IBA announces 2014 Outstanding Woman Lawyer Award winner as Dr Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula

The International Bar Association (IBA) today announced Dr Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula as the recipient of its 2014 Outstanding Woman Lawyer Award. Given in recognition of professional excellence, influencing other women to pursue careers in law, and advancing opportunities for women within the legal profession the presentation will take place at the forthcoming IBA 6th World Women Lawyers’ Conference, being held from 8–9 May 2014 in Paris, France.

Responding to the recognition, Dr Kankasa-Mabula from Zambia said, ‘I am overwhelmed and very humbled to be the recipient of the 2014 IBA International Woman Lawyer Award. When I look at the list of previous recipients of this prestigious award, what august company I find myself in! This has inspired me to do even more.’ She added, ‘Mindful that I am a role model for many young women, I endeavour to always conduct myself in a manner worthy of emulation. It is not enough to merely exist; one’s life must positively impact the lives of others. The message I often impart to colleagues and younger lawyers is to never compromise our professional and personal integrity.’

In the nomination letter the Honorary Secretary of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), Linda Kasonde, described Dr Kankasa-Mabula as using her Harvard University and University of London law degrees to ‘selflessly… educate local law students at the University of Zambia (which had the country’s only law school at the time) for 18 years’ before she left for industry. The letter also stated. ‘Dr Kankasa-Mabula has also been a very ardent and consistent gender equality activist… She has also contributed to the development of the law in Zambia as co-editor of the Zambia Law Reports, as a Commissioner of the Law Development Commission, as a member of the Legal Reform Working Group on child abuse and Chairperson of the Children’s Rights Committee of the Permanent Human Rights Commission. Dr Kankasa-Mabula is also a mentor on the national mentorship programme (Alchemy Women in Leadership national mentorship programme)… aimed at increasing the number of girls that complete their education and the number of women in decision making positions.’ The letter ended with the description of Dr Kankasa-Mabulaas ‘a source of inspiration to many female lawyers in the country both as an academic and a career woman. I cannot think of a more deserving candidate for this prestigious award.’

Appointed by the Head of State in 2007 to her current position of Deputy Governor Administration of the Bank of Zambia, the nation’s central bank, one of Dr Kankasa-Mabula’s direct reports is the Director of Legal Services. Prior to her present role she held the position of Bank Secretary at the Bank of Zambia (1998-2007) which combined the functions of General Counsel, Secretary to the Board of Directors and Director in charge of Public Relations.

In a covering letter to the IBA Dr Kankasa-Mabula said that she is using her current position to ‘engender the financial sector by promoting financial inclusion of women and the participation of women in senior decision making positions in the financial sector.’ In October 2013 she was appointed Female Independent Editor of Zambia’s Draft National Constitution and prior to that she held the position of a Commissioner on the Zambia Law Development Commission where she contributed to the amendment of laws that disadvantaged women.

The IBA Outstanding International Woman Lawyer Award is given biennially and is generously sponsored by LexisNexis and includes a US$5,000 donation to a charity of the winner’s choice.

The judging panel included Dianna Kempe QC JP, Honorary Life Member of the IBA; Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE, past Chair of the Women Lawyers’ Interest Group; and Gabrielle H Williamson JD, Chair of the IBA Section on Public and Professional Interest and past Chair of the Women Lawyers’ Interest Group, who commented, ‘Dr Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula’s resourcefulness and passion are embedded characteristics shared by many of the nominees for the IBA 2014 Outstanding Woman Lawyer Award. It is heartening that women, in a myriad of ways, are inspiring and encouraging one another to fulfil their potential and are creating the opportunity for this to happen.’ She added, ‘Selecting Dr Kankasa-Mabula from this year’s nominees sends a resounding message that women are powerful agents of change. She is a thoroughly deserving winner of the 2014 award and an example to us all to increase our commitment to creating opportunities in our environments that support the full participation of women in the legal profession and in society in general.’

The IBA’s 6th World Women Lawyers’ Conference will take place from 8–9 May 2014 at Paris Marriott Opera Ambassador, 16 boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris.

Click here for information about the event.


Click here to download the conference programme.



Notes for editors

  1. Past recipients:
    • 2012 – Chief Olufolake Solanke, Nigeria
    • 2010 – Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE, England
    • 2006 – Dianna Kempe, Bermuda
    • 2003 – Judge Navi Pillay, South Africa
    • 2001 – Helvi Sipilä, Finland

  2. The International Bar Association (IBA), established in 1947, is the world’s leading organisation of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Through its global membership of individual lawyers, law firms, bar associations and law societies it influences the development of international law reform and shapes the future of the legal profession throughout the world.

    The IBA’s administrative office is in London. Regional offices are located in: São Paulo, Brazil; Seoul, South Korea; and Washington DC, US, while the International Bar Association’s International Criminal Court Programme (IBA ICC) is managed from an office in The Hague.

    The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) works to promote, protect and enforce human rights under a just rule of law, and to preserve the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession worldwide.

  3. About LexisNexis® Legal & Professional
    LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of content and technology solutions that enable professionals in legal, corporate, tax, government, academic and non-profit organizations to make informed decisions and achieve better business outcomes. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. Today, LexisNexis Legal & Professional harnesses leading-edge technology and world-class content, to help professionals work in faster, easier and more effective ways. Through close collaboration with its customers, the company ensures organizations can leverage its solutions to reduce risk, improve productivity, increase profitability and grow their business. Part of Reed Elsevier, LexisNexis Legal & Professional serves customers in more than 100 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide.

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