The Chief Justice of Kenya Ms. Martha Karambu Koome is in Uganda to attend the 17th International Association of Women Judges Conference (IAWJ).
While welcoming her at Entebbe International Airport, Justice Henrietta Wolayo, the president of the National Association of Women Judges in Uganda, said there is a need to increase the participation of women in the Country’s decision-making and policy development.
“In Uganda, we have made a lot of progress in the Judiciary, right now the ratio of female judges to their male counterparts is 49.2 to 50.8. It is a very small difference; it’s almost like we are at par,” Justice Wolaya said at a press briefing at the airport.
She added that “in the past, it was difficult for women to break through and be in positions but now, we are there and celebrating. However, we are asking for more, the conference is meant to inspire young girls to join the legal profession and embrace it.”
The theme of the conference, which started on Wednesday and ends on Saturday, is “ Breaking Justice to Equal Justice, Strengthening Institutions”.
Chief Justice Koome, in her remarks, said as judicial officers from various countries gather here in Uganda, they will be scrutinizing the gains, and challenges and forge a way forward on how best they can serve people as women judges.
“We will be talking about other topics like access to justice, how we can make our population access justice,” C.J Koome said.
“I will learn a lot from what is being done in Uganda. In Kenya, we are trying to cascade justice to the people, especially by embracing the small claims court that is more spread here in Uganda than in Kenya,” she said.
Justice Koome said Kenya is trying to adopt specialized courts to deal with sexual and gender-based violence just like in Uganda.
The International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) was started nearly 30 years ago by a core group of 50 dynamic and visionary women judges from around the world. The founders began with a vision of increasing the number of women judges and promoting equal justice for women and girls throughout the world.
Today, IAWJ has grown into a highly respected organization with over 6,500 judges in more than 100 countries and territories.