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WAGE Research on Legal Protections for Gender-Based Violence - Challenges with Mandatory Reporting


While the world has seen considerable advancements in the status of women girls and related legislation, gaps in laws and effective response remain. This report presents research from WAGE initiatives on legal protections for gender-based violence (GBV) and challenges related to mandatory reporting. This is then explored through a case study on the WAGE Jordan initiative.

In recent decades, the world has seen considerable advancements in the status of women and girls, with the adoption of landmark women’s rights treaties and resolutions. Additionally, many countries have passed legislation that expands protections for women in the area of gender-based violence (GBV). While some of these laws are comprehensive, others make reporting of GBV and other forms of abuse mandatory, some contain notable gaps and can be described as a first step, while others fall between both of these spectrums. Regardless of how laws are categorized, the effectiveness of these legal protections is dependent on a range of factors including adequate training and skill set in survivor-centered and trauma-informed response. The requisite financial and human resources for law enforcement institutions, the legal profession, and the judiciary are also essential to an effective response. Institutional culture and prevailing socio-cultural norms are a major determinant both in the reporting of GBV and the response to GBV. Research produced by the Women and Girls empowered (WAGE) Global Consortium evidences this.

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The statements and analysis contained in the report “WAGE Research on Legal Protections for Gender Based Violence (GBV) - Challenges with Mandatory Reporting” are the work of the WAGE consortium, led by the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) in close partnership with the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), Grameen Foundation USA, and Search for Common Ground (Search).

The Board of Governors of the American Bar Association (ABA) has neither reviewed nor sanctioned its content. Accordingly, the views expressed in the report should not be construed as representing the policy of the ABA. Furthermore, nothing contained in this report is to be considered rendering legal advice for specific cases, and readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. All opinions, findings, and conclusions stated herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the United States Government, WAGE, or any members of the WAGE consortium.

The report was prepared by Laura Milne, Nada Heyari, Aya Abdalla Washington, and Muthoni KamuyuOjuolo.