1. Men, Women, and Cross-Gender Solidarity
From time to time, bright ideas emerge that open new horizons of hope for better human relations. The work of Judith Hand on male-female biology, as it pertains to preventing violence and sustaining peace, may be one of those. She has lectured and written extensively on the criticality of cross-gender solidarity between men and women for peace and human development. The main focus of her work has thus far been on the need for male-female gender balance in social institutions, but it would seem to be applicable to fostering human solidarity across the entire gender continuum in both social and religious institutions.
A Future Without War is Judith Hand's website, where most of her writings can be readily accessed. The following are some links to material that should be of interest to readers of this journal:
- Women, Power, and the Biology of Peace, Judith L. Hand, Questpath Publishing, 2003.
- Biological Differences Between Men and Women With Respect to Social Stability and Aggression, Judith L. Hand, 2006.
- The Secret Ingredient: The Pivotal Catalyst for Change and Long Term Stability, Judith L. Hand, 2006.
- Empower Women, Judith L. Hand, 2006.
- Spread Liberal Democracy, Judith L. Hand, 2006.
- Shaping the Future: A Proposal to Hasten a Global Paradigm Shift for the Security and Well-being of All Children Everywhere, Judith L. Hand, 2011.
Violence (war in particular) is the greatest obstacle to sustainable human development. Judith Hand is making a significant contribution to peace by pointing the way to a culture of global solidarity and nonviolence. The reader is cordially invited to visit A Future Without War for more information on this important piece of work. For some key excerpts from several authors on the general theme of "men, women, and cross-gender solidarity," click here.
Some additional supporting references:
- Sex on the Brain: The Biological Differences Between Men and Women, Deborah Blum, Penguin, 1998.
- Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, Pantheon, 1999.
- Enlightened Power: How Women are Transforming the Practice of Leadership, Lin Coughlin et al. (Editors), Jossey-Bass, 2005.
- The End of Men, Hanna Rosin, The Atlantic Magazine, July-August 2010.
- Adam and Eve and the Gender Divide, John R. Coats, Huffington Post, 28 June 2010.
- Why should men and women be involved as allies in peacebuilding?, New Tactics in Human Rights, 7 February 2011.
- Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, Mara Hvistendahl, Public Affairs, June 2011.
- The Other Side of the Gender Equation: Gender Issues for Men in the Europe and Eurasia Region, Susan D. Somach, KDID Social Transitions, July 2011.
2. Wikigender Resources on Gender Equality
The following information is taken from Wikigender:
Wikigender is a project initiated by the OECD Development Centre to facilitate the exchange and improve the knowledge on gender equality-related issues around the world. A particular focus lies on gathering empirical evidence and identifying adequate statistics to measure gender equality. In this respect, Wikigender serves as a pilot project for the OECD Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Societies. Based on the work of the OECD Gender, Institutions and Development Data Base, Wikigender aims to highlight the importance of social institutions such as norms, traditions and cultural practices that impact on women's empowerment.
For a list of Wikigender contents, click here. When visiting for the first time, consider reading the Help & FAQ first. There are many useful resources related to the promotion of gender equality worldwide. A very useful feature is the Gender Equality by Country Database. There is an open invitation to provide feedback and collaborate in developing this open access resource. To get in touch with the Wikigender staff via email, click here.
3. Yingluck Shinawatra - Prime Minister of Thailand
The following is adapted from Wikipedia:
Prime Minister of Thailand
Yingluck Shinawatra (born 21 June 1967) is a Thai politician, front-runner of the Pheu Thai Party, and Prime Minister-designate of Thailand following the 2011 general election. Born in Chiang Mai province, Yingluck Shinawatra earned bachelor's degree from Chiang Mai University and master's degree from Kentucky State University, both in public administration. She became an executive in the businesses founded by her elder brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, and later became the president of property developer SC Asset and managing director of Advanced Info Service. Meanwhile, her brother Thaksin became Prime Minister, was overthrown in a military coup, and went into self-imposed exile after a tribunal convicted him of abuse of power. In May 2011, the Pheu Thai Party, which maintained close ties to Thaksin, nominated Yingluck as their candidate for Prime Minister in the 2011 general election. Preliminary election result indicated that Pheu Thai won a landslide victory 265 out of 500-seat House of Representatives of Thailand, making it only the second time in Thai political history that a single party won a parliamentary majority. Yingluck is set to become Thailand's first female Prime Minister.
To keep reading the Wikipedia article, click here:
For some recent news about Yingluck Shinawatra:
It is too soon to assess the caliber of this woman, but her election bodes well for the future of women in politics. To paraphrase
Amartya Sen, "the future of sustainable development is endangered unless governments worldwide become engendered."
- Thailand: Yingluck Shinawatra faces many challenges, BBCNews, Bangkok, 3 July 2011.
- Unifying Thailand: Yingluck Shinawatra finalises her cabinet, Correspondents Report, ABC Australia, 9 July 2011.
- Thailand's Yingluck Shinawatra Wins Decisively, Big Peace, 4 July 2011.
- Yingluck Shinawatra, Thai PM-To-Be: I Won't Be Ousted Brother's Puppet, Huffington Post, 8 July 2011.
- Profile: Yingluck Shinawatra, BBC News, 3 July 2011.
- Yingluck Shinawatra, Thailand's 1st female prime minister, CBC News, Canada, 4 July 2011.
- Too hot for the generals, The Economist, 15 June 2011.
Recent report of step forward for gender equality in Thailand:
4. Dilma Rouseff - President of Brazil
"From the first day of the year, Brazil has started to go through a completely different experience: having a woman president for the first time. President Dilma Roussef starts the lineage of women presidents in Brazil....
President of Brazil
Courtesy of Wikipedia
"It is no longer futurology, but the concrete and present reality. It was expected that the election would be defined in the first round. Dilma won in the run-off, but with a considerable margin over José Serra, an experienced and wise politician. After having defeated cancer at the beginning of the campaign and facing a harsh battle against all kinds of different attempts to discredit her, Roussef won the elections and became president. And as she was sworn in on 1 January 2011, she declared with a broken voice and tears in her eyes: “From this moment on, I am the President of every Brazilian”.
"Of all Brazilian men, but especially, of all Brazilian women, we could add. If Dilma Roussef sends a message of hope of a government that is oriented towards the poorest will continue on that path, there’s no doubt this hope means even more for women....
"Poor women in our country are the majority. They are twice poor: because they lack the means to survive and because they are women, they are despised and confined to a secondary place in society, with no prestige or resources with which to demand their rights, victims of everyday violence, quite often from the partner they chose to share their lives with...."
To read the entire article, click here ....
Excerpted from Brazil, president, feminine, singular, Maria Clara Lucchetti Bingemer, Mirada Global, 17 May 2011.
Original in Spanish: Presidencia en femenino singular
A macho culture still prevails in Brazilian society, but there is hope:
5. Gender Equality & Balance in Business
There is empirical evidence that gender balance in the workplace enhances business performance and profitability. The United Nations has made gender equality one of the Millennium Development Goals and a key theme of Education for Sustainable Development. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development has recognized the importance of gender balance in the business world. The International Finance Corporation is developing a Gender Investment Index to track the correlation between capital gains and investing in diversity. The following articles are good examples of the emerging trend toward gender balance at the executive level:
We have never been so close to attaining an Eden-like rebalancing of gender roles.
The macroeconomic tipping point has been hit, with women moving in and flipping stereotypes, expectations and power. The labor force of several countries, including Canada and the United States, has gone majority female for the first time in history.
While the media focuses on the gender wage gap, the real story is that history is shifting. This century is not just about the rise of China. It will also be about the rise of women.
We are witnessing two parallel and mutually unhelpful trends:
- Continued overmasculinization of senior ranks in the business world, with unfortunate underutilization of female talent and misunderstanding of female consumers.
- More recent overfeminization of the educational sphere, with a similarly unfortunate exclusion and lack of success of boys in the classroom, while girls continue to clock in superior academic scores in country after country.
Just as the first imbalance of too many men should be of concern to the mostly male leadership of companies, too many women should be of increasing concern to women. It is not healthy to have men only represent 40 percent of university graduates in the world today. This should be of concern to every company and government — and every parent — on the planet.
New Era, New Approaches
Companies have addressed gender issues for decades, and results have been generally dissatisfying. This has led to a sense, particularly in Anglo-Saxon countries, that they have "done" gender and now will move on to other issues. Yet the opportunities have never been greater for companies to appropriately seize and adapt to the massive gender shifts under way.
From Imbalance to Balance
The question for this century is not "What is wrong with women that they are not making it to the top?" The corporate response has been to develop a wide range of initiatives to fix the women by "helping" them.
in Four Phases
Most companies want more gender balance. They are increasingly convinced of its benefits but they still struggle with how to actually implement it successfully. Companies can manage the journey from imbalance to balance by following four simple stages: audit, awareness, align and sustain.
These four phases are designed to provide senior managers with a clear understanding of how to approach the challenging process of shifting an old corporate culture into the modern age. Readers who follow the general guidelines and suggestions will be able to set up and sustain their own successful gender balance program. They can develop their specific methods of carrying this out, based on their starting point, goals and timing. Some will focus on talent management issues such as retention. Others will look to changing their market's approach. Some will change many factors across the board.
Gender balance requires new ideas, new approaches and courageous, enlightened leadership. Top teams still mostly made up of men are good at analyzing the opportunities, the challenges and the solutions related to gender balance, more than most women suspect. They should be encouraged to do so. Best practice is yet to be designed on a global scale. Few companies have achieved global gender balance yet. Those that do will reap competitive advantage for the century ahead. Are you ready?
To read the full article, click here...
Companies that proactively manage gender diversity and have a long-term commitment to it can reap crucial competitive benefits by turning this diversity into a business success. Under the right conditions, providing equal opportunities to women and men can enable companies to benefit from the widest possible pool of talent, build and consolidate a good reputation in the marketplace, and improve their competitiveness and financial performance.
A number of studies have found a positive correlation between having women in executive positions and a company's financial performance. For example, an analysis of Fortune 500 companies showed that the top 25 "women-friendly employers" had significantly higher profits (as percentage of sales and percentage of equity) than the median of these companies (R. Adler, Women in the executive
suite correlate to high profits). Similarly, firms with 3 or more women on their boards show significantly higher returns on investment, return on sales, and return on invested capital compared with those with fewer than 3 women on their boards (Catalyst 2007, Corporate performance and women's representation on boards). Yet another study finds that engaging women reduces a company's risk of insolvency: having 10 percent more female employees reduces the probability that a start-up company exits the market by 50 percent (A. Weber 2009, Competition and gender prejudice: are discriminatory employers domed to fail?).
"A number of studies have found a positive correlation between having women in executive positions and a company's financial performance... women represent half of the talent pool and bring in critical leadership skills."
Furthermore, women represent half of the talent pool and bring in critical leadership skills. Of the four behaviors seen as most effective in addressing future global challenges, women apply three more frequently than men (Women Matter, McKinsey 2008).
Finally, in addition to the business case for gender equality, governments are increasingly enacting gender equality legislations. Several European countries are considering following Norway's lead in requiring 40% women on the boards of publicly listed companies, providing further incentives for companies to improve their gender balance at all levels.
For more on the Gender Equality Project, click here...
6. Gender Equality & Balance in Governance
Role models such as Angela Merkel in Germany, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Liberia, Yingluck Shinawatra in Thailand, Dilma Rousseff in Brazil,
Rose Mukantabana in Rwanda, and many others, are certainly a source of encouragement in the pursuit of gender balance in governance. Martine Aubrey is reportedly a strong candidate to become the next president of France.
Rose Mukantabana, speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of Rwanda, delivers a speech on building global standards for democratic parliaments during the 3rd World Conference of Speakers of Parliament in Geneva on July 19.
Rwanda is a case that deserves careful analysis. It is estimated that 800,000 people died in the male-driven Rwandan Genocide (1994). Bouncing back from such a national tragedy, Rwanda is now a democratic country in which over 50% of the members of parliament are women.
Rose Mukantabana, will take over as president of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association-Africa
KIMIHURURA - The Speaker of Parliament, Rose Mukantabana, will take over as president of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association -Africa, at the end of their conference that starts today.
President Paul Kagame is expected to officially open the meeting. Demetrius Mgalami, the Assistant Regional Secretary of CPA-Africa, told The New Times yesterday that, after the conference, Mukantabana will head the caucus for a year, in accordance with the group's constitution.
Mgalami said that at the beginning of the meeting, Mukantabana will be named vice-president to enable her co-chair the Kigali conference. "The vice president of the association is elected as per article 35 – the person who is going to host will be one of the presiding officers – Rwanda is hosting this conference and by virtue of that, it will produce a vice-president. However, under the same article, at the end of the conference, Rwanda will be elected President of the association."
Last year, South Africa hosted the conference, and Hon. Sipho Lubisi, the Speaker of Mpumalanga, was elected as president of the association. Today's conference will focus on two aspects –the administrative and the financial. "The conference will pass the budget of the association, discuss the statement on financial accounts for the region for the year, and also receive reports from its three sub-committees," Mgalami said. Rwanda is hosting the 42nd African CPA annual conference, under the theme: “Consolidating Growth and Development.”
Thematic sessions in the Kigali CPA-Africa conference include the issue of food security and sustainable livelihood and the role of Parliament in mitigating the impact of genetically modified crops on poverty and food security.
Democracy, good governance, gender, terrorism, piracy and the challenge of parliaments in safeguarding national development interests in an atmosphere where the Executive plays a dominant role, will also be on the agenda.
French journalists' attention in recent weeks has been shifting from aimless speculation to the very strong public mobilisation against sexism, which followed the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the affair's many developments. This public outcry did not intend to comment on what did or did not happen in New York – as long as the judicial system does not decide, no one in France can say – but to do away with the flood of misogynistic discourse prompted by the news, made in private or in public, which some believe belong to France's so-called "Gallic culture".
But contrary to what our editorial writers and commentators may think – remember, those people were never passionate about gender equality in the first place – it wasn't only back in May, when the DSK news broke, that gender issues were part of the French public debate. Such discussions were well under way in the months preceding the scandal. Indeed, several large-scale protests have taken place in the past two years to bring women's rights to the table, making it an unavoidable topic for all citizens.
In 2009, the government tried to eliminate public funding allocated to Family Planning, the national association for sexual and reproductive health. A petition launched by the organisation was signed by 150,000 people. The government caved in, but people realised that women's rights, including those gained in the 1970s, were no longer safe. Several feminist associations and magazines were launched, attracting young people eager to end inequality. In 2010 an immense social mobilisation rejected the pension reforms proposed by the right. Indeed, retired women receive on average 40% less than men, and no action to seriously address this injustice was to be found is the law proposals. In all marches, the millions of demonstrators and protesters – men and women – repeated feminist slogans which were at the heart of their demands for true equality in the workplace.
Times are changing in France. While we have often heard it said that feminism was outdated and belonged in the past, we have recently seen a profound resurgence of a yearning for equality and a widespread ras-le-bol when it comes to sex-based discrimination. These issues have invited themselves into the public space and, for the 2012 presidential election, they intend to stay.
In France, 80% of casual workers are women, the wage gap amounts to 27%; 80% of household tasks are performed by women, and we only have 18.5% women in the national assembly. If we want the entire society to change, we will have to undertake ambitious measures. There are absolutely no illusions harboured by the women's movement when it comes to the right's ability to rally against this cause. On pensions, access to abortion or public services serving early childhood, the right never ceases to attack these social protections upholding the rights of women. Any attempt to seek equality comes from the left. This is where any significant change will come from. Because the left has always fought for the emancipation of individuals, it can carry the feminist torch and provide an effective outlet for collective mobilisation in favour of women's rights – but only if it has the necessary will. Much remains to be done.
Many feminists like myself have chosen to side with presidential hopeful Martine Aubry in the primaries organised by the Socialist party. By putting social issues at the heart of her candidacy, she is demonstrating a commitment to collective progress that will advance women's rights – and therefore the rights of all. By speaking out against widespread part-time work (too often, by default, the most common type of work offered to women), or in support of the opening of childcare places, she shows her willingness to turn legislative texts into reality, making gender equality a matter of priority.
This week, when faced with the crisis in Greece, Aubry brought together all the leaders of the European left and proposed to put political action back on the map to serve the public interest. She is against the notion that political decisions should be dictated by private interests. These are essential conditions for advancing women's rights in France, Europe and worldwide.
7. The Changing Face of Masculinity
Men for Gender Equality|
Special Issue of New Internationalist, 1 July 2011
Gender has always been understood to be about women. But increasing numbers of men are now challenging traditional views of masculinity. They are getting involved in debates about violence, parenting, relationships, and sexuality. They are questioning the stereotypes of what it is to be a man. And most – but not all – are doing it from a feminist perspective. This month's New Internationalist asks men and women around the world about why it is important for men to be involved in work on gender equality.
Some related resources on men and authentic virility:
- The Invisible Partners: How the Male and Female in Each of Us Affects Our Relationships, John Sanford, Paulist Press, 1980.
- Original Unity of Man and Woman, John Paul II, Daughters of St Paul, June 1981.
- Men and Masculinities, SAGE, 1998-2011.
- Two Wings of a Bird: The Equality of Women and Men, Bahá'í International Community, 1999.
- Psychology of Men & Masculinity, APA, 2000-2011.
- Biological Differences Between Men and Women With Respect to Social Stability and Aggression, Judith L. Hand, 2006.
- Journal of Men, Masculinities and Spirituality, Joseph Gelfer, Editor - Monash University, Australia, 2007-2011.
- Shaping the Future: A Proposal to Hasten a Global Paradigm Shift for the Security and Well-being of All Children Everywhere, Judith L. Hand, August 2011.
- Patriarchies of the Past - Masculinities for the Future, Catherine of Siena College, 2011.
8. Men and Women: Allies in Peacebuilding
Peacebuilding and ending violence affect both men and women as victims of gender socialization, so working as allies is essential. Too often, we understand "gender"
as something pertaining only to women when in reality it encompasses
both sexes. Men themselves gain from an allied approach: deconstruction
of gender roles breaks down the gender hierarchies/ stereotypes of masculinities that harm men's interaction with one another and women.
Ultimately, peacebuilding and the deconstruction of gender roles rely on changing the cultures of patriarchical institutions and systems. Both men and women contribute to the maintenance of the status quo, so sustainable approaches necessarily involve both. Allies influence change from within cultural contexts when it would be difficult for either gender alone. Men conforming to hegemonic expressions
of masculinity are often in decision-making positions, and male allies
may have greater access to and understanding of the structures that
contribute to men and women's suffering. Thus, men play an important role through their place in the system of patriarchy.
What does integrating a masculinities perspective in peacebuilding imply?
a masculinities perspective in peacebuilding implies balancing how
gender is discussed. Because inclusivity is key, it is important to
include the needs, rights, interests, and ideas of other marginalized
communities (ethnic, religious, young people, etc.).This also implies a
commitment to changing the dominant idea that masculinity equals dominance, control, and violence.
The discussion should not just focus on women, but pay attention to the socially constructed roles,
relationships, and responsibilities of men and women. At times this
means recognizing that men and women may not have the same initial needs in gender sensitive peacebuilding, and therefore integration implies that gender-sensitive peacebuilding among men be addressed. It's important that men have a safe space to discuss these issues, where that they can speak out and share with other men how they feel in the current system.
We must find, as quoted by a participant,
a way "to talk about masculinity that distances them a little bit from
actual men and women." In so doing, there must be an acknowledgement
that—though the perception may be that men benefit from inequality—they
are also victims of hegemonic masculinity. Men's Resources International provides these "Beliefs About Men"
What kind of engagement are we looking for and how do we achieve it?
Key characteristics for men and women are listening and interacting respectfully. Women emphasized that they specifically did not want paternalism, but rather collaboration—men joining with an awareness of and openness to women's experiences, as well as the way peacebuilding benefits men. Thus, engagement is not charity, but a mutually constitutive relationship.
Specifically, male allies understand their own privileges and power, and are willing to give them up. That being said, the approach should not treat men as problems or obstacles; rather both male and female allies should work for a positive development approach. We achieve that by advancing positive masculinity rather than reinforcing perspectives that favor hegemonic masculinity.
Patience and dialogue are essential in engagement, and facilitating sustainable interaction and change. On an individual level,
try to understand someone's experiences, what they think, and value,
while on a group level understanding the dynamics within/between
individuals and sub-groups. On a political level,
it is important to engage patriarchal societies and their gender
systems. To facilitate this type of engagement, participants recommended
What are the challenges, opportunities and next steps?
The participants cited a variety of ongoing challenges to integrating a masculinities perspective in peacebuilding:
- Getting men to recognize their privilege and the way that it harms women and themselves
- Combating the early processes of socialization that creates harmful masculinities
- Women's reluctance to include men for fear of being patronized or disempowered
- The tendency among both men and women to conceptualize women's rights as secondary to military movements for issues such as independence.
- Maintaining the effects of any gender-sensitive training and sustaining the relationships between men and women activists
In response to these challenges, they came up with the following opportunities and next steps:
- Clarity of meaning, guidelines, and specific
communication between men and women can help address issues of
paternalism and concerns about the power dynamic. Furthermore, a clear structure facilitates opportunities for all group members to participate.
- Networking and working with other "ally" organizations assists with issues of sustainability
- Similarly, conducting gender-sensitive training in cycles rather than single events also helps with maintaining the movement, along with using social media tools.
- Existing documentation, in addition to writing new documents and pledges offer opportunities for dialogue and serve as tools to demand change
- There are opportunities for men and women to unite to broaden resistance to military action when working together
New Tactics Resources
- Australian Agency for International Development, offers Gender Guidelines:Peace-Building
- Global MenEngage Alliance, a vast range of resources and toolkits
- Global Symposium on Engaging Men and Boys in Achieving Gender Equality (Rio, 2009) wrote an extensive declaration
- GPPAC, members recommend the Western Balkans'10th Cetinje Parliamentary Forum outcome statement as a guiding document for their work and in relating to other stakeholders
- ICRW, Gender Equity and Peacebuilding, Evolving Men: Initial Results from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey, and What Men Have to Do With It: Public Policies to Promote Gender Equality
- IFOR/WPP, reports of the first (1) and second (2) training block of Training of Trainers for male peace activists
- KAFKA/Oxfam, Women and Men: Hand in Hand against Violence (in Arabic here)
- Men's Resources International provided these resources on consciousness-raising processes and male involvement projects.
- UNDP, Gender Approach in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations
- UNIFEM, Gender and Conflict Analysis and Women Building Peace and Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict-Affected Contexts
- WANEP, Women in Peacebuilding Resource & Training Manual
- WPP, "Together for Transformation-Men, Masculinities and Peacebuilding"
- A Common Future,
Cameroon: men walked in women's high heal shoes in a walkathon that
built on an old saying with a new twist - You can't really understand
another person's experience until you've put on her shoes to know where
- White Ribbon Campaign,
Canada: In the "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" campaign, men similarly
partook in a walkathon wearing high heels to support of a future without
- The Women's International League for Peace & Freedom's 1325 Literature Repository. It is a space to get information as well as add information for others to learn about what you are doing.
9. UN Women Progress Report 2011-2012 & Millennia 2015
This is an important report. The United Nations has credibility in promoting gender equality. Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile and the current Executive Director of UN Women, is well known for her commitment to gender justice worldwide. The document is 164 pages long and provides a wealth of information including a compilation of relevant statistics. Some progress is reported. Much remains to be done. Here we include just two excerpts: the "Foreword from Michelle Bachelet" and the "Ten Recommendations to Make Justice Systems Work for Women."
As the first major UN Women report, this edition of Progress of the World's Women reminds us of the
remarkable advances that have been made over the past century in the quest for gender equality and
women's empowerment. Even within one generation we have witnessed a transformation in women's legal
rights, which means that today, 125 countries have outlawed domestic violence, 115 guarantee equal
property rights and women's voice in decision-making is stronger than ever before. Today, 28 countries have
reached or surpassed the 30 percent mark for women's representation in parliament, putting women in the
driving seat to forge further change.
Progress of the World's Women 2011–2012: In Pursuit of Justice shows that where laws and justice systems
work well, they can provide an essential mechanism for women to realize their human rights. However, it
also underscores the fact that, despite widespread guarantees of equality, the reality for many millions of
women is that justice remains out of reach. The report highlights the practical barriers that
women – particularly the poorest and most excluded – face in negotiating justice systems and the innovative
approaches that governments and civil society are pioneering to overcome them. It explores the ways in
which women are reconciling guarantees of their rights with the realities of living within plural legal systems. And
it highlights the severe challenges that women face in accessing justice in the aftermath of conflict, as well as
the enormous opportunities for change that can emerge in these most difficult times.
I am privileged to be the first Executive Director of UN Women, an agency that was created because of
the growing recognition that women are central to development, peace and security goals and that equality
for woman and girls lies at the heart of achieving the Millennium Development Goals. For UN Women to meet
the expectations that spurred its creation it must inspire all of our partners – including governments, United
Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations – with concrete and replicable examples of how change
happens to expand women's access to justice.
This edition of Progress of the World's Women builds on the work of colleagues across the United Nations
system in highlighting women's part in strengthening the rule of law and outlines a vision for the future
in which women and men, worldwide, can work side-by-side to make gender equality and women's
empowerment a reality.
Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women
Ten Recommendations to Make Justice Systems Work for Women
1. Support women's legal organizations
2. Support one-stop shops and specialized services to reduce attrition in the justice chain
3. Implement gender-sensitive law reform
4. Use quotas to boost the number of women legislators
5. Put women on the front line of law enforcement
6. Train judges and monitor decisions
7. Increase women's access to courts and truth commissions during and after conflict
8. Implement gender-responsive reparations programmes
9. Invest in women's access to justice
10. Put gender equality at the heart of the Millennium Development Goals
To download the report, click here.
Building peace in the minds of men and women
The international conference Millennia2015, "An action plan for women's empowerment" will be organized to present the results of the foresight exercise started in 2008. Benefiting from the patronage of the UNESCO and the support of the International Organization of la Francophonie, Millennia2015 "Women actors of development for the global challenges" has been launched by The Destree Institute and its international partners in 2007.
Millennia2015 - UNESCO International Conference, Paris, 21-22 November 2011
Point of contact: Anna Maria Majlöf
Its international community gathers more than one thousand experts, women and men, decided to strengthen and to promote the empowerment of women, the respect of human rights and of gender equality all over the world. On the occasion of the 54th Commission on the Status of Women (Beijing+15) in March 2010 at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Millennia2015 has also launched an appeal for international digital solidarity in order to work together until 2015, with the aim of building sustainable futures in solidarity for all women in the entire world at the horizon 2025.
About Millennia2015 and the "Liège 2008-Paris 2011-New York 2015" Foresight Process:
- Millennia2015 Foresight Methodology, Marie-Anne Delahaut and Philippe Destatte, Namur, 14 October 2009.
- Millennia2015, its role and its spirit, Eleonora Barbieri Masini, January 2010.
- Millennia2015 Foresight Exercise, Marie-Anne Delahaut, Philippe Destatte and Coumba Sylla, Namur, 8 October 2010.