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Strong judiciary key to justice for vulnerable women, girls — UN Women representative

UN agency, judicial institute sign memo to bolster gender equality in legislation

By Rana Husseini - Dec 19,2019 - Last updated at Dec 23,2019

General Director of the Judicial Institute of Jordan Judge Ihssan Barakat and UN Women Jordan Representative Ziad Sheikh sign a memorandum of understanding in Amman on Thursday (Photo courtesy of UN Women)

AMMAN — The Judicial Institute of Jordan (JIJ) and UN Women on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen gender-mainstreaming within the legislative body. 

Within the framework of the Jordanian National Action Plan (JONAP) for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (2018-2021), General Director of the JIJ Judge Ihssan Barakat and UN Women Jordan Representative Ziad Sheikh signed the MoU during a ceremony at the institute’s new headquarters in Amman.

The MoU aims to strengthen cooperation in the fields of empowering women judges, developing gender-sensitive curricula, strengthening the capacities of judges and court staff capacities in handling cases of gender-based violence and building the personal skills of both male and female judges, Barakat said during a press conference at the JIJ.

“Our aim is to improve our judicial services to help women gain easy access to justice services, while at the same time increasing their representation in the judiciary branch and empowering them to assume their duties in the best manner,” Barakat said.

The JIJ director explained that UN Women will give technical expertise and logistical support to the institute, ​​strengthening institutional capacities to offer gender-sensitive judicial services and providing women with access to justice.

This initiative is supported by the governments of Canada, Finland, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom, according to a UN Women press release.

Also addressing the press conference, Sheikh said: “Ensuring a strong judiciary is key to promoting access to justice for vulnerable women and girls”. 

“Through the Jordanian National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, UN Women and the judicial institute will enhance gender-responsive protection and legal services,” Sheikh stressed.

The UN official praised Jordan’s “leadership in the implementation of the JONAP that aims to contribute strengthening and providing legal services to the most vulnerable in this country”.

Earlier in the month, His Majesty King Abdullah inaugurated the JIJ’s new premises, which aim to build judicial capacities and qualify judges through diploma programmes as well as specialised training programmes.

 His Majesty noted the accomplishments of the judiciary, emphasising the need to build on progress and to continue implementing the recommendations of the Royal Committee to Develop the Judiciary and Enhance the Rule of Law to further improve performance.

 To date, 825 students have graduated from the JIJ with a diploma since its establishment in 1988.

The institute, through its diploma programme and training courses, has qualified a number of judges and legal administrative staff from various Arab countries, including Oman, Yemen, Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

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