More women magistrates in SC 'not a distant reality,' justices say

More women magistrates in SC ‘not a distant reality,’ justices say

/ 06:53 PM March 04, 2024

A more diverse lineup of Supreme Court (SC) justices may soon be in place as female magistrates pave the way for inclusivity, justices of the High Court said on Monday.  women

Supreme Court Justices, Court officials, and employees wear shades of purple at today’s flag ceremony held at the Supreme Court courtyard in Padre Faura, Manila in celebration of International Women’s Month. (Photo from the Supreme Court Public Information Office)

MANILA, Philippines — A more diverse lineup of Supreme Court (SC) justices may soon be in place as female magistrates pave the way for inclusivity, the justices of the high court said on Monday.

In line with the celebration of National Women’s Month in March, Associate Justice Jhosep Y. Lopez, co-chairperson of the Supreme Court Committee on Gender Responsiveness in the Judiciary (CGRJ), expressed optimism about the prospect of appointing more female magistrates to the Supreme Court in the future.

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“I believe this will no longer be a distant reality because we have Associate Justices Amy C. Lazaro-Javier and Maria Filomena D. Singh leading the way towards an even more diverse court,” Lopez was quoted as saying in a statement from the SC.

Associate Justices Lazaro-Javier and Singh are two of the 15 incumbent justices at the SC. According to the SC’s website, Lazaro-Javier was appointed in March 2019, while Singh took her oath as an associate justice in May 2021. Lazaro-Javier serves as vice chairperson of the CGRJ, while Singh is the co-chair of the same committee.

Despite being among the only two female magistrates at the High Court, Lazaro-Javier mentioned that the other justices never made them feel “diminished” as they are “all progressive men, [who] always heard, respected, and listened to our voices,” she said in the same statement.

Moreover, Lopez noted that the “increasing trend to appoint more and more women to appellate court positions is also very promising,” saying that out of the almost 2,000 judges in the country, more than half, or 55 percent are women.

Despite this, the associate justice said that “the participation of women in nation-building remains an area that needs stronger advocacy and support.”

Associate Justice Henri Jean Paul B. Inting, for his part, said that supporting Women’s Month is part of SC’s Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations (SPJI) for the years 2022-2027.

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“As a core principle in the SPJI, the Court intends to pursue efforts that would ultimately further its desire to foster a culture of inclusivity,” Inting noted.

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As part of the celebration of Women’s Month, all SC officials and employees were encouraged to wear purple office attire on all Mondays of March starting March 4.

TAGS: Supreme Court, women's month

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