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Women Judges Key To Increased Confidence In Judiciary – Pres Akufo-Addo

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has highlighted the presence and inclusion of women at all levels of the judicial system as not only enhancing the perspective in the judiciary, but also key to strengthening public confidence in the justice delivery system.

He believes that women judges can represent the spirit of justice, and the enduring promise of equality within our judiciary and bring unique insights and life experiences to the bench, thereby, enriching the interpretation and application of the law.

“I know this because I have had the honour of appointing, since becoming President in 2017, many women to all the various levels of our judicial ladder, including two to the highest office of Chief Justice, of which the most recent is the current Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Gertrude Torkornoo.”

Speaking at the 18th Africa Regional Conference of the International Association of Women Judges 2024, he said, the event highlights pressing issues, and shines a light on the path forward through judicial engagement and innovation.

He told the gathering that women judges across Africa and the globe bring unique viewpoints and strengths to the judiciary as their experiences, often mirror the societal challenges we seek to overcome, and equip them uniquely to advocate for justice and fairness.

Therefore, “in dealing with issues like gender-based violence, child marriage, widowhood rites and female genital mutilation practices steeped in deep-rooted cultural norms, your voices and rulings can resonate deeply, driving societal transformation.”

Put together under the theme, Combating Negative Cultural Practices in Contemporary Times: The role of Women Judges, he said, this theme “calls on each of us, especially our women judges, to leverage our collective legal acumen to dismantle barriers to justice because Negative cultural practices are not just an affront to the victims, but are a blemish on our collective human conscience.

Acknowledging the efforts against this as all-encompassing and not just confined to the courtrooms, the President said, education, awareness and collaborative governance are critical, hence the need to engage traditional leaders, educators and communities to recalibrate mindsets and attitudes.

“It is in our schools, homes, and community gatherings where the foundational beliefs of our next generation are formed. Here lies the strategic importance of holistic approaches that include legal repercussions, as well as preventative measures through education and community engagement.”

Since assuming office in 2017, the Akufo-Addo has provided unprecedented court infrastructure including court buildings and residences, across the country.

Targeting and overall number of 100 in 2020, he said, as at February 2024, 79 courthouses had been successfully inaugurated, and are in use at various sites around the country. The remaining 21 projects are at various stages of completion and are expected to be completed and inaugurated soon.

“In addition, 121 residential units have been constructed for judges throughout the country. Further, 20 fully furnished 4-bedroom units, together with social amenities, have been constructed for Justices of the Court of Appeal in Kumasi. The Project is not yet complete, but I can say we have done enough to try to address the perennial problem of insufficient court infrastructure in Ghana”, he added.

He described the conference as not just a congregation of legal minds, but a forge for future progress and called for the renewal of commitment to justice, to gender equality, and to the eradication of all forms of negative cultural practices.

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Ghana, is a west African country, bound on the north by Burkina Faso, on the east by Togo, on the south by the Atlantic Ocean,and on the west by Côte d'Ivoire.

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