Equality Mainstreaming in Rule of Law Strengthening: A Guide

Equality mainstreaming is a process that is often overlooked in rule of law programmes. There are several misunderstandings over its role in rule of law work and how it can be applied. However, if marginalised groups are supported to access institutions and mechanisms that administer justice, and if these institutions are strengthened to deliver justice, rule of law programmes are significantly more likely to facilitate the emergence of more peaceful and equitable societies. Adopting equality mainstreaming also helps avoid the risk of projects causing harm to individuals, groups and communities, such as through inadvertently reinforcing existing power structures that disadvantage people.

Therefore, this Guide aims to help those working on rule of law programmes to better understand how equality can be mainstreamed into every stage of programming, from programme design to programme adaptation. This Guide is informed through our work with legal and judicial stakeholders and the insight they offered into the challenges faced in mainstreaming equality into their rule of law programmes. It offers clear and practical guidance to ensuring that such work benefits the most marginalised and avoids inadvertent harm.

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