July 16, 2011
Progress of the World’s Women: UN Report on Achieving Women’s Equality is a Fundamental Human Right and a Social and Economic Imperative
From the foreword of UN Women's Progress of the World’s Women 2011–2012: In Pursuit of Justice by Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN 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.
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.
UN Women is the United Nation's entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women. For more, visit the UN Women website.
Hat tip to beSpacific. [JH]