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Women's Access to Justice: delivering on the Istanbul Convention and other European gender equality standards in the Eastern Partnership countries

Project Description
The European Union-Council of Europe regional project aims at strengthening access to justice for women, especially victims of violence, in line with the CoE Istanbul Convention and contributing towards the EaP countries' ratification of the Istanbul Convention. It indirectly addresses gender inequalities in society, particularly visible in cases of women victims of violence by taking into account the specificities of women and men’s experiences, as well as needs within the justice system. In this sense, the project targets legal professionals who are at different steps of the justice chain and who are interacting with women in search of redress. The lack of knowledge of gender sensitive tools and European standards on gender equality and violence against women coupled with persistent gender stereotypes among legal professionals contribute to women not being able to fully enjoy their rights and to live a life free of violence. The activities of the project combine a diversity of methods to build up the competences of the legal professionals in acquiring the necessary knowledge and tools to apply the standards on access to justice of the Istanbul Convention and more generally understand European standards on gender equality and non-discrimination in their daily work, particularly when dealing with violence against women.

This project is funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe in their Partnership for Good Governance II (2019-2022).
Specific Objective
Strengthened access to justice for women, especially women victims of violence, in line with the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). Thus, contributing towards the signature/ratification of the Istanbul Convention in line with the EU 20 deliverables for 2020.

Specific objectives:
- Authorities, justice sector professionals, and civil society apply new competences on the standards on access to justice of the Istanbul Convention, in order to remove obstacles to access to justice.
- Authorities, justice sector professionals and civil society introduce measures, including on training, to ensure that the justice chain is gender responsive, particularly for women victims of violence in line with the Istanbul Convention and other European standards.
Expected Results
- To conduct practice oriented educational activities of good practices through a variety of methodologies targeting legal professionals involved at the different stages of the justice chain on gender sensitive responses to cases of violence against women and victim’s access to justice in line with the Istanbul Convention and other European standards.
- To implement proposed Framework for measuring access to justice including specific challenges facing women to support the EaP countries in observing and monitoring women’s access to justice, as well as to incorporate issues related to gender equality and violence against women in the national training curricula for legal professionals in at least two EaP countries.
- To obtain targeted outreach and awareness-raising activities, including distribution of information in national languages, aiming at enhancing women’s access to legal aidregional outreach, as well as conduct awareness-raising activities, including best practices events, to foster understanding of the standards of the Istanbul Convention and other European standards.
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Priority Area:
Partnership that protects
Rule of law & human rights
Human rights, Women, Eastern Partnership, Justice
EaP Countries:
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine
Project Status:
Start Date:
End Date:
Implementing Organisation:
Council of Europe
Funding by the EU:
€856 800
EU Project Number:

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