On March 3, 2021, a monthly meeting of representatives of international assistance projects on strengthening the Rule of Law organized by the USAID New Justice Program took place online.
The representatives of the highest state authorities of Ukraine, international organizations and international technical assistance projects participated in the event.
The topic of the March meeting was dedicated to the promotion of gender equality in the judiciary. It was symbolic that the rights of women in the profession were discussed just before March 8 – the Day for Women's Rights and International Peace.
Inna Plakhtiy, a member of the Council of Judges of Ukraine (CJU) and judge of the Lutsk City District Court of Volyn Oblast, addressed the participants. She informed about the CJU’s efforts on implementing gender-sensitive policy into the justice system. She stressed the urgency of expanding the categories of gender-sensitive cases during the monitoring of gender equality in the judiciary and proposed possible additional markers for their analysis.
The meeting was also attended by the head of the Ukrainian Women Lawyers Association “JurFem” Hrystyna Kit. The expert presented the updated Gender Sensitivity Index of the Judiciary developed in 2018 per CJU’s initiative with USAID support as a tool to measure progress in implementing the gender equality principle into the justice system. Based on the results of the analysis, a number of recommendations have been developed to improve the gender balance in the justice system. Specifically, the judiciary has been recommended to develop the Gender Strategy of the Judiciary, update the Gender Sensitivity Index of the Judiciary, ensure the formation of a gender-balanced judiciary and take into account the gender needs of the judiciary and court users, improve gender-disaggregated data collection and analysis, and establish a Task Force on Gender Issues within the Judiciary.
Lyudmyla Chernyavska, gender and judicial administration expert of the Canadian-Ukrainian Project “Support to Judicial Reform” provided an overview of the Project’s efforts in the area of gender sensitivity of the judiciary.
The participants of the event also paid special attention to the issue of ensuring gender equality by the highest judicial authorities during implementing the judicial career procedures. In particular, representatives of the donor community discussed the idea of possible training of these categories of servants on relevant topics and stressed the importance of ensuring balanced gender approaches during the formation of the next composition of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) New Justice Program has been operating in Ukraine since October 2016.
The Program is aimed to support the judiciary, Government, Parliament, Civil Society and the People of Ukraine in the implementation of judicial reform.