1st Edition

International Courts and the African Woman Judge Unveiled Narratives

Edited By Josephine Jarpa Dawuni, Hon. Akua Kuenyehia Copyright 2018
    182 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    182 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    A sequel to Bauer and Dawuni's pioneering study on gender and the judiciary in Africa (Routledge, 2016), International Courts and the African Woman Judge examines questions on gender diversity, representative benches, and international courts by focusing on women judges from the continent of Africa.

    Drawing from postcolonial feminism, feminist institutionalism, feminist legal theory, and legal narratives, this book provides fresh and detailed narratives of seven women judges that challenge existing discourse on gender diversity in international courts. It answers important questions about how the politics of judicial appointments, gender, geographic location, class, and professional capital combine to shape the lives of women judges who sit on international courts and argues the need to disaggregate gender diversity with a view to understanding intra-group differences.

    International Courts and the African Woman Judge will be of interest to a variety of audiences including governments, policy makers, civil society organizations, students of gender studies, and feminist activists interested in all questions of gender and judging.


    [Hon. Gabrielle Kirk McDonald]

    1. Introduction: Challenging Gender Universalism and Unveiling the Silenced Narratives of the African Woman Judge

    [Josephine Jarpa Dawuni]

    2. Women Judges in International Courts and Tribunals –The Quest for Equal Opportunities: Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

    [Florence Ndepele Mwachande Mumba]

    3. Julia Sebutinde: An Unbreakable Cloth

    [Nienke Grossman]

    4. Akua Kuenyehia: Leaving a Mark Along the Journey for Human Rights

    [Josephine Jarpa Dawuni]

    5. Fatoumata Dembélé Diarra: Trajectory of A Malian Magistrate and Civil Society Advocate to The International Criminal Court

    [Sara Dezalay]

    6. Sophia Akuffo: Balancing the Equities

    [Kuukuwa Andam and Sena Dei-Tutu]

    7. Justina Kelello Mafoso- Guni: The Gendering of Judicial Appointment Processes in African Courts

    [Rachel Ellett]

    8. Elsie Nwanwuri Thompson: The Trajectory of a Noble Passion

    [Rebecca Emiene Badejogbin]

    9. Conclusion: International Courts and The African Woman Judge: Unlocking Doors, Leaving A Legacy

    [Josephine Jarpa Dawuni and Akua Kuenyehia]



    Josephine Jarpa Dawuni is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Howard University, Washington D.C. Her areas of research include judicial politics, women and the law, international human rights, and women in the legal professions. She is the editor (with Gretchen Bauer) of Gender and the Judiciary in Africa: From Obscurity to Parity? (Routledge, 2016).

    Hon. Judge Akua Kuenyehia served as a judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands from 2003-2015 and was elected First Vice-President of the ICC. Prior to the ICC, she was Dean, Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana.


    'The voices of African women judges have rarely been given space in judicial scholarship. These rich narratives therefore provide a welcome and overdue corrective.  Weaving together the personal and the political, their accounts remind us just how much African women judges have achieved in the international judiciary and yet how far there is still to go in securing gender equality. By adopting a conscious intersectional lens and drawing out the differences between the judges as well as their shared experiences, the book also provides a valuable counter to the dangers of essentialism. Through the stories of these remarkable women who achieved so many ‘firsts’ in their field, we also learn something of the wider stories of pioneering women generally, and African women in particular, who have fought to take their place in the international and domestic courts and who provide such powerful role models for the next generation of women judges.' - Kate Malleson, Professor of Law, Queen Mary University of London


    'Dawuni and Kuenyehia’s immensely important book unpacks the diversity of women who sit on the bench of international courts and tribunals. The book disaggregates "gender" on judicial benches and invites readers and scholars to pay attention to intra-group differences and consider the multiple identities that the African woman judge navigates in the particular field of international courts. The book accomplishes this sensitive task by giving voice to these female Black/African women themselves, powerfully gathering and analyzing narratives of the legal and personal journeys that they have traveled. This book is to be very strongly recommended not only to all those interested in gender and judging, but to all scholars and actors committed to critical readings of international law, institutions and courts.' - Stéphanie Hennette-Vauchez, Professor of Public Law, Paris Nanterre University