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APF course to drive organisational change on gender

Graphic: Male and female monitoring staff from Nepal's NHRI at a polling booth

A world-first training program will examine what gender mainstreaming is and how it can improve the operations and effectiveness of NHRIs.

Asia Pacific Forum LogoAsia Pacific Forum

Senior officials from the national human rights institutions (NHRIs) of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Palestine, the Philippines, Samoa and Timor Leste will shortly begin a world-first training program on gender mainstreaming for NHRIs.

The blended learning course will introduce participants to the concept of gender mainstreaming and how it can improve the operations and effectiveness of NHRIs.

Through discussions and practical activities, the course will:

  • Explore how gender mainstreaming can strengthen internal NHRI operations and culture
  • Identify ways that gender can support an NHRI's core work, such as advising on laws and policies, investigating complaints and conducting human rights education
  • Provide a step-by-step approach to develop and implement a gender mainstreaming strategy for NHRIs.

"Discrimination against women and girls is still pervasive everywhere and in every country. Unless gender is mainstreamed in the work of NHRIs, we won't be able to tackle effectively the human rights issues we are supposed to be addressing."

Rosslyn Noonan, APF Expert NHRI Consultant


The pilot course will include four weeks of online learning and interaction (2-29 February 2020), followed by a week-long workshop in Kuala Lumpur (31 March-4 April 2020), hosted by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia.

Discussions and activities will draw on the Guidelines for Mainstreaming the Human Rights of Women and Girls into Our Everyday Work, published by the APF in July 2019.

"NHRIs can be genuine leaders by promoting gender equality in the work they do and how they do it," APF Human Rights Project Manager Aishath Fasoha said.

"This course aims to equip NHRI leaders so they can develop a gender mainstreaming strategy for their institutions and drive organisational change."

As part of APF's commitment to promoting gender equality, NHRIs participating in the blended learning course will be invited to nominate a representative to the newly- established APF Gender Network, which will share and champion good practice across the Asia Pacific region.


A speaker gives a talk on women's human rights

APF members have made promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls a priority in their respective countries, as part of the APF Regional Action Plan on the Human Rights of Women and Girls.

This complements similar commitments made by NHRIs globally under the Amman Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted in 2012 at the 11th International Conference of National Human Rights Institutions.


Image credits

  1. Male and female monitoring staff from Nepal's NHRI at a polling booth - National Human Rights Commission of Nepal
  2. A speaker gives a talk on women's human rights - Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission