27 April 2016

The Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship Susana Malcorra joins global campaign for gender parity.


The Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Susana Malcorra, today attended an act of accession at the Foreign Ministry’s headquarters (San Martín Palace) to GQUAL, a global campaign that seeks to promote gender equality in international tribunals and monitoring bodies.

Alongside the Foreign Minister, the Argentine Ministers of the Treasury and Public Finances, Tourism, Work, Employment and Social Security, Health, Culture, the Environment and Sustainable Development, Modernisation, Communications and the President of the National Women’s Council signed the “GQUAL Declaration”, which establishes the main strategies and objectives of the campaign to achieve gender parity in international representation.

Those who joined included Mónica Pinto, UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers and Professor and Dean of the Law School at the University of Buenos Aires; Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, President of the International Criminal Court; Juan E. Méndez, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment; Fabián Salvioli, member of the UN Human Rights Committee, among many other Argentine men and women working in the development of international law, human rights and international relations.

In total, over 1,000 people, from over 80 countries worldwide, have supported the objectives of the campaign, including state representatives, members of international tribunals and bodies, renowned academics, activists, lawyers, judges, and human rights defenders.

To give some examples, women are under-represented in almost all tribunals and international monitoring bodies. In its 70 year history, the UN International Court of Justice has had just four female judges from its 106 members; currently, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights only has one female judge among its seven members; and 19 of the 52 UN special procedure posts that include independent rapporteurs and experts have never been occupied by a woman.

“We live in an increasingly globalised world in which many of the decisions that determine the guarantees on people’s rights, the regulatory framework in trade or relations between countries, are shaped on the international stage, where women are under-represented. Foreign Ministries also have a fundamental role to play in shaping the policies that govern the nomination, support and election procedure for candidates applying to these positions on the international stage. This is why we celebrate the pledge to gender equality that Argentina’s Foreign Ministry, its Ministers and the National Women’s Council have made by joining the GQUAL campaign. We are encouraged that they have joined efforts, through their respective areas of responsibility, to change the image of international representation” said Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of the Centre for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and spokesperson for the GQUAL campaign.

The campaign seeks to get states to pledge to nominate and vote for candidates to international positions in a way that takes gender parity into account, as well as the development of mechanisms, guidelines and legal standards to ensure that selection procedures incorporate gender parity as a criterion.