Gender and the Judiciary in South Africa: A Review of the Documentary Film Courting Justice
Yale Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 6, No. 1, WInter 2011
6 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2010 Last revised: 13 Mar 2011
Date Written: December 17, 2010
Despite an explicit constitutional commitment to address the gendered and racialized aspects of the South African judiciary, as of 2008, only eighteen percent of the judges on the South African Superior Courts were women. The documentary film Courting Justice, created by Ruth B. Cowan, features the individual and collective stories of seven of these judges. It reveals the power of the court as an instrumental agent of change in the post-apartheid era and examines how these judges fit into this framework. The film offers a profound contribution to the global study of law and gender and to an important body of work on women in the world's legal professions, a field that has not traditionally focused on South Africa as a site of exploration.
Keywords: South Africa, judiciary, judges, women, gender, apartheid, equality
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