ArbitralWomen supports campaigns promoting gender equality and access to equal opportunities.
ArbitralWomen gender equality promotions comprise promoting pledges and charters launched by other organisations and groups, aiming to promote women practitioners namely in dispute resolution but also more broadly in the legal and business fields.
The Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge is a call for the international arbitration community to commit to increase, on an equal opportunity basis, the number of women appointed as arbitrators. We aim to achieve fair representation as soon as practically possible, with the ultimate goal of full parity.
Read the Pledge and the accompanying commentary which includes a list of the Pledge Steering Committee members.
Please use the button below to sign the Pledge.
If you have any further questions please contact us here.
Sylvia Noury and Wendy Miles QC
On behalf of the Pledge Steering Committee
GQUAL seeks to promote gender parity in international bodies and to remedy the under-representation of women. This global campaign counts the support of a diverse group of women from different parts of the world.
Signatories include individuals, firms, organisations, men and women. Sign the GQUAL Campaign
GQUAL global campaign Launch: Lena Wong reports
On 17 September 2015, Gender Equality (GQUAL) launched its global campaign for gender parity in international courts, tribunals, and monitoring bodies with a well-attended event at the United Nations in New York. A distinguished panel of ambassadors, academics, and international law practitioners addressed the issue of underrepresentation of women in international adjudicative bodies and discussed why gender parity is an issue, more than ever, ripe for action.
It is undisputed that women are underrepresented in international and regional adjudicatory bodies. According to Vivian Krsticevic, Executive Director for CEJIL, women make up only 17% of the major international courts and tribunals.
For example, three of the 15 judges sitting on the International Court of Justice are women, 14 of the 45 judges sitting on the European Court of Human Rights are women, and only two of the 11 judges on the African Court of Human and People’s Rights are women. Notably, there are no female judges currently sitting on the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
International courts and monitoring bodies play an important role in promoting justice and international cooperation. They render decisions on important global issues, such as peace and security, human rights, and cross-border disputes. Ultimately, they are symbols of international justice. However, as Professor Elizabeth Abi-Mershed noted, the leadership of many human rights institutions and international courts, whose mandates are to promote equality and non-discrimination, are often male-dominated.
Thus, by engaging representatives at both national and international levels, the GQUAL campaign aims to increase awareness and transparency of judicial election and nomination processes in international courts. During the event, Ambassadors to the U.N. from Panama, Argentina, Costa Rica, Sweden, and Norway called for greater participation of women in leadership and governance roles. Ambassador Geir O. Pedersen of Norway emphasized that governments, international bodies, and civil societies must cooperate to achieve gender parity. On a positive note, Swedish Ambassador Olof Skoog noted that Sweden’s new female Prime Minister has already pledged to pursue “feminist” policies during her tenure. Practitioners and academics from the fields of international law, human rights, and humanitarian law shared their reasons for endorsing the GQUAL campaign. Gladys Acosta Vargas, a member of the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and a strategic advisor to GQUAL, stated it is time to “break the glass ceiling” that has historically prevented women from achieving positions of power. As enshrined in Article 8 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, women have the right to represent their own governments. Under that provision, “State Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure to women, on equal terms with men and without any discrimination, the opportunity to represent their Governments at the international level and to participate in the work of international organisations.” As Professor Claudia Martin aptly put it, supporting women is not only a moral commitment but also a legal obligation.
A number of speakers at the event argued that promoting gender parity in international adjudicative bodies is, fundamentally, a matter of developing more equitable laws and jurisprudence. They reasoned that greater diversity within international courts would enrich legal reasoning and analysis and ultimately lead to greater justice. Professor Cecilia Bailliet called for the increased participation of women in “hard” areas of law, such as investment, commercial, and trade law.
At the closing of the event, the five ambassadors and speakers joined 680 other signatories in endorsing GQUAL’s Declaration. Individuals are invited to take action and to sign the GQUAL Petition.
The International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR) National Task Force on Diversity in ADR was established to devise practical strategies to increase the participation of women and minorities in mediation, arbitration and other ADR processes. The National Task Force on Diversity in ADR has released a Diversity Commitment to support the inclusion of diverse mediators and arbitrators. To see the list of signatories and to sign the Commitment click here.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP announced in March 2016 the launch of the Debevoise Women’s Review, a website dedicated to spotlighting topics of interest to professional women, including the achievements, initiatives and advocacy efforts of women and organizations around the world, through Q&A features with leading women in business; thoughtful coverage of conferences and pertinent books and articles; and reflective pieces tying in the personal experiences of Debevoise women./span>
Led by partners Peggy Davenport, Chair of the firm’s Women’s Task Force and Co-Chair of the Corporate Department; and My Chi To, Co-Head of the Women’s Resource Group; as well as Editorial Board Co-Chairs Anne Balla and Erica Weisgerber, the Debevoise Women’s Review has engaged more than 60 women associates, counsel and partners across the firm’s offices, who have brought diverse perspectives to content tailored for women in both law and business.
We hope you will join the conversation. If you have ideas on topics or an interest in contributing, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]
HeForShe: Stand Together for Gender Equality
What we share is more powerful than what divides us. Take action now to create a gender equal world.
HeForShe is a solidarity campaign for gender equality initiated by UN Women. Its goal is to engage men and boys as agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women’s rights, by encouraging them to take action against inequalities faced by women and girls.
HeForShe Talking Points
Sign the Commitment
Further information related to commitment to change in international arbitration soon available.