On 23 June 2021, PJI Director Maxine Marcus moderated a panel convened by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as part of their Gender Equality Forum.

A renowned expert on conflict-related gender-sexual violence crimes, Ms. Marcus facilitated a powerful discussion among the panellists, with a focus on victim-centred practices that mirrors PJI’s commitment to centring victims and survivors of grave crimes in justice practices.

The panel, entitled “The gender dimensions of criminal justice – law enforcement and criminal justice responses to gender-based violence”, focused on the impact that challenges to the rule of law have on women and girls, particularly in the context of gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel placed particular importance on a victim-centred approach and gender-responsive policing.

The panellists discussed the importance of including a gender analysis in responses to corruption, gender-based violence, and organized crime so as to develop a more holistic understanding of the violent realities that both women and men experience. By considering these gendered realities, panellists asserted that better policies may develop to improve gender-responsive accountability and deterrence mechanisms in order to best serve victims. Measures such as trainings, interventions, and informational handbooks may proactively educate practitioners on the realities of those most vulnerable to violence.

The panel further reflected on the meaningful participation of women in policing and criminal justice institutions. Through such participation, the panellists highlighted how operational effectiveness and responses to gender-based crimes may be improved. 

The UNODC Gender Equality Forum aimed not only to raise awareness about the gendered dimensions in UNODC’s mandate areas of criminal justice, corruption, and transnational organized crime, but also to develop forward-looking recommendations on how to address persistent barriers for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in these areas. 

Watch the recording here and find more information on the UNODC’s Gender Equality Forum here

Learn about the other Panelists:

  • Dr. Jeni Klugman–Managing Director at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and Senior Adviser at the Stanford University Center for Gender Equality. 
  • Marco Teixeria–Head of Programme Office in Mozambique, Programme Coordinator UNODC. 
  • Isabel Erreguerena–Feminist activist and Co-Director at Equis Justicia para las Mujeres A.C.
  • Alexandra Robinson–Global GBV Advisor for the Gender and Human Rights Branch of UNFPA Headquarters
  • Dolores López Sánchez–Commissioner in the Spanish “Policía Nacional”, and the Head of the Area for Human Rights and Equality, which contains the National Office for Gender Equality and the National Office for Human Rights.