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Gender, Equality and Population Programme

Overall Objectives

  • To promote human dignity and the human rights principles of equality and non-discrimination and to build communities where women and men have equal value and can achieve their highest potential free from violence, and where all forms of discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, are prohibited and prevented.

Specific Objectives

  1. Parliamentary Advocacy on Promoting and Protecting the Rights of Women and Girls

    • Contribution to the effective implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
    • Elimination of harmful traditional practices such as Child, Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM) and Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM-C).
  2. Parliamentary Campaign against Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

    • Parliamentarians sensitized on human rights protections for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) communities on the basis of the principle of non-discrimination and other human rights norms and standards.
    • Progress and/or adoption of anti-discriminatory legislation in 3-5 target countries, and where possible, parliamentary initiatives for the repeal of laws criminalizing same-sex consensual relationships.
    • Parliamentarians engaged in crafting a sustainable response to HIV with a focus on vulnerable communities, including LGBTI people.
  3. Parliamentary Action to Combat Gender-based Violence (project in development)

    • Contribution toward the protection of women and girls’ human rights during conflict and the prevention of gender-based violence (GBV).
    • Parliamentary support for the United Kingdom’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, which aims to develop a non-legally binding International Protocol on the Investigation and Documentation of Sexual Violence in conflict.

Key Achievements

  • Organized and successfully held an innovative Parliamentary Seminar entitled "Protecting Human Rights, Combating Discrimination and Addressing HIV/AIDS of Persons with Diverse Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities" in collaboration with the Chamber of Deputies of Dominican Republic on October 10-11 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. This was the first-ever international parliamentary event on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Launched the Global Allies Network, a resource for education, raising awareness and providing support to fellow Members of Parliament (MPs) interested in working on issues of human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity around the world.
  • PGA members are working in their home parliaments to implement the Tunis Plan of Action adopted in Tunis, in March 2012 at PGA’s Parliamentary Workshop on "Advancing Maternal and Reproductive Health and Gender Equality in Member Countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation". As a result of the Tunis event, MPs in Morocco, Mauritania and Sierra Leone have convened their parliamentary groups to address maternal and reproductive health, have called on their Ministers of Health to demand an improvement in health services, and have organized awareness days on female genital mutilation, sexually transmitted diseases, and allocating more resources to gender issues.
  • PGA’s advocacy with MPs in the National Assembly of Pakistan and close collaboration with Dr. Donya Aziz, former MP and former member of PGA’s Executive Board, resulted in the introduction and passage of the Pakistan’s “Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Bill” (2011). The Bill calls for the prohibition of forced marriage and sets tougher penalties for those committing such a practice.
  • Through PGA’s three-year Population Program in West Africa (1997 – 1999), parliamentary committees in Senegal and Ghana made great strides in population and development issues: in Senegal, the population network supported abolishing the practice of female genital mutilation; in Ghana, the parliamentary caucus on population was formally recognized as a full committee of the parliament and advocated for a minimum age of marriage. A Parliamentary Advocacy Program on Combating Early and Forced Marriage in Ghana is currently underway giving follow up to this activity.

Programme Partners

In 2014, within the context of PGA’s Parliamentary Action to Prevent and Eliminate Child, Early and Forced Marriage, the GEP Programme established a partnership with Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage (GNB), a global coalition of 300 NGOs in 50 countries working to prevent and eliminate this traditional harmful practice.

The Parliamentary Campaign against Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity is grateful for the support and advice of the Open Society Foundations (OSF), the Arcus Foundation, the Open Society Initiatives for Eastern Africa (OSIEA), Human Rights Watch, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR).

Programme Staff

Ms. Mónica Adame, GEP Senior Programme Officer
Phone: (212) 687-7755 extension 108

Past Convenors

  • Dr. Donya Aziz, MP (Pakistan)
  • Mrs. Ermelinda Meksi, MP (Albania)
  • Ms. Marie Norden, MP (Sweden)
  • Mr. M.J. Nolan, MP (Ireland)

PGA Headquarters: 132 Nassau Street, Suite 1419, New York, NY 10038, USA | Phone: +1-212-687-7755 | Fax: +1-212-687-8409 | Email:

PGA office in The Hague: Bertha von Suttner Building, Laan van Meedervoort 70, 2517 AN The Hague, The Netherlands | Tel: +31-70-360-4433 | Fax: +31-70-364-22-55