Update: 16.10.2013

Women’s Human Rights on mobile devices – a new app makes it possible

The «Women’s Human Rights» application can be installed on smart phones and tablet computers and provides information on various aspects of women’s rights and gender issues. This trendsetting app was developed in cooperation by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA and the Gender Politics Cluster of the Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights (SCHR) and was presented in Geneva for the first time at the end of September 2013.

From A as in «Abortion» to W as in «Women’s organisations»

A key feature of the app is an alphabetic list of predefined search terms. This allows a selection from a choice of over 100 topics, from early marriages to economic strengthening of women to sexual violence. Every keyword includes an overview consisting of the precise definition of the search term, the legal basis as well as the most recent version of the «agreed language».

The texts and contents of 128 UN documents serve as the basis for the data bank. They include conventions and resolutions which have been debated on and adopted over the past decades as well as regional instruments. Newly adopted UN documents are added on a regular basis.

An important instrument for negotiations

«Women's human rights are a key component of Switzerland's foreign human rights policy. Switzerland has long advocated the strengthening of women's rights both at the national and international levels», writes the FDFA in its media release on the topic of the new app. The development of the application is planned to be a further step towards the strengthening of women’s human rights. The new instrument is considered to be of help in Swiss argumentative skills in multilateral negotiations and, as General Secretary in the FDFA Bruno Bättig added at the presentation of the app in Geneva «makes our foreign policy work within the UN more efficient and coherent».

The main target group of the «Women’s Human Rights App» are diplomats, who can resort to the app during negotiations, e.g. when drafting resolutions or documents. In addition, it will be used by other persons interested or active in the field of women’s human rights, such as NGO representatives or students who esteem the easy and quick functioning of the app highly. 

This application now allows – at least in the women’s human rights field – to access extensive information on relevant human rights topics also via mobile devices. Should this cutting-edge project prove to be of help, an expansion into other fields must be considered. The Gender Politics Cluster of the SCHR, by the way, will gladly include any hints, remarks and possible rectifications concerning the contents of the app.


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