The Economic and Legal Empowerment panel at the World Justice Forum IV explored how civil society, government, and private actors can work in concert to empower vulnerable and poor citizens through a robust rule of law.
Panelists focused on modern methods of legal empowerment such as government programs that raise awareness of vulnerable citizens’ constitutional rights; safeguards and regulations that ensure access to justice; the right to counsel; and access to formal business and financial mechanisms. The discussion also highlighted innovative solutions to closing the gap between passing a law in the halls of parliament and the reality of that law as experienced by the poor.
Zaza Namoradze, Director, Budapest Office, Open Society Justice Initative (Hungary)
Discrimination is widespread and getting worse around the world, according to World Justice Project data.
The latest edition of the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index—the world’s leading, independent source of rule of law data—finds that 70% of countries have seen discrimination worsen between 2021 and 2022. Since 2015, discrimination has increased in three-fourths of countries that WJP studied.
An app inspired by a horrific act of gender-based violence in India is now empowering women and girls around the world to make their communities safer. The World Justice Project spoke to Elsa Marie d’Silva, founder and CEO of the Red Dot Foundation about the Safecity app, which won the World Justice Challenge 2022 in the Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination category.
Around the world, equality for women and girls is still an ongoing struggle. This International Women’s Day, the United Nations is shining a spotlight on the gender gap in STEM education and careers, as well as the threat of online violence that women face.
Improving women’s rights is a key goal for a number of organizations in the World Justice Challenge network, which includes community-based organizations from around the world that are dedicated to strengthening the rule of law. Several of these organizations are strategically utilizing technology in their work—whether in addressing online harassment, providing women and girls with a digital education or supporting survivors of sexual violence.
On February 25, Nigerians will elect a new president, with 18 candidates vying for what will likely be a challenging job. Data from the WJP Rule of Law Index 2022 shows Nigeria has experienced a decline in the rule of law for five straight years, and the country now ranks 118 out of 140 countries and jurisdictions studied.
While members of the international community are watching what happens in Africa’s most populous nation with keen interest, a Nigeria-based nonprofit organization, the Samuel Ioron Foundation, is seeking to empower more of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens to vote.