GlobalJax is working with leaders in the Judiciary of the Republic of Georgia to on a project to increase women's leadership capacities and to help overcome gender inequality among judges. This program will highlight the exoeriences of women judges in the Fourth Judicial Circuit of the State of Florida as well as the US Federal Courts and give the cohort an opportunity to learn from their experiences. They will also meet with leadership at the Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association JWLA) to learn about their program that celebrates and promotes women's leadership in the judicial system. Their meeting with the JWLA will also give them exposure to their program, "Pathway to the Bench" that encourages women lawyers in Jacksonville to consider judgeship. This program supports the Department of State’s objective to promote gender equality and women's leadership.
Currently, women make up over 50% of the judges in the Republic of Georgia. However, this majority does not reflect how cases are divided amongst judges in the country. Women judges report that they are regularly passed up for cases and often asked to perform basic administrative tasks. In 2018, only 15% of chairperson positions were held by women and only 2 of the 9 chamber chairperson positions were held by women. There are several international efforts to improve women's representation in leadership in the country, such as the USAID's Promoting Rule of Law in Georgia Program (PROLoG), and the European Union funded Judiciary Support Project (EU4Justice). According to UN Women the country has made steady progress, adopting antidiscrimination legislation and policies which uphold and promote human rights. In spire of these gains, gender stereotypes remain a deep-seated issue in Georgia causing significant roadblocks to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
Projects like this one allow women leaders to learn best practices from their US counterparts and share ideas to enhance their efforts and raise awareness of persistent issues confronting women and girls.
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