Gender equity in the judiciary is an ongoing and critical issue in South Africa. This week the JSC conducted interviews for seven vacant positions. Out of the 23 candidates listed, only three were women. But how exactly do we go about selecting our judges and why are so few women put up for consideration? What is the shape of the playing field? The Judges Matter Coalition this week tried to map the terrain.
It was Judge Trevor Gorven, one of the nominees for two positions available at the country’s second highest court, the Supreme Court of Appeal, who during his interview by the JSC for the position this week highlighted only one issue that skewed opportunities for women in particular – that of unpaid legal pupillages which created an unfair playing field for “impecunious” candidates.
South African women with judicial aspirations – and particularly black women – have several hurdles to surmount that white, male candidates do not. These include systemic discrimination, being sidelined to specific courts and even sexual harassment.
On Monday, The Judges Matter Coalition, a group of community organisations that aim to monitor and assist the transformation of the judiciary, hosted a meeting in…
Source : Daily Maverick