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Advancing gender equality in West Asia

Graphic: A Syrian woman, living in Jordan, in front of a small appliance store she operates

Senior representatives from NHRIs in West Asia will meet in Jordan to identify practical steps they can take to advance the rights of women and girls.

Senior representatives from national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in West Asia will meet next month to identify practical steps they can take to promote and protect the rights of women and girls in the region.

The two-day roundtable meeting – to be held in Amman, Jordan, on 5-6 February 2018 – will include participants from Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Palestine and Qatar.

Discussions will examine the key human rights issues facing women and girls in the countries represented, including among others:

  • Violence against women
  • Reproductive rights
  • Economic empowerment of women
  • Female migrant domestic workers.

The workshop will explore the challenges that NHRIs face in addressing these issues, as well as the steps they have taken to engage different stakeholders in their efforts to promote gender equality.

There will also be a focus on some of the themes and commitments made by the global community of NHRIs, which resulted in the 2014 Amman Declaration and Programme of Action on the human rights of women and girls.

"Just as importantly, there will be conversations about the ways that NHRIs can build gender equality into their day-to-day work, including their staffing and organisational policies," said Pip Dargan, Deputy Director of the APF secretariat and APF Gender Focal Point.

"We know how important it is that women and men are equitably represented at all levels of employment within NHRIs, especially so that women and girls who have experienced human rights violations can get the support they need in an environment where they feel safe," she said.

Participants will be invited to develop an action plan to promote women and girls' human rights, either in the community or within their respective NHRIs.

The APF will provide a grant of AUD 5,000, on a competitive basis, to two project proposals.

The workshop will be facilitated by Randa Siniora, General Director of the Palestinian Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling and former Executive Director of the Palestine Independent Commission for Human Rights, and Associate Professor Chris Sidoti, APF NHRI Expert Consultant.

The Jordan National Centre for Human Rights will generously host the roundtable, which is organised by the APF secretariat with the support of APF West Asian sub-regional office.

Date: 10 January 2018

Image credits

  1. A Syrian woman, living in Jordan, in front of a small appliance store she operates - UN Women/Christopher Herwig, Flickr