The mission of the Instituto de Género, Derecho, y Desarrollo (INSGENAR), or the Gender, Law and Development Institute, is to promote real democracies that are based on the full civilian participation of men and women. The organization encourages changes in attitudes, processes, and the cultural practices of institutions and individuals, so that people can realize their human rights in everyday life without being subjected to discrimination based on gender, age, ethnicity, class, social status or any other reason. INSGENAR views human rights as an ideal codified by international law.
INSGENAR works on human rights education from a holistic perspective and with a gender-sensitive approach, conceiving it as an important tool for citizens’ empowerment. Being aware of our human rights is the first step in bridging the gap between the rights enshrined in international treaties and the possibility of enjoying them at the local level, both in public and private spheres. IWHC has supported INSGENAR since 2002.
Lines of action: Research and systematization; editing and dissemination of training materials and tools; organizing of training activities on human and women’s rights; participation in activities to monitor the compliance of commitments made by local, provincial and national governments towards the realization of women’s and girls’ rights; counseling in as well as design, evaluation and monitoring of policies and legal initiatives.
“I joined INSGENAR in 1996. Back then I had just an inkling about of women’s rights; in any case, my understanding of these was very superficial. As time went by I started to realize that my ignorance was huge and that throughout history women had often been excluded and discriminated against by us men. I also discovered that there is an extensive field of historical, philosophical, political, and social knowledge, as well as visions of the world, literature, poetry, etc., produced by women.” —Emiliano Casal, INSGENAR
- Gender, Health and Human Rights Observatory – A 16-year-old girl who had shot herself in the stomach was inhumanly treated at a hospital in the city of Rosario, Argentina. Upon discovering numerous similar occurrences, we initiated an investigation on the treatment women receive at public facilities when they seek reproductive health care. The project’s activities include dissemination of sensitization materials among health personnel, lawmakers and public officials; the annual (now Latin American) Cecilia Grierson Award to Best Practices in Reproductive Health (in Spanish), as well as national and provincial training and dissemination seminars. There is now a section on obstetric violence in the new national integral protection law for the prevention, sanction, and eradication of violence against women (see Article 6.e of Law Nº 26.485 - download as a PDF in Spanish).
- Indigenous Women’s Access to Justice – A 15-year-old girl was raped by three young men in El Espinillo, a rural community in Chaco Province. She was then molested by the medical examiner and treated with contempt by local police. In an egregious, racist and misogynistic decision, the judge found the perpetrators innocent. The justice system did not inform the victim of the deadline to appeal the sentence. INSGENAR brought the case before the United Nations Human Rights Committee for obstruction of access to justice. The Province’s government compensated the victim and her family, and adopted measures to train the Judiciary personnel. Upon verifying that these same acts were being perpetrated against indigenous women in different regions, we started developing training activities on access to justice for indigenous women.
INSGENAR has been successful at applying existing human
rights standards in matters related to women's access to sexual and
reproductive health (SRH) services through a SRRH Watchdog mechanism (Observatorio). Apart from contributing to the
enforcement of sexual and reproductive rights (SRR), this work also helps SRRH
issues to be recognized as human rights issues.
INSGENAR and CLADEM-Argentina have successfully lobbied for the
ratification of the Optional Protocol to CEDAW and have drafted legislative
bills at the provincial level and nationally. INSGENAR's team, mostly made up of
volunteers, is experienced, qualified and highly committed.
For many years, INSGENAR has successfully advocated for the human
rights of women and girls both at the national and international level, and
since 2003 it has specifically worked to expose cruel, inhuman and degrading
treatment and to eradicate violence against women who visit public health
institutions for counseling and/or sexual and reproductive health services.
and CLADEM-Argentina conducted two research projects on the quality of
reproductive health services in public sector facilities of Rosario, a city in
the province of Santa Fe, with partial support of IWHC. The result of the
research projects was a 110-page report entitled Con Todo al Aire: Reporte de Derechos Humanos Sobre Atención en Salud
Reproductiva en Hospitales Públicos (With Everything Exposed: Human Rights
Report on Reproductive Health Care in Public Hospitals), published in late
2003 (link goes to abstract; full article requires subscription). In addition to the
dissemination and presentation of the report, INSGENAR and CLADEM-Argentina
presented two formal complaints to the Secretary of Health of the Municipality
of Rosario and to the Ombudsman of the Santa Fe Province. As a result the
Ombudsman convened a meeting with the directors of Rosario's public hospitals
to discuss the report, and issued Resolution No. 713, calling for the
provincial Ministry of Health to find and implement solutions to the problems
identified in the report, including recommendations made by INSGENAR.
To learn more about INSGENAR, visit their website (in Spanish).