In 2015, Euromed Feminist Initiative published the ABC for a Gender Sensitive Constitution. The handbook was the result of a fruitful collaboration with researchers and activists from Syria, Europe and Maghreb, and it provided simple and direct access to main entry points of constitution making from a gender equality perspective. For the past years, it has been shared among constitutional makers, decision makers, constitutionalists, lawyers, politicians and practitioners. The ABC for a Gender Sensitive Constitution was created as a tool to inspire critical review of existing constitutions and to support future constitution building. It lays the foundation for an egalitarian, secular and democratic state, where women’s rights are promoted and protected.
Following this significant work, EFI is now moving to the next stage, developing an ABC for a gender sensitive legislation. This new handbook will be written by Ibrahim Draji, Salsabil Kelibi and Silvia Suteu and will focus on legislation in order to ensure the right implementation of gender-sensitive principles as defined constitutionally. In order to highlight the gaps and the discriminative practices, legislations from Europe, Middle-East and Africa, will be studied and alternatives will be developed.
A reference group gathering activists, gender experts and lawyers from Syria, was formed, following the same methodology as the ABC for a gender sensitive constitution. The reference group will guide the writers and help the development of the second ABC, and its first meeting took place on the 4th and the 5th of July 2018 in Paris.
Ibrahim Draji, writer of the ABC for gender sensitive constitution, and Faek Hwajeh, member of the reference group, in Paris on July, 4th, 2018.
This meeting allowed the writers to discuss with the reference group the purpose of the new ABC and its relevance in the present context. Indeed, the legislations related to women’s rights are easily challenged during political instability or changes of legislative power. Having strong and gender sensitive legislations will strengthen an inclusive Constitution as defined in the previous ABC, as well as citizenship, equal rights and women’s rights in the societies. Gender Equality, non-discrimination and non-violence against women will be the main principle piloting the handbook.
During the two days meeting, the legislations to be addressed were debated as well as the structure, the method and the work planning of the new ABC. Among other key issues, laws on quotas, Family law, Personal status, abortion right, domestic violence law, sexual violence prohibition and marriage regulations will be analysed in terms of good and bad practices.
The ABC for a gender sensitive legislation will combine academic research and legislation expertise with a feminist approach. Available in 2019, the handbook will be the first tool to analyse and criticise the current legislations in order to guarantee women’s rights in law and in practice.
Writers and members of the reference group during the first meeting on the ABC for a gender sensitive legislation in Paris.