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LJD Week 2023 | The Role of Gender in the Judiciary

November 14, 2023
Virtual & In-Person

For years, gender inclusion has been at the forefront of the development agenda. Yet, women worldwide only enjoy an average of 77 percent of the legal rights than men do. Perhaps more worryingly, despite recent progress towards gender inclusive legal reforms, women and girls still face multiple cultural, substantive, and procedural barriers to accessing justice and enforcing their legal rights.  Many women today are relegated to informal—and oftentimes inadequate—dispute resolution mechanisms, if not completely excluded from justice systems. Recent proposals to enhance women's access to justice underscore the multifaceted nature of the challenge. Countries around the world have implemented a wide range of interventions; however, the effectiveness and feasibility of these measures vary widely across countries and regions.

This panel discussion aims to illuminate the crucial role of gender within the judiciary and its profound implications for achieving gender equality, empowering women, and ensuring access to justice—essential elements of sustainable development. In this context, we will explore the symbiotic relationship between gender inclusion and the rule of law as mutually reinforcing catalysts for sustainable development. Esteemed speakers, drawing from their extensive experience in the field, will analyze the diverse opportunities and challenges associated with integrating a gender lens throughout the judicial system.

  • Maria-Filomena-Singh
    Hon. Maria Filomena Singh
    Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the Philippines

    Hon. Maria Filomena Singh currently serves as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. She is also the Focal Person for the Supreme Court in the Philippine Open Government Partnership Initiative, Co-Chairperson of the Committee on Gender Responsiveness in the Judiciary, and holds leadership roles in various sub-committees and technical working groups. Justice Singh's extensive contributions extend globally, as she has taken on roles in organizations like the International Association of Women Judges and the Global Judicial Institute of the Environment. Over the years, she has held various key positions, including Executive Judge and Representative of First Level Courts on the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Judicial Academy, and received several prestigious awards including the Don Antonio Madrigal Award for Most Outstanding First Level Court Judge in 2007. Justice Singh was the first Philippine Judicial Fellow at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C.



  • Vera
    Hon. Vera Nkwate Ngassa
    Justice, Supreme Court of Cameroon

    Lady Justice Vera N. Nkwate Ngassa is currently a Justice of the Supreme Court of Cameroon and has served in the Cameroon Judiciary as a prosecutor and judge for the past 36 years. Justice Ngassa is a certified and rostered Justice Rapid Response Expert in Conflict Related Sexual and Gender-based Violence, a fellow of the Public Policy, Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa and the African Mediators and Conflict Resolution Experts. A self-styled judicial activist, Justice Ngassa has contributed to many ground-breaking decisions and precedents. In her defense of human rights, she broke new ground in the areas of women’s access to justice, property rights and violence against women. Part of her work is featured in the BBC International award-winning documentary “Sisters in Law.” She is also a prolific writer and speaker, and an Adjunct Lecturer teaching “Women, human rights and law” at the University of Buea Cameroon.

  • Natalia-Angel-Cabo
    Hon. Natalia Ángel Cabo
    Justice, Constitutional Court of Colombia

    Hon. Natalia Ángel Cabo is serving as a Justice on the Colombian Constitutional Court and Professor of Law at the Universidad de los Andes. Prior to her current roles, she was Deputy Justice on the Colombian Constitutional Court and directed the Support Office for the Constitutional Court’s Special Follow-up Plenary on Judgment T-025/04, focusing on internal forced displacement issues. She has also served as the Editor of the Latin American Law Review and played a pivotal role as the Founder and Director of the Program for Equality and Social Inclusion (PAIIS). Over the years, Justice Ángel Cabo has provided consultancy services to various national and international organizations, including the Inter-American Court of Justice, World Bank, United Nations, and the Inter-American Development Bank. She has earned multiple distinctions for her contributions to a wide array of areas, including constitutional law, access to justice, participatory democracy, local governance, and the protection of rights for women and persons with disabilities.


                        @nangelcabo                    @CConstitucional

  • Arturo-Herrera-Guti-rrez
    Arturo Herrera Gutiérrez (Moderator)
    Global Director for Governance, World Bank

    Arturo Herrera Gutiérrez is Global Director for Governance at the World Bank. Within this role, Mr. Herrera’s priorities include leading the formulation of strategy and engagement of the Bank’s work on public institutions and country-level governance, especially in fragile, conflict and violent settings; maximizing the effectiveness of operational support for public financial management and public procurement; fostering excellence in the Governance Practice’s work on public sector administration and operational support for legal and judicial reforms. Mr. Herrera  has held various positions in the Bank, including Sector Manager in LAC, Practice Manager in the Governance Global Practice for LAC and East Asia and the Pacific regions in the Global Unit before leaving the World Bank Group in 2018. Between 2018 and 2021, he held leadership positions in the Government of Mexico as Co-Head of the Finance Team in Presidential Transition Team, Deputy Finance Minister, and, most recently, as Minister of Finance and Public Credit.


                        @ArturoHerrera_G                    @wbg_gov


  • WHEN: November 14, 2023, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM ET
  • WHERE: Preston Auditorium, World Bank Group Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA: #LJDWeek2023