Keep in mind that gender-based violence is so widespread and accepted that products have emerged – such as nail polish to detect roofers – that encourage girls and women to make different choices and change their behaviour, rather than preventing violence or holding perpetrators accountable. Around the world, gender equality laws help combat discrimination against women and ensure equal and equitable treatment of men and women so that they can fully enjoy their human rights. These laws can help eliminate discriminatory practices and procedures that might otherwise undermine women`s right to participate in the electoral process. Around the world, a variety of harmful laws, practices and stereotypes are imposed on people who identify with or are perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI). These include deep-rooted forms of heteronormative bias in the community, at school and at work; the legal prohibition of certain sexual practices; legal prohibitions on freedom of expression, including freedom of speech and association; homophobic hate speech; and homophobic hate crimes, including physical violence and murder. Another breach of the rule of law and the promise of equal protection of the law is that LGBTI people are often denied justice or exposed to further violence due to contact with criminal justice institutions or professionals. Even if absurd laws – such as requiring a woman to get her husband`s permission to have her hair cut – are not really enforced, the fact that such restrictions are still in place means they could be, and suggests that some governments do not feel compelled to entrench and protect equality. These two examples show that legal recognition, while perhaps insufficient to ensure equality, opens the door to access to justice and judicial review that can remedy the violation of fundamental rights. VA Health Care: Better data are needed to assess health outcomes for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender veterans.53 Further decides that the mandate and tasks of the legal entity (UN Women) should consist of the consolidated mandates and functions of the [former] Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, the Department for the Advancement of Women, the United Nations Development Fund for Women and the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, with the additional role of ensuring that the United Nations system is accountable for leading, coordinating and promoting its work in the area of gender equality and the empowerment of women, and that all new mandates are subject to approval by intergovernmental procedures (document A/RES/289, page 9). Women, Business and the Law examines a total of 35 legal issues. Legal rights are divided into eight indicators on different themes (mobility, employment, remuneration, marriage, parenthood, entrepreneurship, wealth and pension).

Each indicator asks four or five questions about the existence or absence of laws and regulations to ensure equal opportunities for women and men. For example, marriage includes the following questions: «Is there legislation that specifically addresses domestic violence?» and «Does a woman have the same right to remarry as a man?» A perfect score of 100 on the index represents equality between women and men in the set of legal rights covered. Articles 2 and 23 stipulate that there shall be no distinction or discrimination on the basis of sex, including the right to equal pay for work. See Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Secretary-General is requested to assume responsibility for coordinating policies for the implementation of the Programme of Action within the United Nations system and for mainstreaming a system-wide gender perspective in all activities of the Organization, taking into account the mandates of the bodies concerned. The Secretary-General should consider specific measures to ensure effective coordination in achieving those objectives. To this end, the Secretary-General is invited to establish a high-level post in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, using existing human and financial resources, to advise the Secretary-General on gender issues and contribute to the system-wide implementation of the Platform for Action, in close cooperation with the Division for the Advancement of Women. So what do we do? First, we must call on legislators, parliamentarians and leaders at all levels to take equality seriously. Wherever you read this, you live in a country that has some of these laws.

The repeal of discriminatory laws should be a top priority. Advancing gender equality requires changing the hearts and minds of people around the world – from decision-makers to community members.