Glass ceilings shatter in courts across the world

There’s been a slew of historic female appointments to courts across the world and we’re here for it. 

🔹US President Joe Biden has made good on his promise to appoint the first black woman to the Supreme Court. Two weeks ago, he nominated Justice Ketanji Jackson, making her possibly the most qualified candidate to ever take up a seat in the US’s apex court – in the US, justices notoriously don’t technically need a law degree. 

Jackson is one of the most experienced candidates for the job, with a 25 year-long career as a public defender and lawyer in private practice. All Jackson now needs is the stamp of approval of the Senate, similar to our parliament here in South Africa. She needs 51 votes to secure her lifetime appointment to the court, which she will likely get as the Democratic Party, which Biden leads, holds the majority in the Senate. 

🔹In SA we are likely to have our own first woman, Justice Mandisa Maya, head our highest court. That’s if the ever-indecisive Ramaphosa were to give his go-ahead for the Constitutional Court Chief Justice appointment. (Now vacant for nearly 140 days. Yes, we’re counting.)

🔹Egypt just appointed its first woman judge to the State Council, a top court in the country. Judge Radwa Helmi’s appointment makes historic strides towards equality in Egypt, a country that has been heavily criticised for its ongoing assault on women’s rights.

🔹Last year, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta made Chief Justice Martha Koome the first woman to lead the country’s top court. 

There’s much more to do but these important appointments are worth celebrating!

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 10 March  2022. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.