The Worst Judicial Decisions for Women and Girls Revealed in the Gender Justice Uncovered Awards

Announcing the winners of the ninth edition of the Gender Justice Uncovered Awards, held by the international organization Women’s Link Worldwide, recognizing the best and worst court rulings on gender equality from all over the world

  • Date: 07/06/2017
The Worst Judicial Decisions for Women and Girls Revealed in the Gender Justice Uncovered Awards

June 7, 2017 – Women’s Link Worldwide is proud to announce the winners of the ninth edition of the Gender Justice Uncovered Awards, giving Gavel Awards to the best court rulings for women’s and girls’ rights and Bludgeon Awards to the worst. Thousands of people from all over the world voted and an international jury of human rights activists deliberated to select the winning decisions in this annual ceremony, seeking to highlight the positive and negative impact judicial decisions have on the lives of women and girls around the world.

“Through the Gender Justice Uncovered Awards, the public has sent a clear message that they will not tolerate courts failing to protect women’s and girls’ rights but will passionately support courts that promote equality and improve the lives women and girls,” says Women’s Link Attorney Blakeley Decktor.

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

  • The Golden Gavel goes to the Superior Court of the Canary Islands in Spain, which legally defined for the first time the technique of trying cases with a gender perspective. 
  • The Silver Gavel was awarded to a court in Colombia that convicted a man for the abduction, sexual assault, and murder of Yuliana Samboní, a seven-year-old indigenous girl, finding that the crime was a consequence of the discrimination the girl faced for her gender as well as being a child, an indigenous person, and a person living in poverty.  
  • The High Court of Tanzania - takes the Bronze Gavel for its ruling instructing the government to ban child marriage and set the legal age for marriage to 18 for both sexes.
  • With 3,829 total online votes, the People’s Choice Gavel goes to the High Court of Uganda for its ruling against a public hospital for its role in the disappearance of a newborn baby. The Court emphasized the state’s duty to dedicate attention and resources to the most vulnerable women. 

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

  • The Golden Bludgeon went to the High Court of Kenya for its decision to acquit a man for carrying on a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl, stating that girls often make false reports of non-consensual sex.  
  • The Silver Bludgeon was taken by a court in Italy that acquitted a man who raped a coworker, finding that because she did not scream, lack of consent could not be proven.  
  • This year’s Bronze Bludgeon goes to the Supreme Court of the Philippines, which banned access to certain contraceptive methods, denying millions of women the right to freely choose what contraceptives to use.  
  • With 613 total votes, the public awarded the People’s Choice Bludgeon to the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia in Spain, which reduced a man’s prison sentence from 25 to 17 years finding that he did not act with “wanton cruelty” when he killed his former partner by stabbing her 30 times.  

Who picks the best and worst decisions?

An international jury made up this year of Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Javier Bauluz (Spain); Inter-American Court of Human Rights Judge Elizabeth Odio Benito (Costa Rica); and rapper and activist against child marriage Sonita Alizadeh (Afghanistan), awarded the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Gavel and Bludgeon Awards.

Additionally, 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. A total of eight Awards were issued out of the 35 court rulings nominated from all over the world, 17 for a Gavel Award for best judicial decision, and 18 for a Bludgeon Award for the worst.

Note for editors

Gender Justice Uncovered Awards website:

Nominated cases and 2017 winners: 

For more information:

Laura Martínez Valero

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.

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