Breaking the Bonds of Judicial Patriarchy at the International Court of Justice: States Must Act Now

By J. Jarpa Dawuni, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Institute for African Women in Law


In the words of UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, “we must urgently transform and redistribute power, if we are to safeguard our future and our planet. That is why all men should support women’s rights and gender equality. And that is why I am a proud feminist.”

The recent confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court has galvanized new debates on the issue of gender and representation in high courts. What has gone largely unnoticed in popular media is the issue of women and representation in international courts. What does it take to be an international court judge—who just so happens to be a woman? Are international law and international judicial selection mechanisms equitable for all sexes?