Today the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Programme on Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights were joined by 18 other civil society organizations in calling on Geneva and New York Missions to support gender balance and expertise in women’s economic, social and cultural rights on the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Currently the membership of the Committee consists of 15 men and 3 women. This is concerning
because it provides a poor example of gender balance in an important human rights body and it highlights
a systemic problem in surfacing, pursuing and promoting highly qualified female candidates for
membership to the Committee. It is also clearly inconsistent with the human rights principles of nondiscrimination and equality between men and women, which are enshrined in the United Nations Charter
and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of all the major international human rights
treaties including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
As mentioned above, the letter also calls for the support of candidates with established track records on women’s economic, social and cultural rights. This is crucial as today women represent approximately 70% of the 1.2 billion people living in poverty throughout the world and violations of women’s economic, social and cultural rights contributes substantially to the continuing subordination of women.
Finally, the letter urges that all members of the Committee be independent of States and impartial in their Committee work.
The full letter can be read HERE.