Statement by Mechanism President, Judge Graciela Gatti Santana on the occasion of the International Day of Women Judges

Arusha, The Hague
Mechanism women judges

On the occasion of the International Day of Women Judges, observed on 10 March, the President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), Judge Graciela Gatti Santana, issued the following statement:

“Today, on the International Day of Women Judges, I reflect on the progress that has been made towards gender parity and equality within the judicial sphere. I am greatly inspired by my fellow women Judges at the Mechanism, hailing from diverse backgrounds across the globe, who enrich our Chambers with their expertise and who in some instances have occupied judicial posts in their national jurisdictions that were previously beyond the reach of women.

However, there is still much work to be done to achieve full and equal representation of women within the judiciary, including in senior leadership positions, both nationally and internationally. The empowerment and inclusion of women transcends mere fairness; it is a strategic necessity. Women’s representation in all aspects of decision-making is essential for peace, justice, and democracy.

Since the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and continuing with the Mechanism, the role of women Judges has been pivotal in the pursuit of justice for some of the worst atrocity crimes. Two years ago, I was honoured to become the first woman President of the Mechanism, a testament to the United Nations’ continued dedication to gender inclusivity.

At the Mechanism, we acknowledge the invaluable contributions of women Judges in upholding justice and advancing human rights worldwide. Their expertise and perspectives are essential in ensuring accountability and preserving the rule of law. As we observe this important day, the Mechanism reaffirms its commitment to full and equal participation of women in the judicial sphere at all levels. Together, let's continue our journey towards a more inclusive and just world.”