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JUDICIAL TRAINING ON

GENDER SENSITIZATION
LEGAL LITERACY FOR WOMEN PROJECT
A JOINT PROJECT OF
THE OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL AND
THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE DEPARTMENT
OF THE ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK

ABOUT THE PROJECT


Upon the invitation of the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court,
the Asian Development Bank (ADB) designed and delivered an
intensive judicial training on gender sensitization and women-
related laws and issues in Pakistan. ADB’s training program,
conceptualized after a thorough needs assessment, consisted of
six modules:
(1) Basics of Gender Sensitization;
(2) National Gender Laws and Culture of Pakistan;
(3) Relevance of International Standards;
(4) Gender-Sensitized Judicial Conduct in Gender-Based
Violence Cases;
(5) Gender-Based Violence Against Women; and
(6) GBV Case Attrition and Compromise. 
ADB trained over 225 judges from all levels of the Punjab
judiciary. Punjab is the largest province in Pakistan, with a
population of around 112 million people.

GENDER EQUALITY POLICY


ADB assisted the Lahore High Court in drafting and
promulgating the Gender Equality Policy and the Guidelines to
be Followed in GBV Cases. Both documents were formally
notified to all courts in the Punjab Judicial District on 17 October
2017. The Policy invokes the Pakistan Constitution, Islamic
precepts, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women; and mandates that special
measures be undertaken, whenever necessary, to ensure that
female judges enjoy substantive equality with male judges, It
covers, among others, appointments, promotions,
representation in adjudicative and administrative matters, and
gender-sensitive judicial facilities. The Policy is further defined
and supplemented by the Guidelines, which direct that trials be
conducted in a gender-sensitive manner consistent
with international best practices, such as a courtroom set-up
responsive to the needs of women and other vulnerable
witnesses.

INSTITUTIONALIZED APPROACH
FOR SUSTAINABLE REFORM
ADB is undertaking a "Train-the-Trainers" program with a select
group of local judges to prepare an expert group of trainers
who can continue the gender sensitization training on a regular
basis. ADB is also developing a comprehensive course for the
Punjab Judicial Academy that will include the basics of gender
sensitization and gender-sensitized judicial conduct. The course
will be taught in the Academy as a mandatory subject.
KEY ACHIEVEMENT:
MODEL COURT ON
GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
CASES
The GBV Court was inaugurated by the Honorable Chief Justice
Syed Mansoor Ali Shah on 23 October 2017. The purpose of the
GBV Court is to enable cases which concern gender-based
violence to be prioritized and conducted in a gender-sensitive
manner. Victims of gender–based violence are mainly women
(and girl children) and they often do not report violence against
them for fear of retribution, humiliation, shame, social stigma and
loss of honor. In addition, victims are also fearful of coming to the
court to give evidence because the court processes are
intimidating and they feel re-victimized. The GBV Court is a
response to allow them to give their best evidence and minimize
the trauma.

EXAMPLES OF INNOVATIONS
IN THE GBV COURT
On reaching the Court, the victim is to be met by a “Female
Support Person”, who will escort the victim to a protected
place, settle the victim, and remain with the victim while the
victim gives evidence.  
The victim can choose to give evidence from the “e-court
room” or in the courtroom behind a screen, so that the victim
can avoid contact with the accused or their family or friends as
well as the general public.
Questions put in cross-examination on behalf of the
accused will be given in writing to the Judge, who will
be putting them to the victim or to a vulnerable witness in a
language which is clear and not degrading.
The Court will be following specialized guidelines and
procedures developed by ADB, such as the formal
procedure to be undertaken in case the victim or the witnesses
resile.

MOVING FORWARD
ADB continues to provide support to the GBV Court through in-
depth trainings of the GBV Court judges and periodic official
audits benchmarked against international standards. ADB is
further designing a data collection system for GBV cases to
ensure that cases are properly resolved and to inform future
reform efforts. The Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court has
also shared copies of the Gender Sensitization Training Manual
ADB TEAM that ADB prepared with all the members of the Federal Supreme
Court and the Chief Justices of other High Courts.