Women in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region - comprising Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia - are significantly affected by considerable inequalities. Discriminatory legal frameworks and neutral laws enforced with underlying biases and stereotypes continue to hold women in the region back from fully participating in society. Crucially, this is also the case in political and other leadership and decision-making positions. Enhancing the contributions of women judges is particularly important as gender justice remains elusive in many aspects. With increasing demand for judiciaries to play a more independent role in championing human rights and women’s human rights, there is urgency for many women legal and justice professionals to have in-depth knowledge, skills and networking opportunities to enable them to be fully effective actors on gender justice.
IDLO, in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), is convening a regional forum to support female judges in developing and sustaining regional networks, and establishing a common advocacy platform aimed at reducing gender barriers to women in the judicial profession and related strategic areas. IDLO will bring together up to 50 leading women judges from the region for the two-day forum. Representatives of women lawyers’ associations and women academics in the legal field will also be invited as speakers, facilitators, and discussants. The forum will be the first step in building the foundation for the establishment of a broader and more sustained women judges platform in the region.