Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina joins global campaign for gender parity

Buenos Aires, April 27, 2016.- The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina, Susana Malcorra, presided over the act of accession to GQUAL, a campaign which seeks to promote gender parity in international tribunals and monitoring bodies yesterday at the Palacio San Martin.

The Minister invited other members of the National Cabinet to accompany her in this initiative. Minister Malcorra was joined in signing the “GQUAL Declaration”-the campaign’s founding charter that sets out the main strategies and objectives to achieve gender parity in international representation- by the Ministers of Economy and Public Finances, Tourism, Labor, Employment and Social Security, Health, Culture, Environment and Sustainable Development, Modernization, Communications and the President of the National Council of Women.

These signatures will be added to those of Monica Pinto, UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers and Professor and Dean of the University of Buenos Aires Law School; Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi, President of the International Criminal Court; Juan E. Mendez, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment; and Fabian Salvioli, member of the UN Human Rights Committee, along with many other Argentinians working on the development of international law, human rights and international relations.

In total, over 1,000 people from more than 80 countries around the world have supported the goals of the campaign, including representatives of States, members of international bodies and courts, prominent academics, activists, lawyers, judges, and human rights defenders.

Women are under-represented in nearly all courts and international monitoring mechanisms. For example, in its 70 years of existence, the UN’s International Court of Justice has had just four female judges among its 106 members; in its current composition, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has only with one female judge out of seven; and 19 of the 52 UN special procedures, which include rapporteurs and independent experts, have never been held by a woman.

“We live in an increasingly globalized world in which many of the decisions which determine the guarantees of a person’s rights and the regulatory frameworks of trade or relations between countries, are defined in an  international arena where women are under-represented. Government ministries, in turn, have a fundamental role to play in defining nomination policies, supporting and voting for candidates to occupy these spaces in the international sphere. Thus we welcome the commitment to gender equality that the Argentine Ministers and the National Council of Women express by signing the GQUAL campaign. It is encouraging to see that they can join, through their respective areas of responsibility, the efforts to change the image of international representation” said Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) y spokesperson for the GQUAL campaign.

The campaign seeks a commitment from States to take gender parity into account when nominating and voting for international positions, as well as the development of mechanisms, guidelines and standards to achieve selection processes that include gender considerations.

To read the press release from the Argentine Ministry, click here (Spanish only)