All over the world, women continue to suffer discrimination and violence. In many countries, discrimination is enshrined in the law : women are refused equal rights in marriage and divorce, to custody of children, nationality, inheritance and land. But even in those countries where women have achieved – often partial – equality in law, laws are rarely fully implemented. Violence against women persists as a result of inadequate legislation to protect victims and prosecute and punish perpetrators, obstacles to access to justice and a lack of political will on the part of public authorities who tolerate the spread of violence against women. When violence against women is not punished, it contributes to a culture of impunity which in turn contributes to the repetition of such crimes.
Women are not just victims. Everywhere, they are the leading figures of their own emancipation. Yet women’s rights defenders
are targeted with particular forms of repression because of their sex and the nature of their activities.
Women remain massively under-represented in political and other decision-making bodies. Since 2000, the United Nations Security Council has adopted a series of resolutions recognizing the crucial role of women in conflict prevention, resolution and peace consolidation.
However, more than a decade later, only a handful of states has adopted national action plans, implementation remains weak and women continue to be marginalised in peace negotiations.