– The Federal Lawyer, December Issue 2018 –
The promotion of access to Justice (A2J) in respect of human rights violations and abuses is a prerequisite for the full enjoyment of human rights and it is also a fundamental element of the rule of law. The meaning of A2J is not limited to the efficiency of the justice system, but it is involved different factors. From the women’s perspective, there are several national and international barriers and restrictions that impede them from realizing their right of A2J on a basis of equality. These obstacles can have legal/institutional, socio-economic and cultural nature.
The culture of silence has different reasons. Women’s lack of confidence in judicial processes; fear of offender; think judges could do anything; feel shame or embarrassment. A pool of women in the justice system is one of the prerequisites to end impunity. Judges, lawyers and prosecutors should adopt a gender-sensitive approach to their work.
Women also face challenge to have access and equal opportunity in the legal professions and consequently in the justice sector. Women often lack equal access to legal education curricula, both in quality and content, and professional development. Gender-based disparities and intersection of multiple forms of bias are common in the justice system. The feminization of legal professions is not yet a global phenomenon and female attorneys, judges or prosecutors often do not receive the same presumption of competence or commitment as their male colleagues. In this way, women remain out of the circle of career development.