Gender Law Library
The Gender Law Library is a free database containing legal provisions from 183 economies around the world that directly or indirectly affect women’s economic status, including women’s ability to find jobs, engage in business activities, and become entrepreneurs. It includes national statutory provisions, constitutional provisions, international treaties, decrees, regulations and more. Many materials were added to the collection because they explicitly address women; others were chosen because they have a disparate impact on women. All are intended to serve as objective indicators of the status of women, not to judge or rank countries. The database is designed to assist researchers not only with locating pertinent provisions, but also with conducting comparative analysis of the laws and ultimately creating “reforms that can enhance women’s full economic participation.” The materials are generally organized into categories including geographic region, income level grouping, legal topic, and type of law. Categories may be accessed individually or via a selection of a combination thereof. The more efficient manner by which to access materials, however, is through six unique indicators located on the left side of the homepage. The indicators were deliberately designed by the database creators to organize its contents in a more practical manner. They group the laws according to women’s legal abilities in the following categories: “accessing institutions,” “using property,” “getting a job,” “dealing with taxes,” “building credit,” and “going to court.” Selecting a single indicator will in turn create a list of more narrow topics from which to choose. Ultimately, all queries are conducted through a selection of indicators and categories; no search feature is available for entering customized search terms. As a result, some browsing may be necessary to locate a specific document, but the system is very efficient overall. Materials are typically provided in searchable PDF documents, but occasionally the database links the researcher to an outside website. The collection was gathered over a two year period ending in October, 2009, and although the collection is updated regularly, the site makes no guarantee that the laws are current, or that the materials are exhaustive. Official translations are indicated as such; all other translations are unofficial. The database is hosted by the World Bank, and supported by the World Bank’s Gender Action Plan and the Norwegian Trust Fund.
[Author: A. Emerson]
The Montana Indian Law portal is a collaborative project of the Montana State Law Library, the main work on which began in 2008. The State Law Library had long been challenged by the task of identifying and acquiring tribal documents, but the coalescing of forces a few years ago provided the necessary resources and momentum. The project gathered not only born-digital information, but also digitized many documents. Eight tribes are represented: Blackfeet, Chippewa Cree, Salish and Kootenai, Crow, Fort Belknap, Assiniboine and Sioux, Little Shell, and Northern Cheyenne. A range of legal materials are available, including tribal constitutions and codes, tribal court decisions and rules, tribal council resolutions, and treaties. Also, there are topical materials on gambling, fish and wildlife, and water rights. Special sections of the site cover federal and state resources, criminal jurisdiction, and law enforcement. The federal and state materials include items that directly affect one of the eight tribes and are an interesting read. These items include court decisions of the Montana Supreme Court, presidential executive orders, acts of Congress, and various tax agreements. The tax agreements, which are between tribes and the State of Montana, address oil and gas production, tobacco, and alcohol. The section on criminal jurisdiction provides a useful explanation of the factors affecting jurisdiction over crimes in Indian Country. It is a complex matter as tribal, state, federal, or concurrent jurisdiction depends upon the status of the defendant and victim, and upon the location of the offense. Overall, this is a project to watch as it continues to grow.
[Author: M. Morrison]
SOMO, founded in 1973, is an independent, non-profit Dutch organization “working on social, ecological and economic issues related to sustainable development.” SOMO’s mission includes eliminating “the structural causes of poverty, environmental problems, exploitation and inequality.” The organization’s focus is on multinational corporations and their activities that affect individuals and the environment. SOMO was founded in reaction to the overthrow of the Allende government in Chile in 1973 and the perceived manipulations of the Chilean economy by American multinational companies. SOMO pursues its mission through research and training, with emphasis on empowering social organizations in developing countries. In addition to SOMO’s background and news, the website provides access to publications and dossiers. The publications database is extensive and includes items from other organizations. Keyword searching is available and searches may be narrowed by responsible organization, company name, and country. Topics of recent publications include banking sector liberalization in Uganda and private standards in the furniture, garment, and footwear industries. The dossiers cover individual companies, industries and supply chains, corporate accountability, and economic reform. The database of companies is quite large and allows users to review news, reports, and detailed company information. Users may also consult the other dossier sections to track news and trends affecting sustainable development.
[Author: M. Morrison]
InSITE contributors: A. Emerson, M. Morrison, J. Pajerek (editor)
© 2011 Cornell Law Library
The contents of this publication and any recommendations therein are the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the views of Cornell University.