Enthusiasm for Creating a Women Judges’ Association

On December 27, twenty-seven women judges gathered to discuss the creation of a Women Judges’ Association. USAID’s International Development Law Organization (IDLO) and the Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training (OPDAT) sponsored the program.

Deputy Head of the Supreme Court Kalieva opened the event, and underlined the importance of the role of women in law enforcement and judicial systems. Chinara Aidarbekova and Meergul Bobukeeva, both from the Constitutional Chamber, shared their impressions from the National Association of Women Judges and the International Association of Women Judges conference they attended in San Diego in October. Both came away particularly impressed by Sonia Sotomayor’s and Joan Dempsey Klein’s work. Vera Tkachenko (UNODC program manager) and Nazgul Beisheeva (head of the Gender Department, Ministry of Social Development) made presentations on gender issues in Kyrgyzstan.

Women judges are keen to elevate the profile of work on domestic violence, family, juvenile, and social issues and suggested an association of women judges could be the right forum in which to do so.  Attendees agreed to draft a resolution and to solicit the interest of all judges, in hopes of getting a consensus to move ahead by the end of January.