IDDC, IDA and GQual call for gender parity in the CRPD Committee
The GQUAL Campaign, the International Disability Alliance and the International Disability Development Consortium call on States Parties to the CRPD to ensure equality in the election process in 2020 to achieve gender parity in the CRPD Committee.
On November 30th, at the Conference of States Parties to
the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) States Parties
will elect 9 of the 18 members of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities, the independent body of experts entrusted with the international
monitoring of that Convention.
The CRPD sets the criteria for the Committee’s
composition that States Parties must consider. According to Article 34(4) of
the CRPD, States must consider “equitable geographical distribution,
representation of the different forms of civilization and of the principal
legal systems, balanced gender representation and participation of experts with
However, gender representation within the committee has
been extremely low. In 2017 and 2018, the Committee was composed of 17 men and
only 1 woman, the lowest representation of women the Committee has ever had. At
that time, the GQUAL Campaign, IDA and IDDC called on States Parties to address
gender parity on the Committee through the 2018 nomination and election procedures.
States Parties responded to that call, and in June 2018,
States Parties elected 6 women to the Committee, whose mandates will run until
2022. However, gender parity has not been fully achieved, as the current composition
of the CRPD is of 6 women out of 18 members.
The upcoming elections provide a unique opportunity to fully achieve
gender parity in the CRPD Committee if three women are elected. Therefore, the
GQUAL Campaign, IDA and IDDC are issuing this call to States Parties to the
CRPD to use their 2020 vote to select at least three female candidates in order
to achieve and sustain gender parity and meet the obligations of the CRPD.
In addition, the GQUAL Campaign, IDA and IDDC call on States Parties
to take into account other relevant criteria of Article 34(4) of the CRPD when
voting, in particular to promote the representation of the diversity of
disability constituencies and the equitable geographical representation.
States Parties are responsible for ensuring that the
Committee’s composition complies with the CRPD criteria. They now have the
opportunity to strengthen the Committee’s function, impact, and legitimacy.