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Too few women on the bench, say NGOs

Johannesburg - A mere 76 of South Africa's 239 judges are women, the Women's Legal Centre (WLC) and Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre to End Violence Against Women (TLAC) said on Tuesday.

“With 51.3 percent females in the country, having only two female justices in the Constitutional Court, the highest court on constitutional matters, is inexcusable,” the WLC and TLAC said in a joint statement.

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The number of women judges would need to be increased by at least 20 percent to bring representation in the judiciary in line with national gender demographics.

WLC director Jennifer Williams said: “The Constitution requires the judiciary to reflect the race and gender demographics of the country.”

The number of women in the judiciary highlighted that gender inequality remained a pressing issue 20 years into democracy.

The WLC and TLAC called on the Judicial Service Commission to prioritise short-listing women candidates for vacancies in all courts.

The TLAC and WLC are non-profit organisations that promote women's rights.

Sapa

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