The State of Women Judges Across Africa

Judges from Cote D'Ivoire From June 3-7, 2019, women judges across Africa converged in the beautiful city of Abidjan – the capital of Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa, for the biennial regional conference of the International Association of Women Judges. The four-day conference was hosted by the Association of Women Judges of Cote D’Ivoire (Association Femmes Juristes de Cote D’Ivoire-AFEMCI). The theme for the conference was “Unity, Judicial Cooperation and Solidarity Among Women Judges in the Implementation of Sub-Regional, Regional and International Laws.” The conference was filled with excellent presentations on a wide range of legal issues including mutual legal assistance and international judicial cooperation, the role of judges in implementing legal instruments relating to vulnerable people, protections against transnational crimes, trafficking in persons and migrants, cybercrime, terrorism , sexual and gender-based violence, and women’s rights to rural land and right to inheritance.

The Vice President of the Republic of Côte D’Ivoire, H.E Mr. Kablan Duncan, in his opening address, congratulated the work of women judges/magistrates in Cote D’Ivoire, and urged them to continue to stand for justice and fairness. Other speakers included the Deputy Mayor of the city of Cocody, Mrs Odette N’zi, Honorable Judge Vanessa Ruiz, Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals Washington, DC and current president of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ), Judge Hannah Okwengu, Court of Appeal of Kenya and outgoing president of the Africa regional chapter of the (IAWJ). Others included Judge Sylvain Ore, Judge and president of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, (ACtHPR) and Judge Imani Aboud of the ACtHPR. Also in attendance were justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Judges of Courts of Appeal from Ghana, Benin, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda.

Mrs Haddad N'guesson-Zekre, President of AFEMCI