From 1997 until March 2003 the Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice brought together women’s human rights advocates from around the world to the negotiations towards the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to firmly ingrain the principles of gender justice and accountability for crimes of sexual and gender violence in the Rome Statute.  In March 2003, after negotiations of the Rome Statute and its supplemental documents were completed, and after the first election of judges, the Women’s Caucus concluded its work.

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As the next phase of establishing and operationalizing the ICC  was beginning, the need for an organisation to monitor the Court and advocate for gender inclusive justice through the ICC and implementation of the Rome Statute, was soon recognized.  The Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice was established in January 2004 in the Hague, the seat of the ICC, and became operational in February of that year with the opening of our office.