Gender equality, respect for the rights of women and girls and the prohibition of all forms of gender-based discrimination are among Switzerland's fundamental constitutional values and form an integral part of Swiss human rights diplomacy.

Switzerland's human rights diplomacy work reflects the commitments the country has made in ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention).

Switzerland's foreign policy is guided by the five strategic objectives of the FDFA Strategy on Gender Equality and Women's Rights:

  1. Strengthening women's economic empowerment
  2. Strengthening women's effective participation
  3. Combating all forms of gender-based violence
  4. Promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights
  5. Incorporating gender equality and women's rights at the heart of bilateral and multilateral work 

Switzerland's international contribution to gender equality is also listed expressly in the national 2030 Gender Equality Strategy that the Federal Council adopted in 2021.

FDFA Strategy on Gender equality and Women’s rights

Federal Office for Gender Equality FOGE

Switzerland's human rights diplomacy pursues these strategic objectives at both bilateral and multilateral level. Switzerland actively promotes its priorities within numerous regional and international organisations and multilateral forums. 

In its bilateral political consultations and human rights dialogues with other countries, Switzerland includes the topics of gender equality and women's rights. In addition, Switzerland makes financial contributions to projects and organisations that work specifically to strengthen women's rights and promote gender equality.

An app for women's rights

To facilitate UN negotiations, the Swiss government developed the app Women's Human Rights (W'sHR), which is based on a digital database. The app provides guidance on important issues related to women's human rights, including their legal basis and the agreed UN language.

Last update 04.01.2023

Start of page