New Global campaign highlights dearth of women across international tribunals & other monitoring bodies; seeks to achieve gender parity within them

IMG_0657Washington, D.C. & New York City. 17 September 2015.- Representatives from five governments; hundreds of individuals from civil society, including activists, journalists, scholars, public officials, and international jurists gathered to support the launch of a global campaign that seeks to promote gender parity in international tribunals and monitoring bodies.

Also known GQUAL (as in Gender Equal), the campaign aims to address the under-representation of women that affects virtually all international tribunals and monitoring or adjudicating bodies by asking States to nominate and vote with the aim of promoting gender parity; and by working with States, international organizations and bodies develop mechanisms, guidelines and standards to promote the equal representation of women.

“In an increasingly inter-connected world, international tribunals and monitoring bodies make important decisions on that affect societies, including issues of war and peace, commerce, international borders, migration, genocide, human rights, and the environment, among others,” said Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director for the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), “Women should be present and part of the debates were some of the most consequential decisions for current affairs and the future of humanity are made.”

According to a study conducted by GQUAL, women are underrepresented across almost all international and regional tribunals and monitoring bodies in charge of making important decisions for societies, including issues of human rights, borders, security and peace. Up until September 2015, only 17% of all positions within major international tribunals are occupied by women and in regional human rights courts, only 25%. At the UN Special Procedures, 19 out of 52 positions have never been held by a woman.

“Societies, institutions and the global community alike lose out when the full potential and skills of half of the population are not used–I am thinking of all the competent women who have not yet had the chance to enter many of the institutions and structures that count, and that are fundamental for our everyday life and future,” said Minister Wallström, “Women’s equal participation and influence would give countries affected by conflict a much better chance of achieving sustainable peace and security.”

In response to this disparity, GQUAL’s organizers circulated a Declaration prior to the launch that established the main strategies and objectives of the campaign. This document was signed by more than 630 prominent women and 50 men from 78 countries—including Vice-President of Costa Rica Ana Helena Chacón; President of the International Criminal Court, Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi; and Nobel Laureate, Jody Williams; and Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström


GQUAL is a global campaign that seeks to promote gender parity in international tribunals and monitoring bodies.

GQUAL is being hosted by CEJIL and guided Strategic Advisors who are experts in the national and international legal, human rights fields. GQUAL is supported by several NGO’s, including PLURICOURTS, Media Legal Defense Initiative, CLADEM , Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, International Development Law Organization, Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Swedish Foundation for Human Rights, Donor Direct Action, Women´s Link Worldwide, Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida (GIRE), & Grupo Asesor de ONU Mujeres para America Latina y el Caribe.

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