The under-representation of women affects virtually all international tribunals and monitoring or adjudicating bodies. As of September 2015, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has no female judges; the International Court of Justice has 15 judges and only 3 are women; the Human Rights Committee has 18 members and only 5 are women. A study of the numbers shows that this imbalance has affected most of these bodies since their establishment. Of the 40 individuals who have held positions within the International Tribunal for
the Law of the Sea since its inception, only 1 has been a woman; and of the 52 Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, 19 have never been held by a woman.
International bodies make important decisions for societies, including issues of security and peace, international boundaries, environmental protection, nuclear proliferation, and the scope of human rights. But women don’t make up an equal part of these decision-making processes. Shouldn’t these institutions that impart justice and promote international cooperation be examples of fairness and equal representation?
We believe that they should be. When only a small fraction of the global population creates, develops, implements and enforces rules for all, the legitimacy of their decisions and policies, and even of the institutions themselves is called into question. A lack of a critical mass of women also deprives these bodies of different perspectives and experiences that can make visible and help address issues that are otherwise overlooked. Furthermore, the inclusion of women in these spaces is important for equality and to improve the
justice we all deserve.
We ask your support to #ChangethePicture. The GQUAL campaign wants to incorporate gender parity as a criteria and objective in the nomination and voting processes through which candidates for these positions are selected.
These processes are critical entry points for positions in international tribunals and monitoring bodies. If more women are nominated to these posts, then the pool of women from which States will select candidates will become more diverse. If more women are elected, the composition of international
tribunals and monitoring bodies will change to reflect more equal representation.
In order to achieve this, we will:
- Ask States to make a pledge to nominate and vote
- Ask States and international organizations to
promote more transparent and participatory selection processes.
- Ask international organizations and international
bodies to develop guidelines, mechanisms, and standards that will make these
- Ask global civil society to advocate in order to
make these changes happen.
Before we launched this online petition, GQUAL
started with a Declaration that establishes the campaign’s main strategies and objectives. The original declaration was
endorsed by more than 680 prominent women and men from 78 countries, including current and former members of the international tribunals and bodies, prominent academics, activists, lawyers, and human rights defenders, judges, public
officials, governmental representatives and diplomats, journalists, and artists. Support GQUAL! Sign and share our petition!
To view our original declaration click here: http://goo.gl/m4fwHD
To view the list of 680 supporters click here: http://goo.gl/0Dxexc
Posted: 16 September 2015 (Updated: 25 November 2015)