Human Rights and Policy Advocacy

Human Rights and Policy Advocacy (HR and Pol-Ad), as one of the core programs of WLB, aims to achieve the goal of increasing women’s access to justice and demanding accountability from the State for violations of women’s human rights. HR and Pol-Ad adopts a range of strategies in rights-claiming and demanding state obligation and accountability in various platforms at the community, national, regional and international levels.

HR and Pol-Ad targets human rights mechanisms like the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Beijing Platform of Action (BPfA), Universal Period Review (UPR), among others. At the regional level it critically engages the ASEAN through the human rights mechanisms such as the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the rights of Women and Children (ACWC), and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). In the national front, in concert with women’s movements, it seeks to institute legal reforms through legislative advocacy and transforming the legal and justice systems to make them more responsive to women’s realities.

HR and Pol-Ad adopts a range of strategies which include:

  • Critically engaging the government and its institutions to ensure government’s fulfillment of its obligation to act with due diligence in eliminating gender inequality in all its structures, policies and practices
  • Strengthening women’s movements in engaging the State in different platforms including in the legal system, to promote widely accepted women’s rights norms and standards
  • Creating spaces towards increasing and institutionalizing women’s meaningful and substantive participation in the national, regional, and international platforms of women’s advocacy
  • Develop effective reporting and feedback mechanisms to demand for accountability of the government to women’s rights in all its engagements and undertaking
  • Social movement building, which includes efforts to frame public discussion and agenda, enrich discourse on women’s rights, freedoms and development, and strengthen alliances and women’s contribution in progressive social movements

Advocacy for Women’s Rights in ASEAN

WLB works in solidarity with women’s groups or movements in Southeast Asia to advance a regional women’s agenda in ASEAN, and promote country-to-country engagements on issues related to ASEAN and beyond. HR and Pol-Ad works with national and regional women’s networks engaging the ASEAN, to advance women’s rights and gender equality agenda in different forums and highlight the intersectionality of women’s issues. 

Philwomen on ASEAN is a Philippine network of more than 80 women’s groups and advocates advancing the rights of rural and urban poor women, indigenous women, women workers, migrants, lesbians, bisexual and trans women (LBT), women with disabilities (WWD), women living with HIV (WLHIV), and young women in ASEAN. 

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Weaving Women’s Voices in ASEAN or WEAVE is a regional network with members who are national networks from 5 countries, namely, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and Thailand. In collaboration with Philwomen and WEAVE, WLB works towards promoting the intersectionality of women’s rights issues.