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Costa Rica proposes gender parity in Inter-American Court of Human Rights

February 4, 2020

The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, proposed Monday to adopt gender parity in the composition of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), a body traditionally composed of men.

When inaugurating the Inter-American Judicial Year at the headquarters of the Court, in San José, Alvarado recalled that the continental court has had only five women among its judges in 40 years of existence.

“Costa Rica will undertake all the necessary efforts to achieve the gender equality of the Inter-American Court and, thereby, reflect the role of thousands of women in the Americas who have fought for justice, democracy and peace,” Alvarado said.

He added that “we have instructed our mission in the OAS to work on that objective.”

The Inter-American Court currently has a woman among its seven judges, the Costa Rican Elizabeth Odio, who presides over the court.

Alvarado acknowledged that the predominantly masculine composition of the court is the responsibility of the countries of the American continent that comprise the court, since they nominate members.

“That image does not correspond to that democratizing legacy of the Inter-American Court or its deep vocation for equality,” he said.

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