Representatives of judicial training institutes from Western Balkans’ Beneficiaries, the European Union and the Council of Europe participated in the 1st Steering Committee meeting of the regional action on “Women’s Access to Justice in the Western Balkans”, which took place today in hybrid mode in Tirana, Albania.
The meeting constituted an opportunity to discuss and plan with partners how the action’s activities will address the challenges and barriers women in the Western Balkans face when accessing justice. Gender stereotyping and bias by justice actors, problematic interpretation and implementation of the law which discriminates against women, lack of disaggregated data in the judiciary and violence against women continue to remain important challenges that need to be addressed by the justice systems in the region.
The action will assist key legal professionals-judges and prosecutors- in their efforts to apply a gender lens in their daily work and will provide them with practical tools to address gender inequalities in the judicial systems in the Western Balkans. The judicial training institutes in the Western Balkans- the action’s partners- will promote, guide and oversee the implementation of the action aiming to ensure equal access to justice for all.
As emphasised in the meeting “in the Western Balkans, the partnership and synergy between Council of Europe and the European Union really comes to the fore, with both organisations bound by the same common values and which we continue to promote every day such as with this joint programme on women’s access to justice.”
One participant highlighted that the judicial training institutions as main stakeholders of this action offer the strategic institutional framework for judges and prosecutors continuous specialisation in different fields in line with the European standards – knowing the standards and best practices to ensure women’s access to justice should be one of those fields.
The activity was organised by the regional action Women’s Access to Justice in the Western Balkans in the framework of the European Union/Council of Europe joint programme Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye (Horizontal Facility III), co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.