President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, joins campaign for gender parity in international tribunals and bodies

Santiago, Chile Tuesday, August 9, 2016. – Today, the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, joined GQUAL, a global campaign that promotes gender parity in international tribunals and monitoring bodies.

Michelle Bachelet is the first woman president to sign the GQUAL Declaration and the second head of state to sign after the President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís.

Her adherence to the campaign took place along with that of the Minister for Women, Claudia Pascual, who also signed the declaration today. Both women have joined the campaign that now has more than 1,000 other signatures from more than eighty countries in order to eradicate the under-representation of women that currently takes place in almost all international tribunals and monitoring bodies. As an example of this under-representation of women, in the International Court of Justice’s seventy years of existence, the ICJ has only had four female judges out of its 106 total judges. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights currently has one female judge out of seven total judges. 19 out of the 52 UN Special Procedures, which are made up of individual rapporteurs and experts, have never been held by women. In the elections that took place this past June 14th for the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, nine men were chosen for the 9 available spots, leaving the 18-person composition of the Committee to have only one woman.

In Chile, the campaign has counted on support from various people in distinguished careers in international law, including Cecilia Medina Quiroga, a former judge on the Inter-American Court, Marta Mauras, Permanent Ambassador of Chile to the United Nations, María Soledad Cisternas Reyes, a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“For GQUAL, it is an enormous development to be able to count on the support of President Bachelet and we congratulate Chile for adding its commitment to the cause for gender parity in international representation,” said Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and a member of the GQUAL campaign. “We hope to work with President Bachelet’s administration to spread its commitment and develop practices and mechanisms that promote parity so that they can be, like many of the other initiatives that the President of Chile has pushed for in the topic of gender equality, examples for other countries,” Krsticevic added.

GQUAL is a campaign that looks to commit countries to nominate and vote for international positions while taking into account gender parity as well as the development of mechanisms, guidelines and standards to achieve selection processes that include the consideration of gender.

Read the oficial press release send out by the chilean government here.