Country studies on women’s access to justice in the Eastern Partnership countries

Strasbourg 10 November 2017
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The five Country Studies on Barriers, Remedies and Good Practices for Women’s Access to Justice in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine map the main gender-specific barriers women experience when accessing justice in the Eastern Partnership countries. The studies analyse the legislative, institutional, socio-economic and cultural barriers and present recommendations and good practices to promote more gender-responsive justice chains in each of the five countries. 

Commissioned under the project “Improving Women’s Access to Justice in the Eastern Partnership Countries", the studies find that extensive gaps in women’s access to justice remain, despite some good practices identified in each country. The analysis points towards the persistence of the following obstacles:

  • de jure discrimination of women, such as protective labour legislation that restricts women’s access to certain types of work and professions;
  • gaps in the anti-discrimination and violence against women legislative frameworks;
  • persistent judicial gender stereotyping, as well as stereotyping by other legal professionals; widespread victim-blaming, especially in cases of sexual and domestic violence;
  • limited use of international standards in judicial decisions;
  • indirect discrimination of women;
  • lack of gender-disaggregated data on court applicants;
  • procedural barriers and
  • limited access to free legal aid

To the extent possible, the studies also delve into challenges affecting women in vulnerable conditions, such as women in rural areas, women with disabilities, elderly women, women from ethnic minorities, women victims of violence, lesbian, bisexual and transgender women, and women held in detention.

The findings of these country studies were further used to inform the development of the Training Manual for Judges and Prosecutors on Ensuring Women’s Access to Justice.

The project “Improving Women’s Access to Justice in the Eastern Partnership Countries” is implemented in the framework of the Partnership for Good Governance (formerly the Programmatic Cooperation Framework) funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.