The APF has just published a world-first guide to support national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in their efforts to promote gender equality. The Guidelines for Mainstreaming the Human Rights of Women and Girls into Our Everyday Work provide practical advice on how NHRIs can promote gender equality in their internal operations, as well as through their external work.
APF members have made promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls a priority in their respective countries, as part of the APF Regional Action Plan on the Human Rights of Women and Girls.
This complements similar commitments made by NHRIs globally under the Amman Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted in 2012 at the 11th International Conference of National Human Rights Institutions.
Women and girls in the Asia Pacific region continue to face daily violations of their human rights because of entrenched roles, attitudes and stereotypes, said APF Gender Focal Point Pip Dargan.
“However, discrimination and human rights violations also occur when organisations fail to recognise that men and women are affected in different ways by what they do and how they do it,” she said.
“NHRIs can make a real difference by modelling how to consider the needs of women and girls across all aspects of their everyday work and then making decisions that promote gender equality.”
To support them in this work, the Guidelines:
- Provide a step-by-step approach for NHRIs to develop and implement a gender mainstreaming strategy
- Explain how gender mainstreaming can strengthen internal NHRI operations and culture
- Identify ways that gender can support an NHRI’s external work, such as providing advice on laws and policies, investigating complaints and conducting human rights education
- Feature case studies that describe how the APF secretariat and the NHRIs of Palestine and the Philippines have mainstreamed gender across their work.
Prepared by Dr Jill Chrisp, the Guidelines recognise that progress towards gender equality requires NHRIs to mainstream gender across all parts of their their work, as well as implement initiatives that specifically counter discrimination and human rights violations against women and girls.
“Promoting gender equality is a strategic priority for the APF and we provide tailored support for our members as they strengthen their work in this area,” Ms Dargan said.
“In April, we conducted a three-day workshop with the leadership team and staff of Timor Leste’s national human rights institution,” she said.
“We have also updated a number of our training manuals to ensure that gender considerations are addressed explicitly in different aspects of an NHRI’s operations.”