Congratulations! Prof. Phoebe Okowa Elected to the International Law Commission.


The Institute for African Women in Law congratulates Professor Phoebe Okowa for her

recent historic election to the International Law Commission (ILC) of the United Nations (UN). At the seventy-sixth (76th) session of the UN General Assembly held on Friday, November 12, 2021, the ILC finally brought the almost eight decades exclusion of African Women in Law to an end, after Kenyan born Professor of Public Law, Phoebe Okowa, secured 162 votes through a secret ballot to become the first African woman to be elected to the ILC.

Effective January 01, 2023, the community of African Women in Law will for the first time in history, be represented by Prof. Phoebe Okowa at the ILC for a five-year term as stipulated in the statute of the ILC. This electoral success is just the beginning, and more work remains to be done to increase the representation of African women international law.

We commend the General Assembly for bringing to life, the spirit of the laws of gender inclusion and diversity and walking the talk of gender parity being ‘an urgent need, moral duty and operational necessity’ (Guterres, 2017). Together, we shall successfully attain gender parity at all levels. Advocacy for more African Women in Law at the ILC just started.