Guide for gender-sensitive constitutions published
The Edinburgh Law School has significantly informed a guide for ensuring that new constitutions, particularly those in countries emerging from conflict, are gender-sensitive.
Written for experts and activists in a wide range of situations, the unique Arab-European collaboration could have particular application for constitutional transitions in the Middle East and North Africa, such as the current Syrian crisis and peace plan.
The guide, ABC for a Gender Sensitive Constitution: Handbook for Engendering Constitution Making, was launched in the European Parliament’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality committee and at high-level conferences in Beirut, Lebanon and Brussels, Belgium.
The report was co-authored by the University’s Dr Silvia Suteu with Ibrahim Draj from Damascus University.
Professor Christine Bell advised on the content.
The report draws upon work from a number of the University of Edinburgh’s projects and centres of excellence, such as the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law, the Global Justice Academy and the Political Settlement Research Programme.
The guide was written for the policy network Euromed Feminist Initiative (IFE-EFI) with financial support from the European Union and Sweden.
IFE-EFI is a feminist network encompassing women’s rights organisations from the Mediterranean and from Caucasus.
It advocates for gender equality and women’s universal human rights as inseparable from democracy building and citizenship, for political solutions to all conflicts, and for the right of peoples to self-determination.
Political settlements for all
The Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law is a focal-point for research in public law and constitutional theory, addressing current constitutional developments in the United Kingdom and beyond.
Gender is a key theme of the Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP), which includes the universities of Edinburgh and Ulster, Conciliation Resources, The Institute for Security Studies, the Rift Valley Institute, and the Transitional Justice Institute whose research is also cited in the report.
The PSRP is a four-year project examining how political settlements come into being, how open and inclusive they are, and how internal and external actors shape them. It focuses on how to ensure peace agreements and constitutional orders recognise and include all within the affected society, not just its elites.