September 2017

Tetra Tech’s JSAP hosted a meeting between Palestinian and American women working in the Justice Sector to share challenges and accomplishments

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Through sponsorship by the INL-funded Justice Sector Assistance Project (JSAP), a delegation of American women representing the justice sector met with Palestinian women judges and prosecutors to share challenges and accomplishments. The meeting provided a unique opportunity for the justice sector representatives to share their experiences as women working in leadership positions in the Palestinian justice sector. JSAP’s Chief of Team, Emery Adoradio made opening remarks during the meeting, thanking the INL, the Palestinian judges, and prosecutors for meeting with the American delegation during a holiday weekend. During his remarks, Mr. Adoradio highlighted the assistance JSAP has provided to the justice sector including the training of women prosecutors, judges, and administrative staff. In 2015 – 2016 JSAP, trained over 110 women justice sector workers.

The American and Palestinian counterparts enjoyed an afternoon of frank and open dialogue. "Meeting with women lawyers and judges was a highlight of my time in the Middle East. I'm grateful to the wonderful staff at JSAP for providing this opportunity. JSAP's work is critical to improve the delivery of justice and advance the rule of law," stated Jaime Hawk, an attorney and delegate for the Center for Women and Democracy.

A common theme addressed by the Palestinian delegation was the challenges they met as women working in the justice sector. The Palestinian prosecutors noted that when women first began to serve as prosecutors, their male colleagues expressed skepticism that women prosecutors would not be suitable to handle homicide cases. The prosecutors and judges had to demonstrate to their male colleagues that they could handle these cases just as well as their male colleagues.

Najwa Abdallah, the Salfit Chief Prosecutor said, “The meeting between American and Palestinian women sponsored by JSAP was truly amazing. We had the unique opportunity to present obstacles and challenges we are facing as Palestinian women working in the justice sector and we were pleased to have a chance to listen to the American experience from our counterparts. We look forward to holding more meetings to share our experiences.”

The Center for Women and Democracy delegation consisted of 12 members, including a number of attorneys, prosecutors, and a former member of the Washington State Supreme Court. The Palestinian delegation consisted of six members including three judges and three chief prosecutors.

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