Indonesia: Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia and ICJ hosts webinar on Enhancing Gender Equality in the Judiciary

The ICJ held a webinar on 25 October 2021 which gathered ICJ Commissioners and Indonesian judges to discuss progress and challenges in the advancement of women’s access to justice in compliance with international human rights law.

The ICJ Commissioners included Justice Chinara Aidarbekova ( Judge of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan), Dame Silvia Cartwright (former judge of the High Court of New Zealand and Member of the CEDAW Committee), and Nahla Haidar El-Addal, (Vice-Chair of the CEDAW Committee). The event was attended by more than 100 judges in Indonesia and viewed by more than 1,000 on social media.

The Deputy Head of Mission of Sweden Embassy in Jakarta  addressed the event, followed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Indonesia, who which quoted Raden Ajeng Kartini, a prominent late 19th century Indonesian women’s rights activist who: “Don’t let darkness come again, don’t let women be treated arbitrarily.”

Justice Chinara discussed Kyrgyzstan’s experience regarding access to justice for women and the incorporation into national law of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) as well as efforts to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals under Kyrgystan’s gender equality national plan.

Nahla Haidar introduced the work and working methods of the CEDAW and its General Recommendation 33 regarding women’s access to justice. Dame Silvia Cartwright, reviewed the question of gender stereotyping in the administration of and New Zealand’s experiences, highlighting the critical role of judges in  enhancing women’s access to justice.

Two commentators from both the General High Court and Religious High Court in Indonesia explained the opportunities and challenges and the practical steps for the judges in promoting the implementation of CEDAW and Bangkok General Guidance that has been adopted to SC Regulation No.3 Year 2017 in the justice system in Indonesia.

In the discussion session, moderated by Ruth Panjaitan, ICJ Indonesia Legal Adviser,  it was stressed made that promoting access to justice requires that laws must be free of gender stereotypes, and justice actors must not themselves engage in gender stereotyping in investigation and adjudication. Important in this respect is Indonesia’s Supreme Court Regulation No. 3 of 2017 concerning Guidelines for Judging Women in Dealing with the Law, that was adopted from the Bangkok General Guidance for Judges on Applying a Gender Perspective in Southeast Asia.

The Chief Justice officially closed the event by noting that the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia had taken important steps in an effort to achieve gender equality in the judiciary, but that much remained to be done to adopt approaches in accordance with the vision and mission of the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice thanked and gave his highest appreciation to the Government and Embassy of Sweden, ICJ, resource persons, and all parties who has worked to make this event happen.

Watch the recorded webinar here.

Read the webstory in Bahasa Indonesia here.


Ruth Panjaitan, ICJ Indonesia Legal Adviser, e: ruthstephani.panjaitan(a)

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