Gender Perspective

While traditionally a “gender perspective” has been understood to be a women’s equality perspective, increasingly it is being used to promote an LGBT perspective, especially by UN Special Rapporteurs as follows:


  • “In accordance with his mandate defined by the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur has integrated a gender perspective throughout his work. This report expands upon earlier reports of the Special Rapporteur to provide a comprehensive overview of the frequency and nature of gender-based human rights abuses in counter-terrorism measures and to explore the complex relationship between gender equality and countering terrorism. Gender is not synonymous with women, but rather it encompasses the social constructions that underlie how women’s and men’s roles, functions and responsibilities, including in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity, are defined and understood. Moreover, the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals have required particular attention in the context of a human rights assessment of gender and counterterrorism.”[1]


  • “The importance of the sexual diversity approach, which is linked to the gender perspective, should be emphasized. Regrettably, few sexual education programmes and curricula include this approach. The aforementioned Yogyakarta Principles are a fundamental tool for inclusion of the diversity perspective in the public policies that have to be taken into account in education.”[2]


  • “Of additional value is the inclusion of individuals with a gender perspective to better understand the specific ways in which vulnerable persons, including, women, children, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, persons with disabilities and persons belonging to a minority or indigenous group suffer from gross violations, including torture and other forms of ill-treatment and how they affect their communities.”[3]


  • In accordance with the mandate of the Special Rapporteur to integrate a gender perspective throughout her work, the present report refers to the specificities of the situation of women human rights defenders and the particular challenges they face. Women defenders are more at risk of being subjected to certain forms of violence, prejudices, exclusion, repudiation and other violations, than their male counterparts. This is often due to the fact that women defenders are perceived as challenging accepted socio-cultural norms, traditions, perceptions and stereotypes about femininity, sexual orientation and the role and status of women in society.[4]


[1] Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. (2009). A/64/211.

[2] Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to education. (2010, July 23).  A/65/162, Para 67.

[3] Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. (2012, January 18). A/HRC/19/61, Para 62.

[4] Note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. (2011, July 28). A/66/203, Introduction 7.