The International Criminal Court marks International Women’s Day in support of global action to advance gender equality and women’s rights. The ICC promotes women’s rights and considers gender perspectives through its work.
The President of the Court, Judge Piotr Hofmański, stated: “The ICC is proud to be at the forefront of the movement toward gender equality in the field of international justice. With nine female and nine male judges currently on our bench, we project to the world the critical importance of the equal participation of men and women in the field of law. Yet, much more remains to be done to achieve effective equality of opportunities in our workforce. As an International Gender Champion, I am strongly committed to treating this as a continuous priority that requires tangible efforts on a daily basis.”
To ensure a safe and inclusive workplace for all, the ICC adopted its first Strategy on Gender Equality and Workplace Culture last year, and is now busy with its implementation to make equity a reality at the Court.
ICC Prosecutor Karim A. A. Khan KC stated: “On this International Women’s Day, I reaffirm my commitment to the ICC’s Gender Strategy and my conviction that gender equality, gender diversity, and empowerment of women within my Office are key prerequisites for high performance. Our working environment must be one in which everyone feels safe, welcome, and thrives professionally.”
He added: ‘’Our Office also protects women’s rights in the crimes we investigate and prosecute. That includes the crime of gender persecution – the ultimate crime of discrimination towards women, including lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex women. Effective investigation and prosecution of gender persecution, amongst other sexual and gender based crimes, are key priorities for my Office, as reflected in the new policy paper on gender persecution issued in December 2022. All strategies of my Office must bring results in the courtroom, for the sake of survivors. To this end, my Office also aims to issue a re-envisioned policy paper on sexual and gender based crimes.”
ICC Registrar Peter Lewis stated: “The Strategy on Gender Equality and Workplace Culture is the first such roadmap adopted by the Court, as well as by any international court or tribunal, binding concrete steps towards gender equality in the context of workplace culture advancements. It is a recognition that to be a beacon of justice and accountability around the world, we must start by ensuring the highest standards of equality, diversity and inclusion inside our walls, among the personnel working at the Court”.
The Focal Point for Gender Equality of the International Criminal Court, Antônia Pereira de Sousa, said: “Together with the Staff Union, the ICC Bar Association and the OTP Gender Focal Point, we have invited all ICC personnel to join us in an internal conference to recognize the critical contributions of women in shaping international criminal justice, and to look ahead at the future generations of talented and aspiring women who will continue to make it a stronger instrument towards international peace, security, and the wellbeing of the world”.
International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women, while stressing the need to make further progress in gender balance and women’s empowerment.