The Issue

Despite States promulgating laws and establishing policies, discrimination and violence against women remain as the most pervasive human rights violations. Identifying what constitutes a “good/promising practice” is necessary if States are to enhance implementation of laws and policies and comply with their international due diligence obligations.  In a dynamic environment where politics drive cultural interpretations and public perceptions, what was ‘good/promising practice’ yesterday may not be workable today.

Unpacking the essentials of “good/promising practice” in order to develop a nuanced and multifaceted understanding of what constitute “good/promising practices” requires answering the following questions – (a) What are the elements/components/criteria required? (b) What are the processes for change? (c) Can they be measured?; and (d) What standards can we develop to determine a good practice?


The Due Diligence Project had been assessing good and promising practices since 2010. Its report on Due Diligence and State Accountability for Eliminating Violence against Women refers to good and promising practices globally.

In 2016, the Due Diligence Project convened an expert group meeting on Essentials of Good Practices: Enhancing States Due Diligence Compliance and Accountability to Eliminate Discrimination and Violence against Women. While collating good/promising practices was important, what was critical was identifying and analysing what are the essential elements required to make a practice ‘good/promising’. The expert meeting was also convened to provide support to the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice in framing its thematic report on Good Practices in Eliminating Discrimination against Women. Participants included members of the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice.