Enhancing the Promotion and Protection of Women's Rights: A Training Course for Civil Society Organisations

16 May 2024

From 1 March to 7 May 2024, the Geneva Human Rights Platform’s Training Hub organized an online customized training course on Women’s Rights. The course was sponsored by the Irene M. Staehelin Foundation, whose work focuses on supporting organizations and causes in the areas of Humanitarian Aid, Human Rights, Development Assistance, and in Nature and Species Protection. The foundation focuses in particular on the promotion of the rights of women and gender aspects across its areas of work.

Over ten weeks, 15 staff members of nine different civil society organizations working in Asia, Africa and Latin America, learned about the major international human rights instruments for the promotion and protection of women’s rights and how to engage with UN human rights mechanisms in their advocacy work.

'This training course has brought together participants from different regions across the world to learn about the role of UN human rights mechanisms for the promotion and protection of women’s rights. Each session was an incredible opportunity to share contextual experiences, insights, lessons and strategies relevant to their daily work through direct interaction with UN treaty body members, special rapporteurs and other human rights experts', explains Stefania Di Stefano, Project Officer for the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

Focus on Assessment of Legal and Policy Issues

The training also focused on the assessment of existing and emerging legal and policy issues relating to women’s rights and gender equality from a human rights perspective in order to apply these insights within domestic, regional and international advocacy agendas.

'We worked very closely with the colleagues from the Irene M. Staehelin Foundation in order to design a course that would respond to the exact needs of the audience', adds Victoire Berrebi, Project Assistant for the Geneva Human Rights Platform. 'We identified together not only the topics that would be of most relevance to our participants, but, taking into account the different time zones involved, also the dates and times that would be most accommodating for the entire group'. Lead by Dr Joanna Bourke Martignoni, a recognized expert in women’s rights and development, the training course saw interventions by experts and practitioners, including mandate holders working in the relevant UN mechanisms.

'The training course has equipped me with skills that enhance my effectiveness as a development practitioner. I was glad to learn how constituencies in different parts of the world have leveraged on the international human rights instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and its committees to bring justice to victims in their countries', says Fridah Githuku, Head of Programme, Women’s Rights, at the IMS Foundation.

Other Trainings offered by the Geneva Human Rights Platform, including those on Business and Human Rights and Protecting Human Rights and the Environment, can be found on the List of Upcoming Training Courses.

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