First National Conference of Women Judges held in Nepal


Group photo of the first National Conference of Women Judges held in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: UN Women/Sirjana Bhatta

The first “National Conference of Women Judges: Enhancing Leadership Skills" hosted in Kathmandu on 22-23 March 2024, marked a significant milestone in Nepal's judicial landscape. The conference represented a significant opportunity to promote gender equality, intersectionality, diversity, and excellence within the judiciary by providing a platform for collaboration, advocacy, and professional development contributing to enhance leadership of the women judges to excel in their roles and contribute to a more just and equitable legal system.

Organized by the National Judicial Academy (NJA) under the theme "Advancing Gender Justice in the Judiciary: Commitment to Action", the two-day event provided an invaluable networking and knowledge exchange space for women judges from various levels and jurisdictions across the country.

The Supreme Court, the Judges Society of Nepal, and the EU-UN Joint Programme Empowered Women Prosperous Nepal collaborated with NJA to bring together women judges alongside representatives from international development organizations.

Honorable Minister Padam Giri, Ministry of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs (MoLJPA), underscored the conference's role in elevating the qualitative dimensions of justice delivery. The gathering, he remarked, deepened his commitment to advancing gender equality.

Similarly, Rt. Honorable Mr. Bishowambhar Prasad Shrestha, Nepal’s Chief of Justice, emphasized the need for equal representation within the judiciary, recognizing the role of the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Strategy in this endeavor.

There are 43 women judges in the country including three justices in the Supreme Court. The conference was attended by all the women judges and women officials serving the judicial service, law service, and government attorney.

Former Chief Justice of Nepal, Honorable Sushila Karki, underscored the disparities faced by women judges, calling for recognition and action. She stated, "It is crucial to recognize the inequalities women judges face."

In a testament to progress, Honorable Sapana Pradhan Malla of the Supreme Court of Justice, celebrated the increased presence of women judges, signaling progress in addressing historical underrepresentation. "Today, we can proudly note the presence of 43 active women judges, alongside 8 retired women judges," she announced.

As the event drew to a close, Honorable Baidya Nath Upadhyay, Executive Director of NJA, paid tribute to trailblazing justices who paved the way for women in the judiciary.

Echoing the sentiment of collaboration and progress, H.E. Veronique Lorenzo, Ambassador of the European Union to Nepal, highlighted the transformative potential of gender justice, underscoring the EU's commitment to fostering equality through the "Empowered Women, Prosperous Nepal" programme.

During the conference, Supreme Court Justice Honorable Saranga Subedi presented a declaration aimed at fostering fairness and inclusivity within Nepal's judiciary. The declaration seeks to address the barriers encountered by women judges, thereby striving towards a more equitable and inclusive judicial system.

Patricia Fernandez-Pacheco, UN Women Country Representative to Nepal, extended warm wishes to Nepal's women judges and acknowledged their leadership and their role as champions of diversity and equality within the justice sector. “The National Conference of Women Judges marked a milestone in Nepal's journey towards gender justice in the judiciary and reaffirmed the collective commitment towards equitable representation and justice for all in Nepal,” she said.

In photos

Scroll < > for more photos. Photos: UN Women/Sirjana Bhatta