College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences


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.

European Parliament’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality committee (external link)

Edinburgh expertise

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.

Dr Silvia Suteu's academic profile

Professor Christine Bell's academic profile

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.

Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law

Global Justice Academy

Political Settlement Research Programme (external link)

Gender equality

The guide was written for the policy network Euromed Feminist Initiative (IFE-EFI) with financial support from the European Union and Sweden.

Euromed Feminist Initiative (IFE-EFI)

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.

Gender on the website of the Political Settlements Research Programme (external link)

Conciliation Resources (external link)

The Institute for Security Studies (external link)

The Rift Valley Institute (external link)

The Transitional Justice Institute (external link)

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.