As part of the 19th annual East African Countries, Magistrates and Judges Association (EAMJA) conference, a resolution to establish a gender policy was officially launched and is expected to curb the gender gap in the judicial sector across the region. The EAMJA meeting, which took place earlier this week, aimed at achieving various targets including defining rights, suggesting practical ways of improving judicial efficiency and restating judicial principles for timely and fair justice delivery. Laurien Gashongore Kadigwa, President of the Rwanda Judges and Registrars Association, which hosted the meeting, said that initially the idea of establishing a gender policy for the region came from the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) Kenya. He revealed that the policy formulation was informed by an identified gap within the region, that there were no standards or uniform policy documents to standardise the gender considerations within the East African judiciaries. With the new policy, Kadigwa said women in the judicial field will be facilitated to work near their families instead of moving everywhere like it used to be. Moreover, another aspect of the policy tackles paternity and maternity leave, where it recommends giving men ‘reasonable leave’ where necessary. “For example, a case where a woman might suffer after giving birth and needs ample support from the man, or being a single father due to losing his spouse after delivery,” he explained. He highlighted the aspect of the policy that considers gender equality in the sector, pointing out that this will address the low number of women in the judicial field. Prossy Katushabe, the deputy registrar at the High Court of Uganda and Vice-president of the Uganda Judicial Officers Association, said that before, every country had its gender policy but what was missing was one that covered the region. “This policy will complement the usual ones. And in some cases, we will be applying the regional policy comfortably. We are ready to implement it and believe it will be helpful,” she said. According to ICJ Kenya, the policy has numerous benefits including compliance with national, regional, and international regulations, well-being at work, social dialogue and cooperation among stakeholders, internal decision-making and career management. It also urges inclusiveness and a sense of community among others. In the concluded meeting, members agreed to mandate the EAMJA sub-committee on gender as a standing committee to oversee the implementation of the gender policy.