The 14th International Conference of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ), entitled, “Building bridges between women judges of the world,” was held in Buenos Aires on May 2-6, 2018, hosting over 900 judges from 78 countries across the globe.
Prominent women judges, judicial personalities including ministers of justice, head justices of supreme courts and heads of judicial boards from 80 countries in five continents discussed worldwide justice for women, the progresses made and challenges facing them, removal of misogynous articles from the laws of all countries, and the role and impact of women judges in the advancement of systems of justice in the world.
On the invitation of IAWJ, a delegation of the NCRI Women’s Committee participated in the event and met with prominent judicial personalities, informing them of the misogynous laws in force in Iran and conveying the experiences of the Iranian Resistance gained through four decades of struggle for freedom and democracy, especially the leading role of women in the Iranian Resistance. The Women’s Committee delegation also provided valuable documents which were enthusiastically received by judges and jurists participating in the conference.
The conference entitled, “more women, more justice,” was opened by Ms. Susana Medina, Minister of the High Court of Justice of Entre Ríos and President of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ). Argentina’s Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Chief Justice and deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, President of the local government of Buenos Aires, and Minister of the High Court of Buenos Aires district also addressed the conference and welcomed the guests.
Prominent personalities including Ms. Elena Highton de Nolasco, co-founder of IAWJ, the first female member of the Supreme Court, and the current deputy to the Chief Justice of Argentina; Governor Maria Eugenia Vidal, Governor of Buenos Aires and the first female governor in Argentina’s history; Ms. Jody Wilson–Raybould, Justice Minister of Canada; and Ms. Alicia Pucheta, Vice President of Paraguay also delivered speeches.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the Iranian opposition leader and President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran; Ms. Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; Baroness Lady Brenda Hale, President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and former President of IAWJ; Ms. Ruth Bader Gingsburg, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, sent video messages to the conference.
The conference featured 23 panels where participants exchanged views on legal advancements in countering violence against women, sexual violence in various communities, women’s legal status and its global prospects, trafficking of women, the symptoms and social impact of abduction of children in international cases and a glance at the Hague’s 1980 Convention, the role of women in environmental protection and lasting growth in societies, women’s role in modern technology in justice systems, women’s perspective on leadership, international justice network, building bridges for international justice, digital transfer of legal data to facilitate examination of legal cases and save time and human force, gender equality and rejection of discrimination at work places with particular emphasis on justice ministries.
On the third day of the conference, in the presence of the Palestinian Ambassador to Argentina, a documentary report was presented on the long path paved by Judge Kholood Al-Faqeeh, the first woman Sharia judge in Palestine. The audience applauded the documentary as a symbol of women’s leadership and their impact on social and legal relationships.
On the final day of the conference, prominent judges received awards. They included Hon. Justice Dr. T.A. Doherty, President of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, for a lifetime effort and hard work to uphold justice in the world.
In the end, Judge Vanessa Ruiz, Senior Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, was elected as the new president of the International Association of Women Judges.