Initiatives to influence the International Criminal Court continue.

Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice
Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WIGJ, formerly Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice) has been established in The Hague.
With the institution of the International Criminal Court (ICC or the Court) coming to exist in The Hague, the function of advocacy in the process that the Women’s Caucus so wonderfully performed ceased to exist.
Instead a need for an institution has arisen that would perform the function of a ‘gender watch’ of the Court in The Hague. WIGJ has been established in The Hague in response to this need. More specifically, WIGJ would:

- monitor the developments at the International Criminal Court from a gender perspective and ensure the implementation of the gender mainstreaming mandates in the Statute of the Court throughout all stages;

- ensure that the International Criminal Court adequately equips itself to be willing and able to address and provide redress for violations against women;

- facilitate and maintain a pool of experts on sexual and gender violence, victims and witnesses and institutional aspects of gender mainstreaming to support the Court’s efforts in this respect;

- network with women’s human rights constituencies around the world to spread awareness of the existence of the International Criminal Court and to explore together ways to assist women victims access the Court for justice;

- support, encourage and assist women’s initiatives and women’s groups in the regions to engage in education and training activities on issues related to gender and international justice mechanisms. As an individual, group or network that supports the core principles of the Women’s Caucus, we hope you continue your support of the above functions of the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice.

While the institutional matters of WIGJ would be led and managed by a small team of Board members and staff, its substantive work will be driven with the advise, input and contributions from members of its Advisory Council. (The Board members and staff are: Betty Murungi - Kenya, Loeky Droesen – The Netherlands, Vahida Nainar – India (Chair), Brigid Inder – New Zealand (Executive Director) and Nathalie Lasslop – Germany (Office Manager) with Brigid and Nathalie being the full time staff) The Advisory Council consists of highly experienced team of women activists, lawyers, jurists and academics with expertise on matters concerning sexual and gender crimes and/or international humanitarian and human rights laws.

Advisory Council members are:

Ariane Brunet, Canada
Cecelia Medina, Chile
Christine Chinkins, UK
Dubravka Zarkov, The Netherlands
Eleanora Zeolinska, Poland
Gabi Mischkowski, Germany
Heisoo Shin, South Korea
Hillary Charlesworth, Australia
Kerstin Grebäck, Sweden
Lorena Fries, Chile
Mary Robinson, Ireland
Nazhat Shamim, Fiji
Pam Spees, USA
Paula Escarameia, Portugal
Purev Tsetsgee, Mongolia
Rashida Manjoo, South Africa
Rhonda Copelon, USA
Ruth Ojiambo Ochieng, Uganda
Sara Hossain, Bangladesh
Sara Sharrat, Costa Rica
Tina Dolgopol, Australia

We would like to acknowledge all those without whose support the re-grouping and establishment of WIGJ in The Hague would not have been possible. First, we acknowledge all of you for recognizing the importance of and consistent support the work of the Women’s Caucus. The phenomenal success that women around the world have achieved in influencing the creation of the ICC is the result of your support, encouragement and advocacy. Second, we would like to thank the Ford Foundation for providing the basic financial support to establish our office in The Hague. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the support of the Coalition of NGOs for an ICC (CICC) for providing all the interim logistical assistance and for ‘holding space’ for women during critical interventions throughout the year 2003.

We take this opportunity to introduce Brigid Inder as the new Executive Director who will join on staff from March 1, 2004. Brigid has been closely following the work of the Women’s Caucus and the creation of the International Criminal Court. She has been working on issues of women’s human rights and gender equality for the past fifteen years, particularly in areas of HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive rights, access to legal services and anti-discrimination measures. Brigid has a great deal of experience running NGOs, and brings more than a decade’s experience in international advocacy specifically in her work on a number of United Nations negotiations and processes. Nathalie Lasslop has work experience of about two years on economic impact of globalization on women and is keenly interested on issues of human rights and justice for gender and sexual violence. Both Brigid and Nathalie will work full time for WIGJ out of our new office in The Hague. We are confident about facilitating the work of influencing the Court from a gender perspective by women from around the world with as much success and would seek your support on on-going campaigns from time to time. The office address is Anna Paulowanastrat 103, 2518 BC The Hague, The Netherlands, Phone: 31.70.365 2042 Fax: 31.70.392 5270 Email: URL:

In solidarity,
Vahida Nainar
Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice
The Hague, The Netherlands