SC Reaffirms Commitment to Empowering Women Judges
September 19, 2023
The Members of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, led by Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo, reaffirmed to the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) and the Philippine Women Judges Association (PWJA) the Judiciary’s commitment to empowering women judges during the IAWJ and PWJA’s courtesy call on them at the Supreme Court Session Hall in Ermita, Manila on September 18, 2023.
The IAWJ was led by Senior Advisor Anne T. Goldstein, Esq. and IAWJ Director of Programs Jane Charles-Voltaire, Esq., who are in the country in connection with the joint activities of the PWJA and the IAWJ, for the implementation of the IAWJ’s Women in Leadership in Law (WILIL) program.
WILIL is a five-year initiative “which endeavors to transform judicial institutions and create enabling environments in which women can enter, thrive, and advance as leaders in the Judiciary.” The program aims to identify the challenges preventing women judges from ascending to leadership positions and identifying sustainable strategies to empower and
support them in reaching the pinnacle of their careers. The WILIW will be implemented in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Mexico, and the Philippines.
In his message, Chief Justice Gesmundo underscored that the goals of the WILIL program accord with the initiatives of the Philippine Judiciary which are aimed at expanding opportunities for female judges in leadership positions in the Philippine society, under the Court’s Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027. He cited the Study on Gender Mobility and Representation in the Philippine Judiciary, the “HerStory” video featuring women judges produced by the SC Committee on Gender Responsiveness in the Judiciary, the HerStory Gender Award of Distinction in recognition of women judges, and the Study on Legal Feminism reviewing the Court’s decisions in the last 15 years. He also announced that the Court’s Technical Working Group for the Formulation of a Protocol and a Handbook on Handling Women in Conflict with the Law will start working towards their objectives this month.
The Chief Justice was joined by Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa, Associate Justice Amy C. Lazaro-Javier, Associate Justice Henri Jean Paul B. Inting, Associate Justice Mario V. Lopez, Associate Justice Samuel H. Gaerlan, Associate Justice Jhosep Y. Lopez, Associate Justice Japar B. Dimaampao, Associate Justice Jose Midas P. Marquez, and Associate Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh.
Justice Lazaro-Javier, PWJA President and IAWJ Vice-President, delivered the opening remarks and gave an overview of the IAWJ. For her part, Justice Singh, PWJA Executive Vice-President and IAWJ Regional Director for Asia-Pacific, introduced the special guests from IAWJ. Among the topics discussed were gender-based discrimination and gender-responsiveness in courts.
Also present during the visit were former IAWJ and PWJA President Chief Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-De Castro (Ret.); Court of Appeals (CA) Acting Presiding Justice Fernanda Lampas Peralta; CA Associate Justice Tita Marilyn B. Payoyo-Villordon; CA Associate Justice Mary Charlene V. Hernandez-Azura; Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Maria Theresa V. Mendoza-Arcega; Court of Tax Appeals Associate Justice Ma. Belen M. Ringpis-Liban; Presiding Judge Rebecca A. Guillen-Ubaña (Regional Trial Court [RTC] Branch 40, Manila); Presiding Judge Rosalyn D. Mislos-Loja (RTC Branch 41, Manila); Presiding Judge Pia Cristina B. Bersamin-Embuscado (RTC Branch 198, Las Piñas City); Presiding Judge Ma. Belinda Crisostomo-Rama (RTC Branch 14, Malolos City, Bulacan); Presiding Judge Maria Josefina G. San Juan-Torres (RTC Branch 79, Morong, Rizal); and Professor Myrna S. Feliciano, Chairperson of the Philippine Judicial Academy Department of Legal Method and Research. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo delivers a message during the Courtesy Call of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) and the Philippine Women Judges Association (PWJA) for the Women in Leadership in Law program on September 18, 2023 at the Session Hall of the Supreme Court of the Philippines in Ermita, Manila. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo (second from right); Philippine Women Judges Association (PWJA) President and International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) Vice-President, Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Amy C. Lazaro-Javier (center); and PWJA Executive Vice-President and IAWJ Regional Director for Asia-Pacific, SC Associate Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh (right) present tokens to IAWJ Senior Advisor Anne T. Goldstein, Esq. (standing, third from left) and IAWJ Director of Programs Jane Charles-Voltaire, Esq. (standing, second left) during a courtesy call on September 18, 2023 at the Session Hall of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Looking on is former PWJA and IAWJ President, Retired Chief Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-De Castro (seated). (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)