My name is Susan Glazebrook, and I am the President of the International Association of Women Judges or IAWJ. I am delighted to be able to send you this message on the occasion of the inaugural International Day of Women Judges.
First and foremost, I want to pay tribute to all the women judges around the world who work every day to uphold the rule of law in very difficult circumstances. Those in war torn countries, those in countries ravaged by natural disasters or by disease. And those judges in countries where the vital role of women judges, and the independence of the judiciary are not properly recognized. And I mention in particular my solidarity with our sister judges still trapped in Afghanistan and those who are suffering through the unlawful invasion of Ukraine.
This day offers an opportunity to reflect on the past achievements of women judges but also to map how far we have to go to achieve our goals of upholding the rule of law, promoting gender equality and ensuring access to justice for all. It also gives us the opportunity to stress to the world the importance of organizations like the International Association of Women Judges and its affiliated national associations in spearheading change.
It is highly significant that the importance of women judges in achieving gender equality has been recognized by the United Nations when the General Assembly adopted the resolution designating the 10th of March each year as an official day for recognizing, celebrating and progressing the work of women judges around the world. The resolution received widespread support; it was co-sponsored by 72 states and adopted by consensus.
This momentous occasion has huge symbolic significance. The resolution represents clear support for the participation of women in the judiciary. It recognizes the unique talents, perspectives and life experiences women bring to their roles on the bench. It unequivocally affirms that “active participation of women, on equal terms with men, at all levels of decision-making is essential to the achievement of equality, sustainable development, peace and democracy…”.Hopefully, this day will act to inspire the next generation of women judges and leaders in the law.
But above all the International Day of Women Judges should be a day of celebration – of the hard work, sacrifices and invaluable contributions made by women judges around the globe. We now have a day to show our appreciation for women fearlessly upholding the rule of law, improving access to justice and forging the path towards greater equality. It is an absolute honor to mark this first International Day of Women Judges with you all.
IAWJ hosted a webinar to celebrate the inaugural International Day of Women judges in 2022.
Watch the webinar here