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The Role of International Human Rights Law in the Governance of the Arctic Regarding Women's Rights

Conference contribution
Authors Eva-Maria Svensson
Monica Burman
Lena Wennberg
Published in The Role of Law in Polar Governance
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Law
Language en
Keywords Gender equality, the Arctic, Governance of hte Arctic
Subject categories Law


Previous studies show a lack of deference and activities when it comes to gender equality and women’s human rights in the governance of the Arctic (Lahey 2014; Lahey 2016). When it comes to indigenous women’s rights, the situation is more complicated. Frequently, a dichotomy is constructed between two perceived discourses, western women’s rights and indigenous women’s rights. This dichotomy and the colonial context can hinder gender equality promotion in the governance. The effects of this might be serious, given that gender equality is not a prioritized task within the governance of the Arctic. The situation for women in the Arctic is vulnerable, according to the CEDAW Committee. The rights of indigenous women are not upheld in several of the Arctic states (according to several UN reports) when it comes to various issues such as violence, economic self-support, participation in governing bodies etc. At the same time, CEDAW and also international treaties and declarations such as the ILO Convention 169 and UNDRIP, are scarcely referred to and implemented on all levels of governance and by governance bodies. The focus in this presentation will be on implementation, and the lack thereof, of CEDAW and other human rights documents relevant for women’s right’s in the governance of the Arctic, and on strategies for a future gender equal governance.

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