1st Edition

Gender, Judging and the Courts in Africa
Selected Studies

Edited By

J. Jarpa Dawuni

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 12, 2021
ISBN 9780367344580
November 12, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
352 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Women judges are playing increasingly prominent roles in many African judiciaries, yet there remains very little comparative research on the subject. Drawing on extensive cross-national data and theoretical and empirical analysis, this book provides a timely and broad-ranging assessment of gender and judging in African judiciaries.

Employing different theoretical approaches, the book investigates how women have fared within domestic African judiciaries, as both actors and litigants. It explores how women negotiate multiple hierarchies to access the judiciary, and how gender-related issues are handled in courts. The chapters in the book provide policy, theoretical and practical prescriptions to the challenges identified, and offer recommendations for the future directions of gender and judging in the post-Covid-19 era, including the role of technology, artificial intelligence, social media, and institutional transformations that can help promote women’s rights.

Bringing together specific cases from Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania and South Africa, and regional bodies such as ECOWAS and the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, and covering a broad range of thematic reflections, this book will be of interest to scholars, students and practitioners of African law, judicial politics, judicial training, and gender studies. It will also be useful to bilateral and multilateral donor institutions financing gender sensitive judicial reform programs particularly in Africa.

Table of Contents


Ibrahim Hamis Juma


Sandie Okoro


Chapter 1. Gender and Judging Perspectives from Africa: A Case of Old Wine in New Skins or New Wine in Old Skins?

J. Jarpa Dawuni

Part 1: Women and Gender-Related Jurisprudence in the Courts

Chapter 2. An Analysis of Gender Equality Jurisprudence by Kenyan Courts Since the Enactment of the 2010 Constitution.

Nancy Baraza

Chapter 3. To win Both the Battle and the War: Judicial Determination of Property Rights of Spouses in Ghana.

Maame Yaa Mensa-Bonsu and Maame A.S. Mensa-Bonsu

Chapter 4. Litigating Gender Discrimination Cases Before the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Osai Ojigho

Part 2: Emerging Gender Issues in the Courts

Chapter 5. Femicide and Judging: Social Media as an Alternative Online Court in Kenya.

Stephen Muthoka Mutie

Chapter 6. Judging Beyond Gender: Maternal and Infant Mortality as an Emerging Gender Related Issue in Ugandan Courts.

W. Naigaga Kyobiika

Chapter 7. Revenge Pornography as a form of Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Ghana: Emerging Judicial Issues.

Maame Efua Addadzi-Koom

Chapter 8. ‘Judging’ Lesbians: Prospects for Advancing Lesbian Rights Protection through Courts in Nigeria.

Pedi Obani

Part 3: Judicial Appointments and Gender Representation in Regional Bodies and National Courts

Chapter 9. The Feminine Face of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.

Reini Alapini-Gansou

Chapter 10. Pursuing Gender Equality Through the Courts: The Role of South Africa’s Women Judges.

Penelope Andrews

Chapter 11. One Sauce for the Goose, Another for the Gander: Zambian Women Judges and Perceptions of Illegitimacy.

Tabeth Masengu

Part 4: Judicial Training and Gender

Chapter 12. Unlocking Gender Inequality Through Judicial Training: Insights from Tanzania.

Juliana Masabo

Chapter 13. Gender Awareness Training in Judicial Training Institutes in Kenya and Uganda

Nightingale Rukuba-Ngaiza

Part 5: Covid-19 Pandemic and Gender-Related Judicial Issues

Chapter 14. Global Pandemic: Covid-19, the Courts, and the Justice System

Muna Ndulo

Chapter 15. Sexual Violence during the COVID 19 Pandemic in Uganda: Lessons for the Criminal Justice System.

Lillian Tibatemwa-Ekirikubinza


View More



J. Jarpa Dawuni is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Howard University, USA and the Founding Director of the Howard University Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership. She is the founder and Executive Director of the non-profit organization, the Institute for African Women in Law (IAWL). 


"Judges play critical roles as custodians of law and justice. The judicial oath places a duty on judges to apply the law equally, and without fear or favor. The generally held view on gender and judging however, indicate that the law may not always be applied fairly in matters relating to women and other minorities. This book comes at a time when the world is reawakening to discussions on the rights of women, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. The chapters provide theoretical and practical analyses and entry points for expanding our understanding of how judges apply the law and the potential for judicial interpretation to either promote women’s rights or diminish them. This book is a must-read for judicial officers, gender advocates, experts interested in judicial policy, judicial training, and judicial institutional development. It touches on issues at the intersection of gender, law, and development across Africa."

Justice Georgina Theodora Wood (Rtd) (SOG, LLD (honoris causa), Former Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana


"A rich, timely, thoughtful, lively and diverse compendium of papers examining the multiplicity of questions at the core of constitutional rights and freedoms across the African continent today. The book excellently captures the main issues raised at the conference in Arusha which illuminated the gaps in law and practice towards full and meaningful achievement of women’s rights. It highlights the slow but steady advances being made in the gender awareness of judges in Africa, while calling to action the need for more gender-sensitive training for judicial officers."

Justice Albie Sachs (Rtd.), Constitutional Court of South Africa