ACCESSIBILITY AT UNOG A A A A The United Nations in the Heart of Europe

UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE ON ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN TO MEET IN GENEVA FROM 11 FEBRUARY TO 1 MARCH

Committee to Consider Reports Presented by Pakistan, Austria, Hungary, Cyprus, Greece, Angola and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
7 February 2013

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will hold its fifty-fourth session at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 11 February to 1 March, during which it will review reports presented by Pakistan, Austria, Hungary, Cyprus, Greece, Angola and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on how they implement the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. 

States parties to the Convention commit themselves to ending all political, economic, social, cultural, civil or other forms of discrimination against women.  The Committee, a 23-person expert body, monitors compliance with the treaty.  It assesses to what extent each State is meeting its obligations, and makes recommendations for the implementation of the Convention.

At the opening meeting on Monday, 11 February, the Committee will be addressed by a representative of the Secretary-General and adopt its agenda and organization of work.  It will also elect a new Chairperson and Bureau.  In addition to considering the reports of seven States parties, the Committee will also consider individual complaints under the Optional Protocol to the Convention, in closed meeting.  Inquiries are covered under article 8 of the Optional Protocol.  The Optional Protocol entered into force on 22 December 2000 and currently has 104 States parties.  On Monday, 18 February, the Committee will hold a half-day general discussion on access to justice.

All the States parties presenting reports to the Committee at this session have already appeared before it and the Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on their previous reports can be found here: Pakistan CEDAW/C/PAK/CO/3 in 2007; Austria CEDAW/C/AUT/CO/6 in 2007; Hungary CEDAW/C/HUN/CO/6 in 2007; Cyprus CEDAW/C/CYP/CO/5 in 2006; Greece CEDAW/C/GRC/CO/6 in 2007; Angola CEDAW/AGO/CO/ in 2004; and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia CEDAW/C/MKD/CO/3 in 2006.

The reports that the Committee will review during the session as well as other documentation can be found on the webpage of the Committee. 

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women


The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 18 December 1979, and entered into force on 3 September 1981.  Often described as an international bill of rights for women, the Convention both defines discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination.  Since its entry into force, the Convention has achieved near-universal acceptance, with 187 States parties.

The Convention defines discrimination against women as "... any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field".

By accepting the Convention, States commit themselves to undertake a series of measures to end discrimination against women in all forms, including: incorporating the principle of equality of men and women in their legal system; abolishing all discriminatory laws and adopting appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women; establishing public institutions to ensure the effective protection of women against discrimination; and ensuring elimination
of all acts of discrimination against women by persons, organizations or enterprises.

Optional Protocol to the Convention

On 22 December 2000, the Optional Protocol to the Convention entered into force, by which States parties recognize the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications submitted by individuals or groups of individuals claiming to be victims of a violation of their rights under the Convention.

To date, 104
of the Convention's 187 States parties have accepted the Optional Protocol.  Before the Committee will consider a complaint, it first must establish its admissibility under the terms of the Optional Protocol.  The Optional Protocol also enables the Committee, upon the fulfilment of certain criteria, to undertake inquiries into possible grave or systematic violations of women's rights. 

Membership

The Committee is made up of 23 experts of high moral standing and recognized competence in the field of women's rights.  Members are nominated and elected by the States parties and serve in their personal capacity.

The Committee Members are: Ayse Feride Acar (Turkey); Noor Al-Jehani (Qatar);

Nicole Ameline (France); Barbara Evelyn Bailey (Jamaica); Olindia Bareiro-Bobadilla (Paraguay); Meriem Belmihoub-Zerdani (Algeria); Niklas Bruun (Finland); Naela Mohamed Gabr (Egypt); Hilary Gbedemah (Ghana); Nahla Haidar (Lebanon);  Ruth Halperin-Kaddari (Israel); Yoko Hayashi (Japan); Ismat Jahan (Bangladesh); Dalia Leinarte (Lithuania); Violeta Neubauer (Slovenia); Theodora Oby Nwankwo (Nigeria); Pramila Patten (Mauritius); Silvia Pimentel (Brazil); Maria Helena Lopes de Jesus Pires (Timor-Leste); Biancamaria Pomeranzi (Italy); Patricia Schulz (Switzerland); Dubravka Šimonović (Croatia) and Xiaoqiao Zou (China).


Proposed Programme of Work

Monday, 11 February

10 a.m.         Opening of Session, adoption of agenda and organization of work, election of  Chairperson and Bureau
3 p.m.          Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations
4:30 p.m.      Informal meeting with national human rights institutions

Tuesday, 12 February

10 a.m.         Pakistan fourth periodic report (CEDAW/C/PAK/4)
  3 p.m.          Pakistan (continued)

Wednesday, 13 February

10 a.m.         Austria combined 7th and 8th periodic report (CEDAW/C/AUT/7-8)
   3 p.m.          Austria (continued)

Thursday, 14 February

10 a.m.         Hungary combined 7th and 8th periodic report (CEDAW/C/HUN/7-8)
3 p.m.          Hungary (continued)

Friday, 15 February

10 a.m.         Cyprus combined 6th and 7th periodic report (CEDAW/C/CYP/6-7)
3 p.m.          Cyprus (continued)

Monday, 18 February

10 a.m.         Half-day general discussion on access to justice
3 p.m.          Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations
4:30 p.m.      Informal meeting with national human rights institutions

Tuesday, 19 February

10 a.m.         Greece 7th periodic report (CEDAW/C/GRC/7)
3 p.m.          Greece (continued)

Wednesday, 20 February

10 a.m.         Angola 6th periodic report (CEDAW/C/AGO/6)
3 p.m.          Angola (continued)

Thursday, 21 February

10 a.m.         former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia combined initial to third  periodic report
(CEDAW/C/MKD/4-5)
  3 p.m.          former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (continued)


For use of the information media; not an official record

CEDAW13/001E