UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN CONCLUDES FIFTY-EIGHTH SESSION
18 July 2014
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women today concluded its fifty-eighth session after adopting its concluding observations and recommendations on the Central African Republic, Georgia, India, Lithuania, Mauritania, Peru, Swaziland and Syria on how they implement the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the eight reports will be available on its website shortly.
In addition to considering the reports, the Committee held public informal meetings with non-governmental organizations and national human rights institutions to discuss the situation in the countries whose reports were considered. It also considered individual complaints as well as inquiries under the Optional Protocol to the Convention, in closed meeting, and discussed matters relating to concluding observations and its methods of work.
The Committee also held a half-day General Discussion on girls’/women’s right to education on Monday, 7 July in the morning. The aim of the General Discussion is to commence the Committee’s process of elaborating a General Recommendation on girls’/women’s right to education. The purpose of the general recommendation is to provide appropriate and authoritative guidance to States parties to the Convention on the measures to be adopted with a view to ensuring full compliance with their obligations under article 10 of the Convention to respect, protect and fulfil the right of women and girls to education.
In concluding remarks, the Chairperson of the Committee, Nicole Ameline, summarized the work carried out by the Committee members during the session. She said the Committee had adopted a statement on Gaza, and held its first reading of the draft joint CEDAW/CRC General Recommendation/Comment on harmful practices and its draft General Recommendation on gender related dimensions of refugee status, asylum and statelessness. She also noted that the Committee had held an important discussion today on the simplified reporting procedure and had adopted a decision on the principle to offer the simplified reporting procedure on a trial basis to the States parties that wanted it. The Committee adopted its report for the session.
In the statement on Gaza, CEDAW noted with deep concern the deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in Gaza, particularly the heavy civilian casualties, including large numbers of women and girls, since the beginning of the Israeli military operation “Protective Edge” on 7 July 2014. The hostilities, between the State of Israel and certain Palestinian armed groups, were taking place against a backdrop of poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, chronic energy and water shortages in Gaza, which had further compounded the deprivation of women and children of access to basic amenities including food, medical care, education, adequate water and sanitation facilities, electricity and other infrastructures and means of livelihood. The Committee called on all States parties and humanitarian actors to address the urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza, facilitate the safe, rapid and unimpeded provision of humanitarian assistance and to mobilize adequate resources to assist the affected population taking into account the specific needs of women and children.
The Committee’s fifty-ninth session will be held from 20 October to 7 November. The reports of Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, China, China (Hong Kong), China (Macau), Ghana, Guinea, Poland, Solomon Islands, and Venezuela will be reviewed during that session.
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).
Ms. Ameline is the Chairperson. The Vice-Chairpersons are Ms. Jahan, Ms. Neubauer and Ms. Patten, and the Rapporteur is Ms. Bailey.
For use of the information media; not an official record