54th Human Rights Council Reports

Integration of a Gendered Perspective in Human Rights Mechanisms

Report on the Human Rights Council 54th Session

11 September 2023 – 13 October 2023

Meeting Date: 25 September 2023


Annual Discussion on Integration of a Gendered Perspective in Human Rights Mechanisms

Report from the Panel:

This AD began with opening statements by a panel of four experts and covered topics under Sustainable Development Goal 5. The experts:

  • Deputy High Commissioner of Human Rights:

    • Illuminated the lack of gender equality in international institutions and the detrimental effects on problem solving it causes,

    • Explained that more inclusive participation would only benefit any and all mechanisms and solutions,

    • Called for the education of young people on the reality surrounding the necessity of gender parity, and

    • Recommended the development of balanced nomination processes to ensure gender parity at the international institutional level.

  • Chair of Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances Working Group:

    • Informed the Council that women are a driving force in the search for both victims and survivors of E.I.D,

    • Encouraged member states to consider the civil society effects of a lack of gender equality during the process of seeking out accountability,

    • Reminded participants that women provide a majority of the grassroots workforce when it comes to justice mechanisms, and

    • Recommended the reinforcement of battling patriarchal stereotypes in order to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights obligations.

  • Professor F. Viljoen:

    • Began by highlighting main points from 2021 report with regard to under representation, the need to measure progress, and the legitimacy that comes with gender parity,

    • Expressed contentment at the fact that thematic councils have established gender parity, but concern that specific mandates are still predominantly male, and

    • Recommended strengthening of selection processes, focusing on identifying gaps, nominations based around closing said gaps, and appointments meeting standards.

  • A. Vincente (G-qual Campaign):

    • Congratulated the improvement of inclusion of women within the international institutions,

    • Addressed challenges of maintaining continuity,

    • Suggested introducing guidelines to ensure gender parity,

    • Provided an overview of the benefits civil society provides to the establishment of sustainable of gender equality, and

    • Recommended the submission of reports for measuring nomination mechanisms.

Country Alignments:

Due to the overarching nature of this discussion, there were little divides or distinctions between country delegations. There were many common agreements, such as,

  • Identified the need to fight patterns of discrimination and looking towards the General Recommendations made by CEDAW,

  • Supported the need for integration in order to appropriately approach solutions with a holistic intentions,

  • Indicated the importance of ensuring that any and all approaches taken are sustainable and do not over-correct current standings, and

  • Recommended that current and future domestic legislation agree with international gender parity standards.

NGOs were given opportunity to provide thoughts and recommendations and there was significant cohesion between all speakers who:

  • Reflected on the importance of integrating gender equality through structural changes to ensure sustainability,

  • Elaborated on the need for gender security in medical care practices, specifically surrounding the stigmas surrounding sexual and reproductive health care,

  • Warned about how the over-politicization, especially geopolitical aspirations, harms the forward progress of gendered issues,

  • Reminded the Council that it is hazardous to focus solely on gender integration as other issues may become forgotten or wrongfully placed as not important,

  • Insisted that national legislation should by comprehensive and ensure visibility of young girls in a way that is open and safe,

  • Indicated that enhanced education of young children surrounding gendered issues only increases sustainable development,

  • Recommended state parties to adopt and ratify, fully and without delay, any and all international legislation that enhances the protection of girls, and

  • Suggested integrating international legislation with domestic policies to ensure continuity and safety for women and girls.

Our Analysis:

In order to complete the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 it is necessary that every Goal be considered, and significant progress should already be made. The lack of a gendered perspective within the international institutions only demonstrates that these goals need to be viewed as obligations and not merely stepping stones. The incorporation of women in influential positions will only provide the world with a far more balanced understanding of what safety means for the entirety of humanity. The recognition of patterns of discrimination is only one of many steps that need to be made in order to meet the obligations.

Author: Eileen Vis

Uploaded: October 19th 2023


Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development for Peace