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IAWL Celebrates International Day of Peace 2023

What does peace mean to you? Amid the crisis some parts of the African continent are facing, is peace simply the absence of war or is there more to peace than we have always thought?

The United Nations sets aside the 21st of September as Peace Day each year to reinforce the importance of peace in our world and observe 24 hours of cease-fire and non-violence. The theme for this year is “Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the Global Goals”. This theme calls on us to rise up and contribute towards creating a world of peace, free from conflict, inequality and injustice.

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in his message to mark the day, said:

... People and our planet are in crisis. Conflicts driving record numbers of people from their homes,... poverty, inequalities and injustices, mistrust, division and prejudice. This year’s theme reminds us that peace is not automatic. Peace is the result of action, action to accelerate progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals and ensure that no one is left behind.”

UN IDP 2023 campaign graphic asset. Credit: United Nations (UN)

IAWL’s Actions Toward Global Peace

Today, on International Peace Day, we are privileged to present our vision for both our continent and the world. Our dedication to fostering peace is deeply ingrained in our mission, which is to empower women in law and promote women’s leadership in justice systems. Through this commitment, we aim to create a culture of institutional peace through principles of gender equality and gender solidarity.

We believe a peaceful world is possible through the promotion of justice and empowerment. Therefore, we focus our efforts on increasing the capacity of African women in law through:

  • Rigorous research on issues concerning women in law, including identifying the challenges that women in law face;

  • Training to empower African women in law through professional development webinars and symposia;

  • Advocating for meaningful policy adoption or reform to end discrimination and include women’s voices in the decisions that determine our future;


  • Mentorship to encourage a culture of collaboration and nurturing among women in law.

This unique focus provides us with an opportunity to bridge the gap of inequality in the legal profession, contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goals #5 and #16 To achieve this, we are empowering African women to to participate actively in their societies. We believe African women are a powerful and essential part of the global peace movement. To us, part of peace is when African women’s voices are heard, and their rights are protected. From law students to seasoned professionals, we strive to create a safe and inspiring environment and a space for mentorship, collaboration and knowledge-sharing.

Dear Women in Law, peace begins with us! In line with this year’s theme for #PeaceDay, we call on you to strive towards a peaceful and just world. Let us set an example of how African women in law can lead the movement to achieve the Global Goals and build a world that respects the rule of law and ensures equal access to justice for all.

Happy Peace Day! Peace begins with you.

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