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Handbook for legislation on violence against women

The Handbook serves as a useful tool in supporting efforts to provide justice, support, protection and remedies to victims and to hold perpetrators accountable. The Handbook first outlines the international and regional legal and policy frameworks which mandate States to enact and implement comprehensive and effective laws to address violence against women. It then presents a model framework for legislation on violence against women, divided into fourteen chapters. Finally, the Handbook provides users with a checklist of considerations to be kept in mind when drafting legislation on violence against women. This Handbook intends to provide all stakeholders with detailed guidance to support the adoption and effective implementation of legislation which prevents violence against women, punishes perpetrators, and ensures the rights of survivors everywhere.

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Realizing women's rights to land and other productive resources

Women’s access to, use of and control over land and other productive resources are essential to ensuring their right to equality and to an adequate standard of living. Throughout the world, gender inequality when it comes to land and other productive resources is related to women’s poverty and exclusion. Barriers which prevent women’s access to, use of and control over land and other productive resources often include inadequate legal standards and/or ineffective implementation at national and local levels, as well as discriminatory cultural attitudes and practices at the institutional and community level. The purpose of this publication is to provide detailed guidance to support the adoption and effective implementation of laws, policies and programmes to respect, protect and fulfill women’s rights to land and other productive resources. It presents an overview of international and regional legal and policy instruments recognizing women’s rights to land and other productive resources, and discusses ways of advancing a human rights-based approach to women’s rights to land and other productive resources. It sets out recommendations in a range of areas accompanied by explanatory commentaries and good practice examples and case studies from countries. The publication is based on the results of an expert group meeting held in June 2012. It is hoped that the publication will be a useful tool for policy makers, civil society organizations and other stakeholders in their efforts to realize women’s rights to land other productive resources.

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Latin American model protocol for the investigation of gender-related killings of women (femicide/feminicide)

The Latin American Model Protocol for the investigation of gender-related killings of women is a practical tool, designed to be applied by the people responsible for carrying out the investigation and prosecution of these acts. Its main objective is to offer guidance and lines of action to improve the practice of those working in the justice system, forensic experts, and other specialized persons, including those acting in relation to the crime scene, the forensic laboratory, the interrogation of witnesses and suspects, the case analysis, the formulation of the indictment, or before the court. The content of this Model Protocol is based not only on technical elements—essential to understand the gendered dimension of the killings of women—but also on the experience and lessons learned by the people that participate in these cases day in and day out. This text is the result of a broad consultation process carried out with prosecutors in charge of the investigations, police officers, forensic experts, people that work with perpetrators of these crimes, professionals from a variety of disciplines, organizations that assist the victims (direct and indirect) of violence against women, and judges called on to evaluate the evidence, punish those responsible for these crimes and determine the reparations for victims.

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Handbook on effective prosecution responses to violence against women and girls

Prosecutors play a critical role in the criminal justice response to violence against women and girls. In December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the updated Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (General Assembly resolution 65/228, annex) which provide a comprehensive policy framework to assist States in developing responses and carrying out actions to eliminate violence against women and to promote gender equality within the criminal justice system. Drawing upon the recommendations and guidance contained in the updated Model Strategies and Practical Measures, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UN Women, in cooperation with Thailand Institute of Justice, have drafted the Handbook on Effective Prosecution Responses to Violence against Women and Girls with a view to assist prosecutors in their duty to uphold the rule of law, firmly protect human rights and serve their community with impartiality and fairness in cases involving violence against women and girls. The Handbook is divided into three parts: Part One discusses current reflections, theories and research on violence against women and girls, the importance of the criminal justice response and some common misconceptions and myths surrounding sexual and gender-based violence; Part Two focuses on the role of a prosecutor in cases involving violence against women and girls. This part covers dealing with survivors, their role in investigations and the relationship with police, the decision to prosecute, the selection of charges, pre-trial considerations such as release pending trial and no contact orders, evidentiary issues, trial considerations, roles in sentencing and post-conviction, and restorative justice concerns; Part Three explores some of the institutional approaches that a prosecution agency can consider to ensure an effective response to violence against women and girls.

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Policy briefing paper: gender sensitive police reform in post conflict societies

This briefing paper reviews UNIFEM and UNDP experiences in building the capacity of police services to respond to women's security needs. The paper distinguishes between internal reforms to facilitate recruitment of larger numbers of women, and reforms to police operational and accountability systems. The latter enable the police to address gender-based violence more effectively, and to develop other services that protect women and children from abuses of their rights. They include a complex range of reforms to incentive systems, performance measures, practical infrastructural arrangements, and information and communication systems. The paper concludes by stressing the importance of women's engagement in accountability mechanisms to review police performance and support efforts to correct for poor practice.

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Securing the peace: guiding the international community towards women's effective participation throughout peace processes

The transition from war to peace opens a unique window of opportunity to address the root causes of conflict and transform institutions, structures and relationships within society. It is essential to ensure the active involvement of women and the articulation of gender equality from the earliest stages of peace talks through to implementation and monitoring of agreements. Not only do women have their own perspectives on political solutions and national recovery priorities to offer, but if they are excluded from peace accords this has tended, in the past, to guarantee their subsequent exclusion from public decision-making institutions. The overarching goal envisioned in this publication is a locally driven, locally owned and inclusive process wherein women can assert their right to participate in the decisions being taken about their future and which will result in the signing and implementation of a gender-sensitive peace agreement. A narrow window of opportunity exists for a gender perspective to be incorporated in the transformative processes that follow conflict; these begin with the negotiations that end war and create a foundation for peace. The guidelines offered here point the way to helping women make the most of that window, so they contribute to and benefit from a lasting, just and inclusive peace. This publication provides concrete recommendations to: 1) support women's effective participation at all stages of a peace process; 2) promote gender-sensitive peace negotiations and agreements; 3) encourage the mainstreaming of a gender perspective throughout the implementation of peace accords.

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Getting it right, doing it right: gender and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration

This publication calls on all participants and decision makers to consider the needs of women and girls in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) processes. Four years since the passage of resolution 1325, few would dispute that there is a gender deficit in DDR planning and delivery. Built on the premise that women and girls' should be supported in their efforts towards rebuilding their societies, "Getting It Right, Doing It Right" contains practical advice on how programmers and planners can incorporate gender perspective into their work. The publication contains a set of lessons learned and recommendations, guidance and insights that will make disarmament, demobilization and reintegration more inclusive and, ultimately, successful.

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Addressing conflict-related sexual violence – an analytical inventory of peacekeeping practice

Despite increased attention to the women, peace and security agenda since the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1325 in October 2000, major analytical and implementation gaps remain. One such gap is the effort to combat conflict-related sexual violence — the premise of subsequent Security Council resolutions 1820 and 1888 — and the potential of uniformed peacekeepers to help fight such violence. This document captures best practices and emerging elements for a more effective response by peacekeepers to women's security concerns. From initiating firewood patrols in Darfur to establishing market escorts, night patrols and early-warning systems in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the document catalogues direct and indirect efforts to combat sexual violence during and in the wake of war. While the focus of this publication is on the practical methods by which military, police and civilian peacekeepers can prevent sexual violence, it is also part of a broader agenda to improve the capacities of peacekeepers to protect civilians effectively.

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Progress of the world’s women: in pursuit of justice

The past century has seen a transformation in women's legal rights, with countries in every region expanding the scope of women's legal entitlements. Nevertheless for many of the world's women the laws that exist on paper do not translate to equality and justice. Progress of the World's Women: In Pursuit of Justice looks at how the legal system can play a positive role in women accessing their rights, citing cases that have changed women's lives both at a local and at times global level. It also looks at the important role women have played and continue to play as agents for change within the legal system, as legislators, as lawyers, as community activists but also asks why, despite progress on legal reform, the justice system is still not delivering justice for all women. The report focuses on four key areas: legal and constitutional frameworks, the justice chain, plural legal systems and conflict and post-conflict. Drawing on tangible examples of steps that have been taken to help women access justice, the report sets out ten key recommendations for policy and decision makers to act on in order to ensure every woman is able to obtain justice.

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Informal justice systems: charting a course for human rights-based engagement

Informal Justice Systems: Charting a Course for Human Rights-Based Engagement is a study that has been jointly commissioned by UNDP, UNICEF and UN Women. It is the first comprehensive assessment that has been conducted of informal justice systems and human rights protection. It involved an exhaustive literature review and country-specific case studies in Bangladesh, Ecuador, Malawi, Niger, Papua New Guinea and Uganda, as well as a desk study of 12 additional countries. The Study establishes a typology for informal justice systems, recognizing the diversity and complexity of non-state mediation and decision-making by customary and traditional systems, and finds that most contain varying mixtures of elements of formality and informality. Drawing on the analysis of these systems’ practice, it reviews in particular issues of concern for the protection of women’s and children’s rights. Based on a comprehensive assessment of programming interventions to date, the study identifies the most promising strategies for bringing informal justice systems into greater alignment with human rights requirements. It also finds that effective programming in this area is highly context-specific, and that engaging with the cultural practices that are entrenched in informal justice systems demands a multi-pronged and long term human rights-based approach, that is carefully aligned with local communities’ own priorities.

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Violence against women in politics

Violence against women in politics is rampant in South Asia according to a new study conducted by the Centre for Social Research and UN Women. The study, ‘Violence against Women in Politics’ revealed that the insufficient implementation of laws, lack of support from police and judiciary, the socio-economic divide and current power structures are the major reasons for violence. The study was conducted in India, Nepal and Pakistan and analyses incidents of violence that occurred from 2003 to 2013. It was conducted to address the nature, extent and reasons for violence that inhibits women’s political participation. Approximately 800 respondents were interviewed including election commission officials, police, contestants, and families in urban and rural areas. The study finds that while the percentage of female voters and women candidates fielded by political parties has increased in all three countries, the percentage of female representatives in national bodies has decreased. The study also finds that more than 60 per cent of women do not participate in politics due to fear of violence.

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Ending violence against women: from the Beijing Platform for Action to the Sustainable Development Goals

The booklet contains relevant sections of the principal international agreements over the past 20 years where countries have committed to responding to violence against women and girls. It also provides a summary of the trends in national implementation of the Platform for Action, specifically in relation to one of the identified critical areas of concern, violence against women, as well as an overview of the role of UN Women in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular, the development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Global guidance on addressing school-related gender-based violence

More than 246 million children are subjected to gender-based violence in or around schools every year. This is a violation of their human rights, and a form of gender-discrimination that has far-reaching physical, psychological and educational consequences. The Global Guidance provides key information to governments, policy-makers, teachers, practitioners and civil society who wish to take concrete action against school-related gender-based violence. It introduces approaches, methodologies, tools and resources that have shown positive results in preventing and responding to school-related gender-based violence.

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Essential services package for women and girls subject to violence

The United Nations Joint Global Programme on Essential Services for Women and Girls Subject to Violence, a partnership by UN Women, UNFPA, WHO, UNDP and UNODC, aims to provide greater access to a coordinated set of essential and quality multi-sectoral services for all women and girls who have experienced gender based violence. The Programme identifies the essential services to be provided by the health, social services, police and justice sectors as well as guidelines for the coordination of essential services and the governance of coordination processes and mechanisms. Service delivery guidelines for the core elements of each essential service have been identified to ensure the delivery of high-quality services, particularly for low- and middle-income countries, for women and girls experiencing violence. Taken together, these elements comprise the “Essential services package”.

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A framework to underpin action to prevent violence against women

Violence against women is one of the most pervasive human rights violations in the world, rooted in gender inequality, discrimination and harmful cultural and social norms. It is also increasingly recognized as a public health issue that adversely affects the health of women. Due to sustained efforts by the women’s movement, governments and other stakeholders, the issue of violence against women is now positioned as a priority on global human rights, health and development agendas. Many of the responses to date to violence against women have focused primarily on intervening with affected individuals after the violence has occurred. Such strategies are essential to mitigate the devastating mental, physical, social and economic effects for women experiencing violence, ensure justice and accountability, and prevent its recurrence. It is important to continue to improve these responses. At the same time, there is also an increasing need to address the broader factors that contribute to prevalence at a population level, and to implement programmes that prevent such violence from occurring in the first place.

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Shelters for women and girls who are survivors of violence in Ethiopia

Despite legislative and institutional provisions to women and girl survivors of violence in Ethiopia, support for the rehabilitation and reintegration of survivors is still limited. Women and girls still lack access to coordinated, quality services and as a result, continue to be affected by the psycho-social impacts of violence. This publication is a study commissioned by UN Women Ethiopia to assess the availability, accessibility, quality and demand for rehabilitative and reintegration services for women and girl-survivors of violence in Ethiopia. This national assessment further examines the existing referral systems, both at national and regional levels, along with other response mechanisms in place to present good practices, major challenges and recommendations.The assessment will add to the evidence-base for planning and development of appropriate interventions by state actors and other development partners, by identifying and mapping the existing rehabilitative and reintegration service centers; and compiling an inventory of their services, gaps and current barriers.

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Acceleration of human development in the Caribbean: a proposal to strengthen evidence-based policy making in CARICOM member states

The UNDG LAC proposes to jointly develop and coordinate an initiative with CARICOM in order to guide, monitor, assist, and develop capacity in evidence based policy making and programme development in the region. The central purpose is to develop and support national capacities in collecting, analyzing, disseminating and using evidence in policymaking and programme development in UN programme countries among CARICOM member states.

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Policy and operational messages to support UN Country Teams in integrating human rights into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

The messages in this document are envisaged to provide a common understanding for the UN system on how human rights can be integrated and should inform the planning and programming process as well as policy guidance for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The messages focus on: a) how to align the SDGs with the country’s existing human rights commitments; b) how to fulfill the pledge to ‘leave no one behind’ and ‘reach the furthest behind first’; c) how to ensure active and meaningful participation in the preparation of the national SDG action plans; and, d) how to build robust accountability frameworks in the implementation of these national plans.

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The United Nations in Vietnam: 2008 One Plan annual report

The “One UN Initiative” in Viet Nam and the One Plan are in response to the Ha Noi Core Statement and, as outlined in the Report of the High-Level Panel on System-Wide Coherence, emphasize the need for the UN to move away from traditional service delivery and project implementation towards upstream policy advice. At the heart of the One Plan is the overall goal to enhance programmatic synergies amongst various UN interventions, eliminate any programmatic duplication and overlap, and deliver more effectively “as One”. The purpose of the One Plan Annual Report is to provide the Government of Vietnam and development partners with an account of how the implementation of the One Plan progresses. The report includes concrete examples on how the joint planning and programming process has led to a stronger and more cohesive UN by moving towards upstream policy advice in a number of key cross- cutting areas. The report also provides details on how resources from the One Plan Fund were allocated against the five Outcomes and corresponding Outputs of the One Plan.

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Mid-term review of the UN development assistance framework for Malawi (2008-2011)

In pursuit of economic growth and poverty reduction, the Malawi Government has articulated development goals in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS, 2006-2011), to which the UN’s Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF, 2008-2011) is aligned.The Mid-Term Review provides an opportunity for the UN country team to assess collective performance in respect of ‘delivering as one.’ The review has been carried out as a participatory, self-evaluation exercise focusing on UN programs and processes over the past two years; current MGDS-UNDAF alignment; and expected results for UNDAF implementation 2010/2011.

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Mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: reference guide to UN country teams

This document is designed as a reference guide for UN Country Teams (UNCTs), under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinators, that wish to support Member States and national stakeholders in adapting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to national contexts (“mainstreaming”) while protecting its integrity. The document covers eight implementation guidance areas that can serve as the basis for UNCT assistance at the national level, sub-national and local levels.

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Country-level needs for SDG implementation in Europe and Central Asia

In view of its interconnectedness, the new agenda of SDGs will require holistic approaches and coherent action by global, regional and country level actors. In order to ensure interlinkages between the regional and country levels, the ECA Regional UNDG Team undertook a consultation with ECA UN Resident Coordinators (RCs) and Country Teams (UNCT) through a survey to identify needs and requirements at country level with regard to SDG implementation. This document presents the finding of the survey as well as conclusions drawn.

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Delivering together facility for sustainable development

With the growing call for the UN development system to go beyond business-as-usual coordination and rise to the challenge to support implementation of the more ambitious and integrated 2030 Agenda, United Nations Development Operations and Coordination Office (UNDOCO) has reviewed the data and practice evidence, as well as the policy and resource mechanisms at its disposal, and established the Delivering Together Facility for Sustainable Development (DTF), to be operational in 2017. The DTF is set up as a flexible funding mechanism to provide seed funds to RCs and UNCTs, to help them leverage joined-up UN development system’s efforts in support of Member States implementing the 2030 Agenda. This document presents the design features, strategic framework, implementation arrangements and fund management of the DTF, which will become operational in 2017.

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Gender equality and human rights

The achievement of substantive equality is understood as having four dimensions: redressing disadvantage; countering stigma, prejudice, humiliation and violence; transforming social and institutional structures; and facilitating political participation and social inclusion. The paper shows that, although not articulated in this way, these dimensions are clearly visible in the application by the various interpretive bodies of the principles of equality to the enjoyment of treaty rights. At the same time, it shows that there are important ways in which these bodies could go further, both in articulating the goals of substantive equality and in applying them when assessing compliance by States with international obligations of equality. The substantive equality approach, in its four-dimensional form, provides an evaluative tool with which to assess policy in relation to the right to gender equality. The paper elaborates on the four-dimensional approach to equality and how it can be used to evaluate the impact of social and economic policies on women to determine how to make the economy 'work for women' and advance gender equality. The paper suggests that there is a growing consensus at the international level on an understanding of substantive equality that reflects the four dimensional framework.

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Promoting the rights, needs and agency of women and girls in humanitarian action

With continued population growth, urbanization, stretched natural resources, protracted conflict and the impact of climate change becoming more apparent, the number of humanitarian crises continues to grow, as does the number of communities requiring humanitarian assistance. Within these communities, women and girls are often disproportionately at risk to the effects of these crises. They are more likely to lose their means of livelihood and are exposed to a heightened risk of gender-based violence. Further, in the aftermath of disasters, their specific humanitarian needs are often neither adequately identified nor addressed in the ensuing response by governments and humanitarian agencies alike. To address this omission, UN Women is committed to ensuring equality among all women, men, girls and boys affected by disasters, both as beneficiaries of humanitarian action and as contributors to its planning and implementation. This brochure provides an overview and examples of how UN Women promotes gender equality and women’s empowerment in its humanitarian work around the world.

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