International Day of Women Judges is celebrated on March 10 each year to promote equal and complete participation of women at different levels of the judiciary. Women’s involvement in the judiciary is critical to ensure that courts represent their population, respond to their concerns, and issue competent decisions. Women judges increase the credibility of courts just by being present, giving a strong message that they are open and accessible to anyone seeking justice. Join us as we honor all women judges.
History of International Day of Women Judges
Despite their greater participation in public life, women continue to be underrepresented in positions of decision-making. In truth, women have historically been underrepresented in the court, especially at high leadership levels. Women have always been thought of as inferior to men and thus have not been given equal representation in different fields of life. But things have changed now and they continue to do so. Last year, at the UNODC Global Judicial Integrity Network’s Second High-Level Meeting in Doha, President Vanessa Ruiz and Chief Justice of Qatar jointly proposed the idea of an International Day honoring the accomplishments of women judges. Her Excellency Alya Ahmed S. Al-Thani, Qatar’s permanent representative to the U.N., expertly oversaw the drafting negotiations at the U.N.
Having an equal number of men and women on the bench increases the judiciary’s ability to make impartial judgments. Women judges offer a variety of viewpoints and experiences to the bench, strengthening public confidence in the judiciary’s ability to defend human rights and the rule of law while portraying the society they serve. Women in leadership positions also help to destroy collusion networks, which helps to combat corruption.
The inclusion of women judges in settings where they had previously been barred has been a positive step toward judicial systems being seen as more transparent, incorporating, and paradigmatic of the people whose lives they influence. We will reaffirm our commitment to establish and implement relevant and successful national policies and plans for women’s advancement in judicial systems, managerial and leadership institutions, and other levels by commemorating the day.
International Day of Women Judges timeline
These were court officials with extensive expertise in advising the king on dispute resolution.
For civil cases, combat trials eventually fell out of favor in 1818.
In the UK, the County Courts Act of 1846 established county courts to deal with civil issues.
Justice Anna Chandy was India's first female judge and later a High Court judge; she was one of the world's first female judges.
International Day of Women Judges FAQs
Who is the world’s first female judge?
Justice Anna Chandy, from India, became a judge in 1937 and then a high court judge in 1959.
Who is the most famous female judge?
Sandra Day O’Connor, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Who is the youngest female judge?
Jasmine Twitty, made history when she became the youngest judge, at age 25, to ever be appointed or elected in the U.S.
How to Observe International Day of Women Judges
Take a stand for women’s rights across the world
You can use your voice to speak up for women right now. On this day, share why #GenderEquality is so important to you on social media, and consider how you can help.
Encourage women's power
Encourage more opportunities for women to show their support for their rights. A few ideas for boosting female empowerment can be creating an internship program for women alone.
Advocate for underprivileged women
Not everyone is equally privileged when it comes to even basic needs or rights. Look around you for women who are being deprived of their basic needs and human rights by society and try to help them out.
5 Interesting Facts About Women In Judiciary
Women representation in judicial bench
In 2017, women made up 40% of the judicial bench, up from 35% in 2008.
Demand for more representation
Eleanor Roosevelt notably issued an "open letter to the ladies of the world" in 1946, demanding more participation in both national and international politics by women.
More female judges in Europe
Women outnumber men as professional judges or magistrates in most European countries; nonetheless, women make up 41% of judges in national supreme courts and only 25% of court presidents.
Lesser right to property
Women produce half to 80% of the world's food, while they own less than 10% of the land.
Most economically supressed
Women account for 70% of the world's 1.3 billion poor. Women lead 40% of the poorest urban households.
Why International Day of Women Judges is Important
A step towards ending gender inequality
According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2021, achieving global equality between men and women will take another 135.6 years at present rates. So, giving women representation in judicial systems is a step towards bringing more gender equality to society.
Giving women their basic rights
It is important to support all genders in society equally. Giving women representation in the judicial system means allowing them to play their part in upholding justice in society.
No to gender bias
Bias, whether unintentional or intentional, can make it difficult for women to advance in their careers or even receive adequate healthcare. Encourage everyone this year to "actively call out gender bias, discrimination, and stereotyping whenever you see them."
International Day of Women Judges dates