As a social worker, I know too well how local justice systems do not always render judgements that best serve women and girls. I have had the experience of counseling domestic violence survivors still suffering major injuries from a recent assault, and these victims telling me that the offender is already back on the street, and they are afraid for their lives.
So for me, and the clients I serve, it is exciting to learn about the Gender Justice Uncovered Awards, a way to push for better decision-making in the courts worldwide by giving judges positive and negative reinforcement for their decisions involving women and girls.
Women’s Link Worldwide created the awards “to recognize that the comments made by judges and the courts have a strong influence on the sense of justice and the daily life of all people in countries across the world, whatever their political system or religious traditions and beliefs.”
Women’s Link Worldwide sees the courts as a tool for advancing civil society, and with this projects is working to engage judicial authorities in a meaningful dialogue about the rights and protections of women and girls. The awards are given to “sentences or decisions that have had a positive or negative effect on gender equality, such as, for example, decisions regarding sexual and reproductive rights, gender violence, equality in family relations, and gender discrimination.”
The Awards take a carrot and stick approach to the court decisions involving women and girls. The Gavel Awards serve as the carrot — and are given to decision that are promote gender equality. The Gavel Award highlights judicial decisions that protect and advance human rights for women. The Bludgeon Awards serve as the stick — and are given to decisions that are retrograde and discriminatory against women and girls.
You can learn more about the Gender Justice Uncovered awards here. Voting is currently open, so check it out, and then vote!