For years, gender inclusion has been at the forefront of the development agenda. Yet, women worldwide only enjoy an average of 77 percent of the legal rights than men do. Perhaps more worryingly, despite recent progress towards gender inclusive legal reforms, women and girls still face multiple cultural, substantive, and procedural barriers to accessing justice and enforcing their legal rights. Many women today are relegated to informal—and oftentimes inadequate—dispute resolution mechanisms, if not completely excluded from justice systems. Recent proposals to enhance women's access to justice underscore the multifaceted nature of the challenge. Countries around the world have implemented a wide range of interventions; however, the effectiveness and feasibility of these measures vary widely across countries and regions.
This panel discussion aims to illuminate the crucial role of gender within the judiciary and its profound implications for achieving gender equality, empowering women, and ensuring access to justice—essential elements of sustainable development. In this context, we will explore the symbiotic relationship between gender inclusion and the rule of law as mutually reinforcing catalysts for sustainable development. Esteemed speakers, drawing from their extensive experience in the field, will analyze the diverse opportunities and challenges associated with integrating a gender lens throughout the judicial system.