The Importance and Challenges of Integrating Gendered Perspectives into Human Rights Research and Activism

Stream: Looking Ahead to Beijing+30: what is challenging our understanding of gendered violence and what should be the research imperatives in the coming decade?
Date: Thursday, 12 February 2015
Time: 4.00 pm – 5.30 pm


It is critical to look more closely at how gender influences who is targeted for human rights violations, including gendered violence, as well as its impact on the experience of those violated. A fuller understanding of gender will ensure that we don’t overlook the rights of people who are typically hidden because of gender stereotypes and discrimination. It is necessary to combat these stereotypes, which are a systemic cause of gendered violence, and to promote meaningful gender justice and gender-sensitive remedies and reparation. Human rights NGOs and other civil society actors have a crucial role in this. Of course, there are many women’s NGOs and others in every part of the world who successfully do just that. What are the large international human rights NGOs doing? Given their profile, access and resources, their presentation of gendered violence and other gendered human rights violations can influence institutional responses, public awareness and representations in the media. We need to think about how to develop a fuller understanding of gender within these organisations and the practical steps they need to take to integrate gender perspectives into their research, documentation, advocacy, campaigning and educational programmes.


Indira Rosenthal (Presenter), Consultant on Gender and International Justice Adviser, Law and Policy Programme, Amnesty International, International Secretariat
Indira Rosenthal is an Australian lawyer with expertise in gender and international human rights, humanitarian and criminal law. She has worked both in government (Australia) and with international NGO’s, including Human Rights Watch, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court and Amnesty International’s International Secretariat in London. She has extensive experience in the application of these areas of law to strategic human rights research and campaigning. She has also worked with governments and parliaments in a number of regions, including in Asia-Pacific, on implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, including law reform to criminalise all forms of sexual and gender-based violence under the Statute. In 2014, Indira was a visiting scholar at the Institute for International Law and the Humanities at Melbourne Law School, and she has been a consultant adviser on gender and international justice law and policy with Amnesty for the past four years. Projects for Amnesty have included research on long-term human rights implications for survivors of sexual and gender-based crimes in Bosnia-Herzegovina, developing gender-sensitive research methodology guidelines, advising researchers on sexual violence in Syria, and working with the UK government on its international Prevention of Sexual Violence Initiative.