Women’s right to participate fully and equally in all aspects of public life, including the judiciary, is widely recognized as a fundamental human right. There is a large body of evidence that women’s presence in the judiciary is a catalyst for the development of strong, independent, accessible and gender-sensitive judicial institutions and, more broadly, the achievement of gender justice within society. Increasing women’s participation in the judiciary has therefore become an important development objective globally.
In recent years, at the national level Arab countries have taken steps to appoint an increasing number of female judges and public prosecutors – in some countries, for the first time. Despite these efforts, however, women remain starkly underrepresented in judicial institutions in the Arab region, with strong disparities between and within Arab countries.