaking. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute.

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