I am honored to welcome you today to this side event on women’s participation in the justice sector, with a focus on the situation of Afghanistan. This was the subject of a recent publication by IDLO financed by the Government of Italy, so I would like to begin by thanking Director-General Irene Khan for this very interesting report and for the Organization’s precious collaboration.
This event could not of course have been organized without the active involvement of the Government of Afghanistan. This is why I am so pleased that my colleague Ambassador Tanin is here with us today. At the same time, I wish to thank Anne Waiguru, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Devolution and Planning of Kenya, and Olga Sánchez Cordero, Minister of the Supreme Court of Mexico, who will highlight good practices of their Countries in fostering the adoption of a gender perspective in the judiciary system. I am also grateful to the representatives of UN Women and of the Rule of Law for their presence here today.
I will leave it to our Senior Advisor of the Task Force on Afghanistan of the General Directorate for Development Cooperation, Mr. Filippo Alessi, to describe Italy’s activities in the context of our long-term commitment to the reconstruction of Afghanistan. I would just like to add a few words about Italy’s dynamic role in the promotion of women’s rights and gender equality. As an example this such dynamism, this is the third of the three side-events Italy has organized during this year’s session of the Commission on the Status of Women. The previous two regarded female genital mutilation and the situation of women in Libya.
We are at a crucial moment in the history of women’s rights, for looming on the horizon are both the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the deadline for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. In this context, Italy is firmly convinced that the Post-2015 Development Agenda must address the challenge of gender inequality through a “transformative standalone goal,” while monitoring its implementation across all relevant dimensions of the Agenda.
At the same time, Italy continues to be firmly committed to preventing and combating all forms of violence against women. This includes the fight against all harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilations – which is a human rights violations and jeopardizes the health of thousands of women throughout the world every day – and early and forced marriages, a worldwide problem with inescapable implications for gender equality, sexual health and reproductive rights, education, and violence.
Last year in Italy we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of women’s entrance into the judiciary. According to the most recent data, more than 40% of Italy’s judges are women, more or less the same percentage as women lawyers. As the title of our side event underlines, in order to have justice for women we need to promote justice by women. I therefore look forward to our discussion, which I hope will provide us with useful indications on how to increase not only the quantity but also the quality of women’s presence in the justice sector.
Thank you very much.