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Eliminating Discriminatory Laws: Achieving Gender Equality on Paper and in Practice During Challenging Times

24 March, 2021 @ 2:00 pm 3:30 pm

Eliminating Discriminatory Laws: Achieving Gender Equality on Paper and in Practice During Challenging Times

Discrimination in law has severe repercussion to women’s lived realities – and more so now as the world is facing the impact of COVID-19. Without the protection of the law, women and girls, especially those facing intersectional discrimination, continue to be left behind in accessing and enjoying their human rights. Globally, over 2.5 billion women and girls are negatively impacted by discriminatory laws.  In many countries, women are still not guaranteed equal legally treatment with men. There are still legal provisions that prevent married women from registering a business or signing a contract in the same manner as their husbands; or from traveling outside the family home.

Global commitments have underscored the importance of eliminating discriminatory laws and the establishment of strong legal framework on gender equality. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) as well as the Beijing Platform for Action condemn discrimination against women in all its forms and urge legal protection of the rights of women through constitutions, laws, and competent justice institutions.

This event will highlight the urgent need to eliminate discriminatory laws across women’s lives, with heightened focus on gender-based violence. The panel discussion will also identify promising approaches to expand political will and support for gender-equal legal reform.


Opening Remarks

  • Ms. Jan Beagle, Director-General, IDLO


  • H.E Hosna Jalil, Deputy Minister for Women’s Affairs (Policy and Planning), Afghanistan
  • Ms. Tea Trumbic, Program Manager, Women, Business and the Law, World Bank
  • Ms. Anita E Baleda, Chief Gender and Development Specialist, Policy Development, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division, Philippine Commission on Women
  • Ms. Katherine Meighan, General Counsel, IFAD
  • Ms. Melissa Upreti, Vice-Chair, UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls
  • Dr. Lesley Ann Foster, Executive Director, Masimanyane Women’s Center and Chairperson, Gender-based Violence Committee, South African Women Lawyers Association (SAWLA)


  • Dr. Ilaria Bottigliero, Director, Policy, Research and Learning, IDLO

An interactive dialogue will follow the remarks and panel discussion.