NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
African women justice actors have inked a
commitment to stepping up efforts to combat gender-based
violence (GBV) in the continent.
associations of women judges, magistrates and prosecutors also
resolved to establish the International Association of Women
Judges-Africa Region Forum to eliminate sexual and gender-based
In a joint statement
issued on Sunday following a two-day conference that ended in
Nairobi on Saturday evening, the judicial actors resolved to
ensure that women judges and national associations undertake to
carry out sustained advocacy to curb sexual and gender-based
violence within their jurisdictions.
observed that GBV was prevalent in the region despite a raft of
legislation and policy frameworks to address the problem,” it
“They said that GBV
was rampant due to weak enforcement mechanisms, lack of
awareness, culture, poverty and gender discrimination and called
for strategies that transcend legal and policy intervention,”
the statement said.
brought together delegates from Kenya, Liberia, Uganda,
Tanzania, South Sudan, Somalia and Zambia.
During the two-day
conference, the judicial officials shared experiences from their
various regions on the investigation, prosecution and
adjudication of GBV cases.
The forum provided
an opportunity for participants to engage and share experiences
and good practices in handling GBV cases in the region with the
ultimate aim of combating systemic impunity toward GBV.
conference, Kenyan Chief Justice David Maraga said despite the
strict and punitive legislation, the challenge of GBV still
persists in Kenya.
Maraga noted that
currently a majority of GBV offenses go unreported in part
because of a non-conducive justice system or heavy stigma and
harmful norms and attitudes that lead to silence of their