The International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) was started nearly thirty years ago by a core group of 50 dynamic and visionary women judges from around the world. The founders began with a vision of increasing the number of women judges and promoting equal justice for women and girls throughout the world. Today, the IAWJ has grown into a highly respected organization with over 6,500 judges in more than 100 countries and territories; we continue to expand its membership.
The mission of the International Association of Women Judges has never been more critical than it is today. Discrimination against women and girls persists in societies around the world—within discriminatory laws or in the biased application of laws. As such, judicial systems fall short of ensuring women’s equal access to justice. A vital remedy, embraced by the IAWJ, is to promote and empower women judges who can help uproot gender bias, end discriminatory laws, advance gender-responsive courts, and promote human rights for all.
“I’ve got sisters through my association with women judges—life-long relationships.” – Hon. Solomy Balungi Bossa
This is the core commitment behind all that we do. Founded in 1991, IAWJ is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that brings together judges from all levels of the judiciary worldwide, creating a powerful network of influential leaders united by their commitment to equal justice and the rule of law. Through judicial and community level response, we address issues of gender-based violence, human trafficking, early and forced marriages, corruption, and discrimination in employment, inheritance, education, and health services. While the role of judges is largely in the enforcement of the law, guaranteeing rights, and even striking down discriminatory laws and practices, IAWJ members go further by providing expert opinion in law reform, overseeing correctional or other facilities (e.g., reform schools, orphanages), and educating community members.
Former IAWJ President, the Hon. Susana Medina (Argentina) on Why Women Judges Matter
IAWJ works with its members around the world to:
- Cultivate a growing global network of women judges and create opportunities for judicial exchange
- Pioneer judicial education programs that advance human rights, eliminate gender bias from judicial systems, and promote equal access to the courts
- Promote judicial leadership and enhance the capacity of our members and associations worldwide