EWL News

Appointment and mandate of new EU Special Representative for Human Rights must reflect EU commitement to women’s rights and gender equality, says EWL

[Brussels, 03 July 2012] The EWL has welcomed the news that the EU is to appoint a Special Representative for Human Rights, and has called for the choice of appointee and mandate to reflect the EU’s commitment to women’s rights and gender equality.

The new post is intended to strengthen the impact and visibility of a comprehensive EU’s human rights policy. In doing so, it will also serve to promote and protect women’s rights worldwide.

The EWL has taken the initiative of writing to High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Ms. Ashton, to ensure that the appointee for the position of EUSR for Human Rights will have a strong record on women’s rights and gender equality. In addition, the EWL has called on Ms. Ashton to encourage the nominations of female candidates for this post, in order to strengthen the representation of women in decision-making at the highest levels in the EU. To do so would not only represent a symbolic gesture but furthermore the fulfilment by the EU of its Treaty duties as well as of international obligations in the framework of a number of United Nations Security Council Resolutions for the inclusion of women in decision-making in the area of peace and security.

Following the Recommendation of the European Parliament to create a post of EUSR for Human Rights, Ms. Catherine Ashton has asked the Member States to nominate candidates for the post. The EUSRs are appointed by the Council on a recommendation of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Currently, only two out of the ten EUSR posts are held by women.

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