IAWJ’s Delegation to UN Commission on the Status of Women

The International Association of Women Judges was honored to have a delegation at the 62nd Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which had the theme of “Empowering Rural Women and Girls”. Our delegation this year was comprised of members from nine different countries: Argentina, Canada, the Czech Republic, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines, Uganda, and the United States. During their time in New York, our members to attended UN official events, NGO side events, discussed what the courts can do to make a difference in the lives of rural women and girls, as well as share their experiences with each other.

Our members exchanged experiences at a preparatory meeting where they introduced themselves, their backgrounds, their experiences, and their thoughts on this year’s CSW theme. Thank you to Board of Managerial Trustees member Ambassador Susan Esserman for coordinating our meeting at the incredible Steptoe & Johnson offices overlooking Bryant Park.

The IAWJ hosted its own NGO Parallel event, a  public panel with eight of our member judges and moderated by President-Elect Hon. Vanessa Ruiz.  The panel was entitled “City Justice/Country Justice” and our members were able to discuss the experiences of rural women and girls seeking justice through the courts and the challenges they face. We had an incredible audience that included a senator from Mexico, former IAWJ Executive Director Joan Winship, and representatives from other NGOs.

After the panel one of our members from New York, Judge Ellen Gesmer from Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Department, invited the delegation to take a tour of her beautiful court, legal library, and offices in Midtown Manhattan.

Later that afternoon, the delegation meet with Hon. Toko Serita from the Criminal Court of the City of New York at the Center for Court Innovation and introduced new model courts called Human Trafficking Intervention Court.

One of the most valuable parts of CSW is the friendship built among our members.  We shared dinners to discuss the matters of the day and enjoyed New York City together. One of our members from Argentina, Andrea di Gregorio, said these kind words regarding her experience with the delegation:

“The plurality of judicial experiences, laws, and shared challenges, reduced the geographical distances of the world. Suddenly, we were together, united by vocation, reflecting on the noble commitment to the task of justice. Together we are more… and its strengthens everyone.”

This year’s CSW was a great success and we hope to see you all next year!

IAWJ Members at UN Commission on the Status of Women

Picture 1 of 21


This years delegation included:

Hon. Vanessa Ruiz, President-Elect

Hon. Ellen Sue Levy

Hon. Ivana Hrdličková

Hon. Marisa Marquez

Hon. Mary Ang’awa

Hon. Naa Adoley Azu

Hon, Rowena Nieves A. Tan

Hon. Sheri Donegan

Hon. Stella Maris Amabilis

Hon. Sue Pai Yang

Hon. Andrea di Gregorio

Cecilia del Refugio Palomo Caudillo

Hon. Dalia Ibonne Ortega Gonzalez

Magistrate Leticia Dias de Leon Torres

Hon. Maribel Concepcion Mendez de Lara

Hon. Michelle Hollar-Gregory

Hon. Carmen Velasquez

Hon. Mary Margaret Rowlands

Local New York Members:

Hon. Tanya Kennedy, NAWJ President

Hon. Ellen Gesmer

Hon. Toko Serita

Hon. Debra James

IAWJ Staff:

Lisa Davis, Executive Director

Anne Goldstein

Jane Charles-Voltaire

Johan Marulanda