Mona M'Bikay Joins the International Gender Champions Network

Mona M’Bikay, the Executive Director of UPR Info, joined the International Gender Champions (ICG) network as a gender champion to promote gender equality within UPR Info.

IGC is a network that brings together male and female leaders to break down gender barriers. IGC will provide UPR Info with a platform to collaborate with other leaders and decision-makers to exchange ideas, enrich activities, and further advocate for gender equality. The ICG expects all its members and their organizations to treat every person with respect and fairness, value diversity, create and maintain workplaces free from harassment and discrimination, and to work together with other Champions in a spirit of openness, honesty, and transparency.

M’Bikay said, “To achieve gender equality, we need to deconstruct and rewrite the narrative around social roles, norms and behavior and tackle structural barriers – policies and legal frameworks- that impede the equal advancement of society.” UPR Info believes in the importance of human rights education and awareness for both men and women in order to reach their full potential as equal constituents of equal societies. The attainment of gender equality must be done by mainstreaming a gender perspective into everyday actions. M’Bikay has also stated that by instituting these everyday actions, such as eliminating violence and harmful practices, promoting women's economic empowerment, ensuring equal participation in decision-making, supporting women’s leadership, and facilitating access to health for all, we will “unleash the full potential of sustainable and equal societies.”

As part of the ICG initiative, as well as agreeing to become a gender champion with ICG, M’Bikay has also made two commitments that are aimed at advancing gender equality. The first of these is to develop a specific gender policy for UPR Info, and the second is to produce a series of short videos on women human rights defenders about their work in their countries, their work linked with the UPR, and the challenges they face or improvements they have seen linked to gender issues.

In accordance with the new partnership with the ICG network, and in honor of the International Day of Women, UPR Info is also hosting a panel debate on Friday, March 8th, to discuss the promotion of women as rights holders through the UPR and sustainable development goals.