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Women in the Judiciary and the Rule of Law in Latin America

Date & Time

Oct. 26, 2023
10:00am – 11:00am ET


6th Floor Flom Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson Center
and Online


Latin America has significantly increased the presence of women on the high court over the last decade, though female justices are still rare. That is part of a pattern in senior leadership positions in government in the region, and it has had significant implications for the rule of law. Lately, however, the pattern is slowly changing, thanks to new strategies that recognize the value of gender diversity on the bench and attempt to develop female judicial talent at all levels of the judiciary and among prosecutors and public defenders. 

In 2021, women in Latin America held one-third of supreme court positions, a significant increase from the 1990s. These changes are evident in Mexico, where the chief justice of the court is a woman, and in Panama, where the president has selected women to fill six of the high court’s nine seats, including for chief justice.

The transformation of the region’s courts is being closely watched for signs of greater efficiency, fairness, and transparency, and for improvements in the management of cases involving gender-based violence and family law. To learn more, please join the Wilson Center’s Latin America Program, Brazil Institute, and Mexico Institute on Thursday, October 26, 2023, from 10 am to 11 am (ET), for a discussion on the new generation of Latin American female jurists and their impacts on the rule of law in the region.

This conversation will largely take place in Spanish, with simultaneous interpretation available in person and online.


María Eugenia López Arias

María Eugenia López Arias

President, Supreme Court of Justice, Panama
Ana Margarita Ríos Farjat

Ana Margarita Ríos Farjat

Justice, Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, Mexico
Hilarie Bass

Hilarie Bass

President & Founder, Bass Institute for Diversity and Inclusion; Former President, American Bar Association

Hosted By

Latin America Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin America Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

Brazil Institute

The Brazil Institute—the only country-specific policy institution focused on Brazil in Washington—works to foster understanding of Brazil’s complex reality and to support more consequential relations between Brazilian and US institutions in all sectors. The Brazil Institute plays this role by producing independent research and programs that bridge the gap between scholarship and policy, and by serving as a crossroads for leading policymakers, scholars and private sector representatives who are committed to addressing Brazil’s challenges and opportunities.  Read more

Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more

Thank you for your interest in this event. Please send any feedback or questions to our Events staff.