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U.N. Women launches first database mapping gender provisions in constitutions

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 17 Dec 2013 07:39 GMT
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In a 2011 file photo, a woman casts her vote during the presidential election, in Guatemala City. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez
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NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The U.N. agency for gender equality and women’s empowerment has launched the first ever global database mapping national constitutions in terms of how they guarantee, deny or protect the rights of women and girls.

The interactive database, accessible on the U.N. Women website at http://constitutions.unwomen.org, covers 195 countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.  All the constitutions are available in English, as well as in their 62 original languages.

Expected to be updated annually, the database provides a country-by-country overview of the current status of principles and rules relevant to women’s rights and gender equality, as well as a comparison of data across various countries. It is designed to be a tool for gender equality and human rights activists and experts.

Using keywords, researchers can choose from legal provisions grouped into 16 categories, including rights of women; public authorities, institutions and services; political participation and freedom of association; citizenship and nationality; education; employment; marriage and family life; status of religious/customary law; status of international law (including human rights law); right to property/inheritance; and reproductive rights.

The constitutional database was conceived by U.N. Women and supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

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