UN expert calls for integration of gender perspective into criminal justice systems

Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Gabriela Knaul. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

21 October 2011 – A gender perspective needs to be integrated into countries’ criminal justice systems to ensure women are not “ruled out of the law,” the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Gabriela Knaul said today.

“Given the historical and pervasive discrimination against women throughout the world, we have to look at how women are represented and treated in the criminal justice system,” Ms. Knaul said, presenting her latest annual report in New York to the General Assembly.

Ms. Knaul said integrating a gender outlook is a fundamental step towards allowing equal access to justice for menGiven the historical and pervasive discrimination against women throughout the world, we have to look at how women are represented and treated in the criminal justice system. and women and stressed that “we all have an essential responsibility to integrate a gender perspective into our own mandates and work.”

Ms. Knaul also expressed particular concern for the lack of integration and women’s points of view into judicial procedures, noting that women’s representation should be encouraged and “traditional notions of judging and judicial authority must be challenged.”

“I hope this report will encourage stakeholders to properly study, understand, assess, and challenge the impacts and effects that gender-based stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination have on both women and men in their access to and engagement in the justice system as a whole, and the criminal justice system in particular,” Ms. Knaul said.


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