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HRC39 | Annual discussion on the integration of a gender perspective

39th Session of the Human Rights Council: Annual discussion on the integration of a gender perspective throughout the work of the Human Rights Council and that of its mechanisms


Room XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

Delivered by Nina Engels, Office of the Permanent Observer, Geneva

Mr. Vice-President,

IDLO appreciates the Council’s continuing focus on integrating gender throughout its work. We express our appreciation to the Deputy High Commissioner and the panel for their insightful and informative presentations.

Despite progress in some areas, legal and policy frameworks continue to fail to respond to gender-based violence (GBV) and other forms of gender-based violations of human rights – civil, political, economic, social and cultural.

Recent evidence has shown that inadequate legal protection affects over 2.5 billion women.

IDLO is the only intergovernmental organization exclusively devoted to advancing the rule of law.  It works globally to achieve gender equality by promoting gender-responsive laws and institutions, enhancing women’s access to justice, promoting women’s legal empowerment for sustainable development, and increasing the representation of women in the judiciary and the justice sector more broadly.

We work across various aspects of gender inequality and utilize a multi-dimensional approach to securing justice for women and ensuring their well-being and advancement. 

For example:

In Afghanistan, IDLO continues to help build the capacity of the specialized prosecution unit within the Attorney-General’s Office in investigating and prosecuting GBV, supports a GBV referral network, and helps to strengthen a network of women’s shelters to provide better services to survivors. 

In Liberia, in addition to continuing assistance to strengthen the efficiency, transparency and accountability of Criminal Court E, the specialized sexual offenses court, IDLO also provides support to strengthen the capacity of justice and law enforcement sectors to address trafficking in persons, with a focus on women and children.

Across a number of partner countries -- from Kenya, Mali, Somalia, to Jordan and Tunisia, to Mongolia and Myanmar, to Honduras -- IDLO integrates gender in its justice work, including  in addressing GBV, promoting land rights, empowering adolescent girls and young women to claim health rights, or strengthening women’s participation in business, among others.

Mr. Vice-President,

Women have a critical role to play as judges, lawyers, prosecutors and investigators, in the administration of a more “gendered” justice.

We would like to ask the panel: 

What measures can the international community take to ensure that commissions of inquiry and fact-finding missions increase the representation of women in their composition, as well as among investigative teams?

What more can the international community do to increase investment in access to justice for victims of gender-based violence, including sexual violence?  

Thank you.


The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) enables governments and empowers people to reform laws and strengthen institutions to promote peace, justice, sustainable development and economic opportunity.