Advancing gender justice in the Rome Statute system

In this year of celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute, International Women’s Day reminds us of the great strides that were made in strengthening women’s rights when the Rome Statute was adopted.  

As one of the first international treaties to extensively address crimes against women as crimes against humanity, war crimes and, in some cases, genocide, the Rome Statute created a permanent legal framework that gives victims and survivors of sexual and gender-based crimes continued reason to hope.

The Statute also created a standard for international justice when it comes to protection for victims and witnesses (especially victims of sexual and gender-based crimes), gender balance on its judicial bench and among its elected officials, and other provisions such as requiring that relevant Court organs have staff with expertise in gender issues.

Moreover, the Rome Statute’s catalytic effect at the national level means that if a state ratifies the Statute and incorporates, for example, its far-reaching SGBV provisions into domestic legislation, these crimes can be prosecuted by national courts. There is real potential here for such a shift in domestic legal culture to promote gender equality more broadly by strengthening women’s rights and increasing their access to justice.

“On this International Women’s Day, I wish to send my warmest wishes to all women across the globe, especially those working or related to the world of justice. I want to call on all women to firmly believe in the equality of men and women - as I strongly do -, indeed, on gender equality, which is, after all, equality in rights and opportunities. I want to call on all women to never tolerate neither violence nor discrimination against us, and to never stop dreaming nor working towards reaching your goals…WE CAN DO IT.”

Luz Del Carmen Ibáñez, ICC judge-elect.

Join us in celebrating the women leading the fight for global justice for the worst crimes.

Be brave when you find gender perspectives are missing: countless of our civil society representatives from around the world have dared to break the mold – so can you.

Read their stories, be inspired, follow their path.

“Colombia is facing new challenges and discussions on legal frameworks that ensure the right to justice for victims."





Adriana Maria Benjumea Rúa

Director – Corporación Humanas Colombia

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Rebecca Lozada

National Coordinator -  Philippine National Coalition for the ICC

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"ASEAN owes it to the victims of atrocious crimes in the subregion to do its part to protect the gains of the Rome Statute.”

"International Women's Day is a good time to remember the importance of justice in the lives of women around the world." 






Brigid Inder

Executive Director – Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice

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Brigitte Chelebian

Executive Director – Justice Without Frontiers

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"Both men and women have an obligation to break the silence."

"Young lawyers today will further a comprehensive worldwide system of global justice that succeeds in ending impunity for atrocity crimes.”






Linda Carter

American Coalition for the International Criminal Court

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Mama Koite Doumbia

President – Malian National Coalition for the ICC
Board Member – ICC Trust Fund for Victims

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"Sexual and gender-based violence is a real issue in Mali with women being raped, deprived from their freedom, or used as sex slaves."

“I am fully convinced that corruption and impunity are the main triggers for most social problems in Mexico."





Nancy Lopez

Lawyer - Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos

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Oby Nwankwo

Executive Director – Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC)

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"I urge African States to stand with victims of atrocities – especially victims of sexual abuse – by remaining in the ICC.”

“The only rule that should really matter for human rights activists is the need to become the voice of the most vulnerable.” 




Urantsooj Gombosuren

Chairperson – Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

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Tetiana Pechonchyk

Chairperson – Human Rights Information Center

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“Being a woman and a human rights defender means a struggle for peace and justice in my country."


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