International Development Law Organization

CSW65 | Women Delivering Justice: Achieving Gender Parity in the Justice Sector

WEBINAR  | 18 March 2021 |  14:00 – 15:30 Rome​ |  9:00 – 10:30 New York​ 

Women Delivering Justice: Achieving Gender Parity in the Justice Sector

The equal representation of women in the justice sector is a human right, guaranteed by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against and reinforced by the Beijing Platform for Action under the critical areas of concern on Women in Power and Decision-Making and on Human Rights of Women.

Despite incremental country progress in achieving gender parity in the justice sector, women continue to encounter overall social, economic and institutional challenges to their full and effective participation as justice agents. Challenges range from gender stereotypes to sexual harassment, time poverty, limited opportunities to career advancement and obstacles to access leadership positions. In some cases, barriers have been further amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Against this background, this event will highlight the importance of investing in the equal representation of women in the delivery of justice. It will seek to:

  • identify challenges to gender equality in the justice sector, especially within the current COVID-19 context;
  • discuss policy and programmatic directions for prioritizing gender balance in the justice sector; and
  • provide recommendations for better data, research and analysis in support of SDG 16.7.1.

The event builds on IDLO’s work on women’s equal participation in the justice sector as featured in IDLO’s report entitled Women Delivering Justice: Contributions, Barriers, Pathways. It highlights specific country experiences and lessons from Kenya and Tunisia.





Opening Remarks

  • Ms. Jan Beagle, Director-General, IDLO


  • H.E. Iman Al Zahwani Hoemel, Minister of Women, Children and the Elderly of Tunisia
  • Hon. Justice Susan Glazebrook, Judge, Supreme Court of New Zealand and President-Elect of the International Association of Women Judges
  • Hon. Justice Aruna Devi Narain, Judge, Supreme Court of Republic of Mauritius and Vice-Chairperson and Rapporteur, Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
  • Ms. Patricia Lee Refo, President, American Bar Association
  • Dr. Ruth Aura-Odhiambo, Dean, Faculty of Law, Egerton University, Kenya
  • Dr. J. Jarpa Dawuni, Associate Professor of Political Science, Howard University


  • Dr. Ilaria Bottigliero, Director, Policy, Research and Learning, IDLO

An interactive dialogue will follow the remarks and panel discussion. 


Thursday, 18 March 2021 |  14:00 – 15:30 Rome​ |  9:00 – 10:30 New York​ 

Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in English, French and Spanish.

A concept note, speaker bios and agenda are available for download below.

For questions or to contact IDLO's Gender Team, please send an email to

Photo credit: © The Judiciary of Kenya

IDLO’s Work on Gender Parity in the Justice Sector
20 November, 2018
This report looks at the importance of women's professional participation in decision making bodies as a human right and crucial component of good governance, particularly in the justice sector. Despite gaps in data and research, as their numbers and influence solidify, women are emerging as important justice leaders. A growing body of empirical research suggests that women judges contribute to improved access to justice for women, by supporting women's specific justice needs across a... 
11 March, 2020
Women’s Professional Participation in Kenya’s Justice Sector: Barriers and Pathways examines the different segments that make up the justice chain – the police, academia, law societies, lawyers, judges and magistrates – and the barriers that block women’s equitable and meaningful participation in them.  The report cites the lived experiences of many women legal professionals who have tried to break into higher circles of leadership. Respondents confirm that a number of barriers...
30 October, 2019
Women’s Professional Participation in Tunisia’s Justice Sector: Pathways and Opportunities focuses on progress and remaining challenges towards equal professional participation within Tunisia’s justice institutions and the barriers to equality and access to justice. IDLO's report is the most thorough investigation of women’s professional participation in Tunisia’s justice sector to date, shedding light on both the progress that has been made and the obstacles that persist. Based on a unique...


WEBINAR  | 24 March 2021 | Eliminating Discriminatory Laws: Achieving Gender Equality on Paper and in Practice During Challenging Times​


The sixty-fifth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65) will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 15 to 26 March 2021.