The League of Women Voters and the Inter-American Dialogue are organizing a conference to address the growing role of women in positions of leadership in judicial branches across the region – as prominent attorneys general, prosecutors, supreme and superior court judges, ministers of justice, and top flight lawyers leading the charge for judicial and other reforms. These women often spearhead transparency initiatives in their countries and are responsible for bringing human rights abusers to justice where impunity previously prevailed. They have also brought national and international attention to patterns of violence against women in the region, devising new laws and special tribunals to advance justice in these cases.
Judicial systems in many countries of our region are too often compromised by official corruption, undue influence from the executive branch, and bribery and other pressures from criminal elements. These trends threaten to undermine constitutional democracy irrevocably. We believe it is important to showcase and strengthen the role women are increasingly playing in reversing the corrosion of judicial systems in the region.
Moreover, for an effective administration of justice – indeed, for the legitimacy of the courts– we need judges who reflect a nation’s full diversity. For this reason, it is important to foster the promotion of more women to the highest levels of judicial branches across the region. Increasing gender balance in the judiciary will make the administration of justice more inclusive, more effective, and more just.