November 30, 2014 – Marrakesh, Morocco – Karama, in partnership with the Moroccan Association for Women Judges, launched a network of women judges in the Arab region and Africa at the conclusion of the World Forum for Human Rights in Marrakesh, Morocco, held from November 27-29, 2014. The network will aim to collectively promote the status and role of women judges in the Arab region and Africa by lobbying decision-makers for greater inclusion and emphasizing the importance of their role in rebuilding national judiciaries.
The network was established by a delegation of women and men judges and activist leaders from seven countries including Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, and Yemen and launched following a panel hosted by Karama and the Moroccan Association for Women Judges, which featured members of the delegation and discussed the topic of gender in the judiciary.
The 2nd World Forum on Human Rights convened over 5,000 people, including heads of UN agencies, government representatives, NGOs, leading academics, human rights activists, and international media from a hundred countries.
The establishment of the judges network was marked by the issue of the “Marrakesh Declaration” which was issued on November 29th and states:
Based on the joint diagnosis of the situations of women judges in the Arab and African region;
Based on the limited representation of women in the judiciary and in positions of responsibility in the judicial bodies in the different countries examined;
And due to the fact that the discrimination in the judiciary is mainly due to the patriarchal culture and practices more than it is due to shortcomings in the laws;
For this purpose, we the participants in the seminar “Which Gender Approach in the Judiciary” organized by the Moroccan Association for Women judges and Karama organization,and held in the framework of the Second World Human Rights Forum in Marrakesh hereby declare:
The establishment of the network of Women Judges in the Arab region and Africa with the support of the feminist and human rights participating associations, for the sake of taking collective action to promote the status, situations and roles of women judges in both regions. The network shall remain open to all women judges and is called “Marrakesh Declaration”.