From gender issues to gender statistics on power and decision-making in the judiciary: illustrative examples
||Sources of data
|Are women underrepresented among judges?
||All judges by sex
|Are women underrepresented among supreme court judges?
||Supreme court judges by sex
- + Gender issues
- In general, female judges are outnumbered by male judges and the further up the judicial hierarchy, the smaller the representation of women (United Nations, 2010; United Nations Development Fund for Women, 2009). However, there are exceptions. In many countries from Eastern Europe, women represent more than half of all judges and, in some of those countries, more than half of Supreme Court judges. At the other end of the spectrum, in South Asia, female judges are a small minority, while some national supreme courts have no female judges.
Women’s representation among all judges is correlated with the participation of women in tertiary education, in the field of law. In some countries with high level of participation in tertiary education, such as in Eastern Europe, women may be over-represented among the students in law schools, increasing dramatically the chances of women to become judges (United Nations, 2010). However, in some of those countries, women have fewer chances in career advancement than men, due to either gender discrimination or negative stereotypes concerning women’s roles. As a result, women are less likely than men to be appointed as Supreme Court Judges.
- + Sources of data
Administrative records can be used as source of data on women and men in the judiciary.
Population censuses can provide data on judges when a detailed classification of occupations is used in data collection.
- + Conceptual and measurement issues
- National statistical offices in many countries do not routinely collect data on judges from administrative records. They may collect data on judges in population censuses when a detailed classification of occupations is used. Judges can be distinguished from other occupations at four-digit ISCO (International Standard Classification of Occupations) level. However, data on occupations are not usually processed and disseminated at this level of detail.