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Words and Deeds: Sex Discrimination in Violence Laws

The 4th UN Conference on Women in 1995 was the birth of The Beijing Platform for Action, the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing women’s rights. Governments around the world pledged to change or remove their existing unfair laws and make legal equality a reality. But that goal is far from being realized.

The state of legal equality in 2022

Only 12 out of 190 economies surveyed by the World Bank in 2022 had achieved legal equality, and a typical economy only grants women 75% of the same rights as men.  

Income inequality and gender inequalities are intimately linked, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that inequality kills. During the COVID-19 pandemic, perpetrators, enabled by sexist laws and gender stereotypes, committed even greater physical domestic violence and economic violence against women.  To reverse COVID exacerbated inequality, States must put both gender and income equality first and get rid of all discriminatory laws

Every five years since 1999 Equality Now has highlighted explicitly sex discriminatory laws that need to be reformed in our Words and Deeds report.

Understanding sex discrimination in violence laws

As we approach 30 years since The Beijing Platform for Action, this second in a series of focus briefs and it explores the impact of sex discrimination in laws related to violence and what still needs to change.

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