Lead consultant for a UN ESCWA study on: Women in the judiciary in Arab States: Removing Barriers, Increasing Numbers

  • Aroussi, Sahla (Principal Investigator)

    Project: Consultancy

    Project Details


    The UN ESCWA study offers a regional outlook on women’s presence in the judiciary within Arab states. The research identifies barriers to women’s participation, as well as successful steps taken by Arab states (and beyond) to remove these barriers. Based on these findings, the research will formulate evidence-based policy recommendations to increase women’s presence in the judiciary, with an emphasis on replicating successful practices at the regional level.
    To achieve this aim, the research relies on information from a variety of sources, including data from: • Member States collected through a comprehensive questionnaire (addressed to National Women’s Machineries, but requesting them to gather data from Ministries of Justice, etc.); • Law schools and judicial training institutions; • Professional associations (judges, female judges, lawyers etc.); • Civil society organizations active in this sector; • International organizations such as OHCHR (including country’s reports on ICCPR and other instruments) and the International Commission of Jurists.

    The above data is supplemented by a desk review of existing publications, as well as national legislation, policy papers, action plans and similar documents. In addition, in order to capture the experiences of women in the judiciary, a series of focus groups and interviews will be conducted in the four Arab States chosen as case studies (Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Palestine).

    Layman's description

    The report offers a regional overview of women’s presence in judicial institutions and identifies barriers to women’s full and equal participation, followed by documentation of best practices implemented by Arab States to remove these barriers. The study also examines the relationship between women’s presence in the judiciary and the achievement of gender equality. It argues that States’ international legal obligations to ensure women’s presence in the judiciary are derived from the general international standards concerning the independence of the judiciary and from international legal commitments to women’s human rights and nondiscrimination. The study underscores the fact that increasing women’s participation in the judiciary is a stepping-stone to developing inclusive and sustainable judicial institutions. The study also provides evidence that such an increase contributes significantly to improving the quality of judgments by strengthening the ability of the judicial reasoning to respond to varied social contexts and experiences and enhancing the fairness of the judicial decision-making process.
    Effective start/end date15/04/1828/02/19


    • women
    • judiciary
    • participation
    • gender equality


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