Multi-Country Study on Access to Justice for Women and Girls in East and Southern Africa
UN Women conducted a multi-country analytical study on access to justice for women and girls in ten countries. This analytical inquiry into access to justice for women and girls in East and Southern Africa presents a steep rise in poor access to justice for women and girls, which has been worsened by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study concludes that this is not likely to level out in the region because of the circumstances facing women and girls and the limited opportunities for women and girls to access justice. This is exacerbated by the escalating numbers of women and girls facing violence across the world, and Africa is no exception. The increasing number of victims and survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) in the region creates additional barriers for women and girls on the path to accessing justice. The study shows that women and girls in the region under investigation have limited opportunities to access justice. The region’s unfortunate status can be attributed to numerous legal pluralisms orchestrated by the urge to keep statutory, customary and traditional justice mechanisms all in one basket. This calls for an urgent need to widen the approaches to justice for women beyond legal measures and examine the nexus between culture, politics and economics that shapes access to justice for women and girls along the justice chain.
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