Dear IAWJ Members,
Greetings from the Philippines! I am very pleased to have the opportunity to reach out to you personally and to express my gratitude for your continued support of the important work of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ).
I’d also like to take this opportunity to once again welcome IAWJ’s new Executive Director, Lisa L. Davis. We have had the opportunity to visit over email, and I am pleased to report that she is hard at work and along with the wonderful staff of the IAWJ, is moving the forward with great success.
The IAWJ strives to be an effective and purposeful association – one that unites women judges globally. Our Regional Directors within the IAWJ international board serve a vital leadership role through their outreach and support to judges throughout their region. The IAWJ membership goes beyond connecting our members with those whom we already know, but to also connect us to judges we do not yet know. For instance, our regional meetings this year are (and have been) an opportunity to invite judges where national associations of women judges do not exist (such as Cambodia in my region) or ones that have become dormant from inactivity. Our upcoming Biennial meeting provides just the opportunity to bring these new colleagues into the IAWJ unity more globally. Let’s work together to have a large representation from each of the regions at May’s Biennial Meeting.
Additionally, IAWJ wants to hear news from our individual and association members from each of the regions in the world we represent. I call upon our members, national chapters, and Regional Directors to share updates from your meetings, your projects, and the challenges and successes in improving women’s rights and access to justice in your regions. We can then continue our global dialogue around our mission and share models for advancing women’s leadership within the judiciary and promoting the rights of women and girls.
The Philippine Women Judges Association is profoundly grateful to our colleagues from approximately 15 countries who attended the Asia Pacific Regional Conference in the Philippines in May of this year and to those who otherwise extended their moral support and encouragement that contributed to the success of said Regional Conference.
Finally, I encourage you to take time out of your busy official commitment to participate in the Biennial Conference in Washington, D.C., USA on 26th-29th May 2016, which in great measure will enable us to reinvigorate our commitment to the vision and mission of the IAWJ, expand the channels of communication and strengthen the spirit of cooperation, camaraderie and fellowship among our members.
With warm wishes,
Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro, IAWJ President
Supreme Court of the Philippines