Why is this issue important?
We believe that the under-representation of women, who make up more than half of humanity, and the lack of diversity in the composition of international bodies diminishes their legitimacy and limits its potential and impact. This is particularly important when considering that the decisions these tribunals adopt affects us all: they decide over issues of war and peace, environmental protection, foreign debt and nuclear proliferation, and the obligations States bear to respect, promote and protect human rights.
We also believe that women have important and particular experiences and perspectives to share. A critical mass of women can add different perspectives to help address and add visibility to issues that may otherwise be absent or overlooked. Experiences from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, for example, illustrates how a female judge (Navi Pillay) was instrumental in developing the concept of rape as an international crime and an act of genocide.
Above all, GQUAL promotes parity in these international spaces as a measure of equality. Women have a right to be equally represented in these spaces. There is a deep pool of diverse, talented and qualified women to fill an equal number of the positions available.
What are GQUAL´s goals?
Visit our About Us page for more information:
Why is there a need to campaign for this?
Changing the composition of international bodies to reflect diversity and equal representation is possible. GQUAL reviewed a total of 84 international bodies, which totals 574 positions. Advancing to a GQUAL situation will mean creating the conditions, procedures, and mechanism that can ensure that at least 287 qualified women from different parts of the world and with diverse backgrounds can be elected.
The study we conducted, however, shows that not only most bodies lack adequate representation of women, but also that these trends are usually present since the establishment of each international body, and that achieving gender parity is rarely a consideration in the nomination and election processes. We campaign because we believe that the information itself will not alone lead to changes and because the available information does not suggest that disparities will correct themselves with time.
We believe that changes in the composition of these bodies requires concerted and strategic actions from a variety of global, regional, and national actors, including civil society, academia, public official and government representatives, and the international institutions themselves. We want GQUAL to provide a platform, a space, a network for the exchange of ideas, actions and engagements across these sectors to affect change. This is a global and open campaign.
Does GQUAL address other inequality issues visible in the composition of international bodies?
The campaign promotes and focuses on increasing the representation of women in international tribunals and other monitoring bodies. It does this fully embracing the incredible diversity of humanity and women. In promoting an equal representation of women in international bodies, we recognize that, as a diverse group, women phase many compound inequalities that also lead to under-representation and that need to be addressed. We hope that by calling attention to the issue of under-representation of women in international spaces, and by including diversity as a necessary consideration in the discussion, GQUAL will also help add visibility and strength for the need to tackle other situations of unequal representation.
How can I support the campaign?
You can sign the GQUAL Declaration and share it, download our action kit and support us through social media; contact us to share ideas, opportunities and events, and donate to help us sustain and expand the campaign.
When will the next GQUAL event take place?
Visit our events page here for more information.
Can other organizations and individuals join the campaign?
Absolutely! GQUAL functions through an active and engaged network of people and organizations from around the world. We create working groups to target specific selection processes, regions, or international bodies. Contact us for more information.