Women and Girls Face Discrimination in Courtrooms Around the World

© Photo by REUTERS/Daniel Becerri

Women are the fastest-growing section of the world’s prison population. From arrest through trial and during incarceration, their gender impacts how they experience the criminal justice system.

A new TrialWatch report by the Clooney Foundation for Justice’s partners at Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute and Clinic, provides an overview of the discrimination faced by women and girls because of their gender, often combined with race, ethnicity, and class.

Drawing on research by Columbia Law School students, it outlines the range of ways this discrimination manifests—from the criminalization of abortion and other reproductive services, to the use of ‘morality crimes’ to police the behavior of women and girls, to the ways gender stereotypes not only inform the charges women and girls face, but also influence how they are treated in court.

This is the first report in a series that will look at prosecutions targeting women and girls around the world, a priority for TrialWatch in 2022. As the number of women tried and sentenced to prison for criminal offences continues to grow, it’s critical that we understand their experience with criminal justice in order to reform discriminatory laws and practices.

For the first report in this series, click here.

For the full report, click here.

For more TrialWatch work on the Criminalization of Abortion, see also:

Fairness reports on two cases in El Salvador.

El Salvador Needs to Stop Prosecuting Obstetric Emergencies as Homicides

For more on ‘Morality Crimes,’ see also:

Arrested for dancing on “Tik Tok” in Egypt

For more on Gender Stereotyping in Courts see also:

Domestic violence survivor’s rights violated in Kyrgyzstan