IAWJ programs are designed to increase the leadership and visibility of our members on issues important to gender and justice.

Current Projects

Featured below are some of our current projects:

New Standards of Integrity and Accountability, Recognizing Corruption’s Impact on Women in Morocco: Recognizing the harmful events of corruption on women, IAWJ has a partnered with our Moroccan members and the leading anti-corruption organizations, Transparency International and Transparency Maroc, to promote new 21st century standards of integrity and accountability. Our program breaks the silence surrounding sextortion (the sexualized form of corruption) and creates a gender-inclusive discourse and response to combat it, establishes safe corruption reporting mechanisms for women, and promotes effective use of the Moroccan justice system to address complaints of sextortion. For more information, contact Nancy Hendry at nhendry@iawj.org (Washington, DC).

Promoting Women’s Judicial Leadership in Morocco: In the wake of the Arab Spring, judges enjoy new freedoms to join associations of their own choosing, instead of being limited to a single, state-sponsored official body. In the countries of Tunisia and Morocco, judges have used their new freedom to form two new chapters of IAWJ: the Tunisian Association of Women Judges and the Union of Moroccan Women Judges (UMWJ). In 2018, with financial support from the US Department of State, the IAWJ and the UMWJ began working together to raise the profile and increase the membership of UMWJ through a capacity-building program focused on professionalism, efficacy, integrity and operational capability. The program leverages the wisdom, skills and knowledge base of current UMWJ members to assess needs, clarify the association’s mission, and strategize for its future. For more information, contact Anne Goldstein at agoldstein@iawj.org (Washington, DC).

Countering Trafficking in Persons in the Dominican Republic, Multi-sector Response and Local Resilience within Targeted Vulnerable Communities: The Dominican Republic is a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean. Trafficking is pervasive in the agriculture, construction, and tourism sectors. It takes the form of domestic servitude, forced begging, forced labor, and commercial sex trafficking. The IAWJ is working with its Dominican Chapter, the Asociación de Juezas de República Dominicana (AJURD), Free the Slaves, and Movimiento de Mujeres Dominicanas y Haitianas on a project to enable a multisector response to counter human trafficking and build local resistance within vulnerable communities in the country. The goals are to enhance coordination among stakeholders and institutionalize victim-centered investigations and prosecution; build resistance and resilience to labor and sex trafficking within vulnerable communities; and improve the capacity of service provider organizations to identify and provide quality services to victims. For more information, contact Jane Charles-Voltaire at jcharles-voltaire@iawj.org (Washington, DC).

Building Enduring Systems to End Trafficking (BEST): The LUMOS Foundation (LUMOS) has partnered with the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in order to implement a 3-year program entitled “Building Enduring Systems to End Trafficking (BEST)” funded by USAID-Haiti. The program aims to (1) Increased knowledge and positive behavioural change of public sector stakeholders (judicial and law enforcement stakeholders, and national and local government officials), and private sector stakeholders (civil society, faith-based stakeholders, media personnel, service providers, and general citizens) on trafficking issues; (2) With the support of BEST, the Government of Haiti piloted and established victim support services in Ouest, North East, and Central Departments for trafficking victims and children at risk of trafficking; and (3) Improved anti-trafficking policies and practices at the national level. In service of these objectives, the BEST project will provide a range of specialized programmatic interventions, system change management, technical assistance, training, and experienced leadership across all objectives.

IAWJ will collaborate with the École National de la Magistrature (EMA) and members from the Haitian Chapter of the IAWJ (CHAIFEJ) in order to  support long-term sustainability of the program and reinforce the capacity of local institutions. IAWJ has two project objectives: 

  •  Enable government partners to more effectively oversee and coordinate C-TIP activities nationally.
  • Increase public awareness of dangers, legal consequences, and various forms of trafficking in human beings.

The IAWJ will lead in raising awareness and increasing knowledge of the 2014 TIP law and its consequences for judicial audiences (judges, lawyers, prosecutors). The targeted, specialized messaging, particularly for the judiciary, will lead to increased knowledge of the counter TIP law and a greater ability to prosecute trafficking cases. For more information, contact Jane Charles-Voltaire at jcharles-voltaire@iawj.org (Washington, DC).

Past Projects

Enforcing Sexual Violence Laws in Malawi: IAWJ and its chapter, the Women Judges Association of Malawi (WOJAM), tackled the lack of effective implementation of sexual violence laws. We engaged with community leaders and justice sector actors in a combined effort to address cultural barriers and gender stereotypes that block a judicial response. The two-year program was funded by the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. 

Combating Human Trafficking in Haiti: Haiti has a new law to prevent human trafficking, punish traffickers, and support victims, but the challenge now is to ensure its vigorous and proper application. To address this, the IAWJ and our Haitian Chapter, Chapitre Haitien de l’Association des Femmes Juges (CHAIFEJ) are leading 15 multi-sector training workshops throughout the country for judges, police, prosecutors, and victim support services. CHAIFEJ combines the training on the law’s application with community outreach in town hall meetings and Caravans. In 2015 and 2016, the Haitian courts processed two trafficking cases and, not coincidentally, CHAIFEJ members served as the judges of instruction in those cases. 

Improving Judicial Response to GBV in the Dominican Republic: Beginning in the summer of 2017, a newly accredited course was offered to judges to help them better handle gender-based violence cases. A collaborative effort between IAWJ, the National Judicial College, and the Supreme Court of Justice and its Gender Commission, this course addressed the fact that many GBV cases simply collapse within the judicial process. IAWJ and partners surveyed judges in five districts and hosted justice stakeholder forums at the district level to identify challenges to be addressed in the course. Also, IAWJ members from Argentina, Costa Rica, and the USA shared experience and training models with our DR colleagues. 

Promoting Gender-responsive Courts in Pakistan: Women Pakistani judges wanted to share experiences, develop strategies, and enhance their professional capacity with the goal of improving working conditions for female judges and addressing gender issues in court. Our program supported conferences, training, and the creation of an association of women judges in the Punjab Province for judicial exchange and local initiatives. 

Breaking the Glass-Ceiling in Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt: Since 2014, IAWJ has grown its membership in Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, and Tunisia to 140+ women judges, many of whom are leading on issues related to gender and justice, child marriages, gendered aspects of terrorism, and human trafficking. Members established women judges associations in Tunisia and Morocco to train judicial peers and build capacity in areas of court practice, including judicial communication, victim sensitivity, and evidentiary matters. IAWJ and members created a training curriculum, a manual on court emergencies, and a mentoring program. Regional workshops bring MENA women judges together to collectively identify obstacles they face as women judges and barriers to accessing justice for women and girls. IAWJ also supports our members’ local initiatives and training. This program was funded by the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency through the International Legal Assistance Consortium.

Global Leadership of Women (GLOW) in West Africa and South Asia: The IAWJ launched GLOW in February 2013 with a consultation in The Hague that brought together judges from international and national courts. Together, they reflected upon lessons learned vis-à-vis three topics: (1) legal doctrine, especially concerning “consent” to rape; (2) procedural and evidentiary rules in sexual violence cases that are potential models for domestic courts; and (3) culturally-specific ways in which sexual assault victims are stigmatized. After the initial consultation, the IAWJ held two regional conferences, one in India for South Asian judges and another in Ghana for West African judges, to deepen the conversation begun in The Hague and expand the network of GLOW participants. The ultimate goal for 2014 is to distill this collective knowledge into public education materials on each of the three core topics discussed in The Hague.

Developing the Capacities of Women Judges as Leaders, Trainers, and Catalysts for Enhancing the Rule of Law and Equal Justice in Afghanistan: Since 2004, the IAWJ has collaborated with the women judges of Afghanistan and played an integral role in forming the Afghan Women Judges Association (AWJA). The program has focused on developing the capacities of Afghan women judges to provide leadership among their peers and to support their work and efforts to promote the rule of law and equal justice through the judiciary. It also provides networking and judicial education opportunities for the women judges, both in Afghanistan and through their participation in international judicial programs. In fall 2014, the IAWJ held its 8th Judicial Education Program for six Afghan Women Judges with its partner, the Rural Women Leadership Institute in Vermont (RWLIV). While in the US, the judges participated in seminars on various legal topics, observed court management, and jury trials firsthand and had the coveted opportunity to visit the US Supreme Court and meet with the distinguished Associate Justice Elena Kagan Ginsburg.

Rebuilding, Moving Forward: Strengthening Judicial Capacity to Address Trafficking in Haiti: In Haiti, the IAWJ partnered with its local affiliate association, the Chapitre Haïtien de l’Association Internationale des Femmes Juges/Haitian Association of Women Judges (CHAIFEJ) to cultivate leadership and strengthen the capacity of Haitian judges to properly recognize and decide cases involving human trafficking in the absence of a trafficking-specific law. To implement the program, the two associations launched a judicial training program to inform judges on how they can decide human trafficking cases within Haiti’s existing criminal laws governing abduction and assault, as well as child abuse and neglect. In 2013 and 2014, CHAIFEJ conducted various Judicial Education Seminars, led by judges trained during the 3Ts in 2012. CHAIFEJ members’ collaboration and commitment to the project’s objectives reflect the positive impact this program is having and the increased judicial capacity of Haitian judges to recognize and address cases of human trafficking in Haiti, despite the absence of a trafficking-specific law.

Stopping the Abuse of Power Through Sexual Exploitation: Naming, Shaming, and Ending Sextortion: Through the generous support of the government of the Netherlands, the IAWJ and its partner associations of women judges in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Philippines, and Tanzania undertook a three-year program to explore how sextortion manifests itself, assess the adequacy of existing legal frameworks to address it, develop informational materials, and educate the justice sector, key stakeholders, and general public about sextortion. These efforts culminated in the development of an International Sextortion Toolkit and brochure, distributed to IAWJ member judges attending the IAWJ Biennial International Conference in London in 2012.

Law in the Books is Only a Step: The Role of Judges in Trafficking Cases (Argentina): In 2010, the IAWJ was awarded a two-year grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Trafficking in Persons to work in partnership with the IAWJ’s partner association, the Association of Women Judges in Argentina (Asociacion de Mujeres Jueces de Argentina/AMJA), to provide judicial leadership on human trafficking in Argentina. The program specifically addresses the State Department’s recommendation in its 2009 Trafficking in Persons Report that Argentina increases judicial efforts and sustain anti-trafficking training for judges. While the objective of the Argentine Anti-Trafficking Law of 2008 was to criminalize human trafficking and provide victims with rights and services, the implementation of the law has been significantly hindered by a lack of adequate enforcement resources. Through its program in Argentina, AMJA and IAWJ utilized their extensive experience with judicial training by providing local judges and magistrates with targeted courses focusing on relevant human trafficking issues, with a particular emphasis on the 2008 Law and its implementation in the courtroom. This was also done in close collaboration with the Supreme Court of Argentina and its UN partners. The program has achieved its objectives by holding consultations with judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials; training AMJA trainers on the material; leading judicial education seminars throughout the country, and publishing a collection of articles from eminent jurists and scholars.

Golden Gate University International Association of Women Judges Fellowship Program: The Golden Gate University International Women Judges Graduate Fellowship Program was initiated to advance issues involving international women’s rights and the role of women in justice systems around the world. This will be the fourth year of the program. Each year, the program selects a woman jurist from a developing country to live in San Francisco, attend Golden Gate University, and pursue an individualized course of study to earn an LLM degree in Environmental Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Legal Studies, Taxation Law, or United States Legal Studies. To date, women judges from Ghana, Kenya, and Bangladesh have participated in the program. Sponsored by the Golden Gate University School of Law, in partnership with the International Association of Women Judges, this program was made possible through the generosity of attorneys Elizabeth Cabraser of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP and Robert Kaufman, former president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and a partner at Proskauer Rose LLP.



Our funders

Our funders include the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, UN Democracy Fund, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of State through its Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, its Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and its Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement.   Donations from private individuals, corporate foundations, and IAWJ members supplement support for these programs.