Promoting and protecting the rights of women and girls

Graphic: Participants at the APF training workshop on the rights of women and girls


Women and girls in all countries across the Asia Pacific are at risk of serious violations of their human rights, such as gender-based violence and harassment.

Entrenched roles, attitudes and stereotypes also mean that many experience poverty, discrimination and unequal access to health services and the education and justice systems.

National human rights institutions (NHRIs) in the Asia Pacific region have made a commitment to take concrete steps to advance gender equality and to promote and protect the human rights of women and girls in their respective countries.

The APF's blended learning training course provides staff and Commissioners from our member institutions with the skills and knowledge to lead genuine and sustained change.

The five-week online course includes readings, presentations and discussions on:

  • International standards relevant to the rights of women and girls
  • Practical action that NHRIs can take to promote and protect the rights of women and girls
  • Opportunities to engage with international and regional human rights mechanisms
  • Special issues of focus, including reproductive rights; violence against women and girls; and the rights of female migrant domestic workers
  • Integrating a focus on gender equality into the work and operations of NHRIs.

Graphic: Woman smiling

Promoting and Protecting the Human Rights of Women and Girls: A Manual for NHRIs

This manual examines the different ways that NHRIs can use their unique mandate to promote and protect the human rights of women and girls.


All participants who successfully complete the online component attend a face-to-face workshop, which provides opportunities for them to deepen their knowledge, consolidate their skills and share examples of good practice.

As part of the workshop, participants develop a set of practical "action points" to promote and protect the rights of women and girls, for implementation by their NHRIs.

The APF's first blended learning program on the human rights of women and girls was held between January and April 2015 and involved representatives from the APF member institutions of South Asia. Following on from the workshop, the APF will provide $5,000 seed funding to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission to hold a three-day workshop on reproductive rights with 20 female teachers. The outcomes of the workshop, to be held in Kabul, will be known by May 2016.

This training program underpins one of the APF's core functions to promote gender equality. APF members also identified the human rights of women and girls as one of the major human rights priorities for our 2015-2020 Strategic Plan.


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Image credits

  1. Participants at the APF training workshop on the rights of women and girls - National Human Rights Commission of Nepal