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Thematic Cluster Gender Politics

The Gender Politics Cluster of the SCHR focuses on the implementation of human rights obligations pursuing the elimination of discrimination based on gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

The non-discrimination and equal treatment imperative based on gender is one of the fundamental provisions of the General Human Rights Declaration and the UN and European Council Human Rights Covenants that were ratified by Switzerland. The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) further demands comprehensive equality of treatment for women.

Among others, the SCHR will mainly focus on the following issues:

  • Gender related forms of violence, in particular violence against women, human trafficking
  • Structural and institutional discrimination based on gender (in the professional live, education, in the area of political or social participation, etc.)
  • Handling of multiple discrimination and indirect discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation
  • Inter- and transsexuality 
  • Gender and cultural identity in the light of basic and human rights guarantees 
  • Specific issues regarding the rights of migrant women
  • Gender equality in the context of marriage and family (custody rights, divorce laws, right to a name, etc.)

Competencies of the Institution

The Interdisciplinary center for gender studies at the University of Bern (IZFG) will take responsibility for the Gender Politics cluster of the SCHR. The center has dealt with education, research and services on the topic of women's human rights as well as discrimination based on gender, gender identity and sexual orientation. In a public series of lectures, workshops and conferences the center addressed the various aspects of women's human rights, such as international standards, questions regarding the extent of the state's duty of care in the implementation of women's human rights, the impact of gender in connection with issues concerning migration law and development politics. The IZFG has gained significant experience on the topic of gender politics through their collaboration with several authorities and NGOs.

Activities

The Gender Politics Cluster will work on a mandate basis to document and evaluate the implementation practice of human rights standards in Switzerland, provide information on standards and best practices, develop application-oriented studies relevant to the professionals in the field as well as offer continuing education and consultative service. The relevant services will be provided on the basis of mandates from interested circles (e.g. authorities on a federal, cantonal and municipal level, private institutions, companies and organizations) and thus the cluster will support central actors in the correct and sustainable implementation of human rights standards.