At the initiative of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), the W'sHR app was developed with support from the Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies at the University of Bern. The new version was presented on the occasion of this year's International Women's Day at the UN headquarters in New York.
The free app is an innovative digital database on women's rights and gender equality. It can be used to facilitate negotiations and contribute to the efficiency of multilateral processes, putting digitalisation at the service of human rights.
Promoting women's rights and gender equality are priorities of Swiss foreign policy. Switzerland is committed to the protection of women and girls against violence and discrimination, and to their economic and political empowerment, both at the bilateral and multilateral levels. The app provides quick and easy access to all relevant UN legal texts in the field of women's rights and gender equality.
The new version of the W'sHR app was launched in New York on 8 March. In the presence of the UN secretary-general and the president of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, the head of the Swiss mission in New York, Pascale Baeriswyl, presented the app to an audience of high-level diplomats. The launch also coincides with the negotiations on the Agreed Conclusions document of the 65th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
In this context, the new version of the W'sHR app will be used for the first time to facilitate delegates' work on the extensive texts involved.
Joint drafting of texts and the achievement of consensus are central to properly functioning multilateralism. This is where Switzerland's W'sHR app is useful: it makes it easier for negotiating parties to access relevant texts and thus contributes to efficient negotiations.
The app contains 147 keywords and is constantly being expanded. For each term, the app includes a summary, the relevant legal basis, and the language adopted by consensus at the UN. This makes the app a unique database and an innovative tool that strengthens normative standards in the fields of women's rights and gender equality.
The app has potential for use in other contexts as well. Researchers, representatives of civil society, legal experts, the media and UN staff can all use this digital database to research women's rights and gender issues and easily access documents.
Women’s Human Rights App, download
FDFA strategy on gender equality and women's rights
Switzerland's international cooperation strategy
Switzerland's Digital Foreign Policy Strategy 2021–24
SDC – Gender equality