DILI, 04 october 2023 (TATOLI) – Secretary of State for Equality, Elvina de Sousa Carvalho said Timorese women still face many difficulties in accessing justice in the country.
“The majority of Timorese women in the country continue to experience difficulties and challenges in accessing justice. We need to continue to promote justice for all, to ensure that vulnerable women have access to justice in the country,” Sousa told reporters, in Dili.
Sousa reiterated the IX Government’s commitment to implementing the right policy to ensure that 60 percent of Timorese women in the country have access to justice.
In Timor-Leste, women’s legal organizations are at the forefront of transforming justice systems into working systems for women.
Many Timorese women often seek support from various women’s organizations when they find themselves in dangerous and difficult situations, such as domestic violence, etc.
Women’s organizations in the country like PRADET, FOKUPERS, and Rede Feto always step in to provide the advice and support that women need to pursue a legal case to put a stop to domestic and gender-based violence.
Supporting these organizations is an urgent priority and a vital investment to increase women’s access to justice.
Timor-Leste ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on 16 april 2003, obligating the state party to protect, promote and fulfill women’s human rights.
Sousa said ensuring justice for all is crucial to empower women and girls in the country.
In addition, the percentage of female judges and women in management and leadership positions in relevant organizations in the justice sector is still lower than that of their male counterparts.
According to data from the State Secretariat for Equality (SSoE), of the 36 Timorese judges, only 14 are women. Meanwhile, of the 36 prosecutors, only six are women, and of the 34 public defenders, only five are women.
Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá
Editor: Filomeno Martins