August 22, 2012 (WASHINGTON) – The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda announced on Tuesday that she has picked a veteran advocate of women’s human rights to be her new special adviser on gender issues.
Brigid Inder, Executive Director of the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice based in the Hague, will assume the new position to will replace Catherine MacKinnon who held this role since November 2008.
“Ms. Inder’s experience as a policy and gender advisor to UN negotiations in the global policy arena, and her hands-on experience for the past decade working with women and communities affected by armed conflicts highlights the priority I am placing on strengthening cooperation between local women’s groups and my office,” said the ICC Prosecutor in a statement published on the court’s website.
“Further integrating a gender perspective into all areas of our work and strengthening recognition of the gendered nature of sexual violence is a priority for my office. Ms. Inder is a renowned expert on gender issues and brings to this post a deep knowledge of the cases, policies and the institutional history of the ICC” Bensouda added.
Several cases currently handled by the court such as Sudan’s western region of Darfur and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) prosecute suspects on charges that include the use of rape as a weapon of war.
The new adviser, who is New Zealand national, is described as having led the development of international justice initiatives including legal monitoring and strategic advocacy programmes. She also oversaw the submission of several filings before the ICC highlighting the rights of victims, the importance of prosecutions for gender-based crimes, and gender and reparations issues.
Inder has also developed and implemented programmes ensuring the involvement of women in peace negotiation efforts in Uganda and Sudan and has conducted assessments on the impact of violence on women and girls in countries in armed conflict. She has designed conflict-related documentation initiatives on gender-based crimes, protection responses for women’s human rights defenders and assistance programmes for victims/survivors of gender-based crimes.
Set up in 1998, the ICC is the world’s first permanent war crimes court and has a mandate to investigate state aggression, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Its jurisdiction applies to states that have ratified the Rome Statute or countries that request its intervention or through a referral by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) under a Chapter VII resolution.