Press Release

In 2018, the four worst judicial decisions for women and girls’ rights were issued by courts in Spain, El Salvador, Mexico, and Sudan

Announcing the winners of the tenth edition of the Gender Justice Uncovered Awards, hosted by the international organization Women’s Link Worldwide, recognizing the best and worst rulings on gender equality issued by courts all over the world

  • Date: 04/12/2018
In 2018, the four worst judicial decisions for women and girls’ rights were issued by courts in Spain, El Salvador, Mexico, and Sudan

December 4, 2018 – The verdict is in! An international jury and thousands of people from all over the world have chosen the best and worst court decisions on women and girls’ rights in the tenth edition of the Gender Justice Uncovered Awards. 

The Awards, created by the international organization Women’s Link Worldwide, are a way of acknowledging the fine work of judges who are committed to gender equality and raising awareness of rulings that turn back the clock on women and girls’ rights.

“Women all over the world are speaking up to put an end to the discrimination they suffer. While the struggle in the streets continues, women and girls continue to face serious obstacles in the courts. Through the Gender Justice Uncovered Awards, people have a chance to demand that justice systems adequately protect women and girls’ rights,” explains Women’s Link attorney and Awards Coordinator Blakeley Decktor.

The winning decisions

Gavel Award Winners (court rulings with a positive effect on women and girls’ rights)

  • The Golden Gavel was awarded to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights for its ruling recognizing that Mali was violating women’s rights on issues such as the minimum age to marry and urging the State to amend the Family Code to protect women and girls’ rights. 
  • This year’s Silver Gavel was for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for finding that Nicaragua not only failed to protect a 10-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted, but that it also traumatized and revictimized her. The Court ordered the State to adopt protocols for providing assistance to young victims of sexual violence. 
  • And the Supreme Court of Spain took the Bronze Gavel for the case of Ángela González. This unprecedented decision requires Spain to comply with the recommendations of United Nations committees and provide reparations to Ángela for the murder of her daughter at the hands of the girl’s abusive father, who took advantage of an unsupervised visit authorized by the court. 
  • With 3,115 total online votes, the People’s Choice Gavel was awarded to Argentina’s Criminal and Correctional Court No. 4 of the Federal Capital. For the first time, a court in Argentina recognized gender hatred as an aggravating factor to a crime, referring to the murder of renowned trans activist Diana Sacayán as a case of “transvesticide.”  

Bludgeon Award Winners (court rulings with a negative effect on women and girls’ rights)

  • The Golden Bludgeon went to the Central Criminal Court of Omdurman, in Khartoum, Sudan. This court sentenced a 19-year-old woman to death by hanging for stabbing her husband to death when he tried to rape her. 
  • The Silver Bludgeon was taken by the Second Section of the Provincial Court of Navarra, Spain, for the “La Manada” case. The court convicted five men of sexual abuse for their gang rape of an 18-year-old woman. It found that the men did not use violence or intimidation, so it convicted them of sexual abuse instead of sexual assault, a more serious charge carrying a longer sentence. 
  • The Bronze Bludgeon went to the Chamber of the Second Section of the Cojutepeque Center in El Salvador. A woman who was raped was unaware that she had become pregnant as a result. When she suffered a miscarriage, the court sentenced her to 30 years in prison for aggravated homicide with no evidence. 
  • With 525 total votes, the public awarded the People’s Choice Bludgeon to the Superior Court of Justice of Mexico City. In Mexico, a woman wanted her child’s father to pay child support. When he refused, she told his current wife about the situation. The new wife sued her for pain and suffering. The court found against the mother, using gender stereotypes to rule that she had broken the harmony and dignity of the marriage.  

Who picked the best and worst decisions?

The members of the international jury tasked with granting the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Gavel and Bludgeon Awards were screenwriter and director Isabel Coixet (Spain), former Supreme Court Chief Justice Willy Mutunga (Kenya), and journalist and author specializing in gender issues Luciana Peker (Argentina). 

And thousands of people from all over the world visited the Gender Justice Uncovered Awards website to vote for the People’s Choice Bludgeon and Gavel Awards.

From a total of 30 decisions nominated, from 18 countries, 15 for a Gavel Award for best judicial decision and 15 for a Bludgeon for worst decision, eight Awards were given in this year’s edition.

Note for editors:

For more information:

Laura Martínez Valero

l.martinez@womenslinkworldwide.org

Tel. +34 699 984 800

About Women's Link Worldwide

Women’s Link Worldwide is an international organization which uses the power of the law to promote a social change which promotes the rights of women and girls, especially those facing multiple forms of discrimination.

Cookies allow us to improve our services. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to our use of cookies. See more information.

Understood