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UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN TO MEET IN GENEVA FROM 30 JUNE TO 18 JULY

Committee to Consider Situation in Central African Republic, Georgia, India, Lithuania, Mauritania, Peru, Swaziland and Syria
26 June 2014

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will hold its fifty-eighth session at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 30 June to 18 July during which it will review reports presented by 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. 

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 party is meeting its obligations, and makes recommendations for the implementation of the Convention.

At the opening meeting on Monday, 30 June, the Committee will be addressed by a representative of the Secretary-General and adopt its agenda.  The Chairperson of the Committee, Nicole Ameline, will brief the Committee on activities and events occurring since the previous session that had a bearing on the work of the Committee.

In addition to considering the reports of eight States parties, the Committee will hold public informal meetings with non-governmental organizations and national human rights institutions to discuss the situation in the countries whose reports will be considered.  It will also consider individual complaints as well as inquiries under the Optional Protocol to the Convention, in closed meeting.  The Committee will discuss matters relating to concluding observations and its methods of work. 

The Committee is scheduled to hold 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.

The Central African Republic is presenting its initial to fifth periodic reports (CEDAW/C/CAF/1-5).  Georgia is presenting its combined fourth and fifth periodic reports (CEDAW/C/GEO/4-5).  
The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined second and third periodic reports, considered in August 2006, can be found in (CEDAW/C/GEO/CO/3)

India is presenting its combined fourth and fifth periodic reports (CEDAW/C/IND/4-5). The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined second and third periodic reports, reviewed in January and February 2007, can be found in (CEDAW/C/IND/CO/3).  Lithuania is presenting its fifth periodic report (CEDAW/C/LTU/5). 
The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined third and fourth periodic reports, reviewed in July 2008, can be found in (CEDAW/C/LTU/CO/4).

Mauritania is presenting its combined second and third periodic reports (CEDAW/C/MRT/2-3).  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the initial report, considered in May 2007, can be found in (CEDAW/C/MRT/CO/1).  Peru is presenting its combined seventh and eighth periodic reports (CEDAW/C/PER/7-8).  The Committee’s concluding observations on the sixth periodic report, reviewed in January 2007, can be found in (CEDAW/C/PER/CO/6).

Swaziland is presenting its combined initial and second periodic reports (CEDAW/C/SWZ/1-2).  Syria is presenting its second periodic report (CEDAW/C/SYR/2).  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the initial report, reviewed by the Committee in May 2007, can be found in (CEDAW/C/SYR/CO/1).

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 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 parties 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 188 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).

Ms. Ameline is the Chairperson.  The Vice-Chairpersons are Ms. Jahan, Ms. Neubauer and Ms. Patten, and the Rapporteur is Ms. Bailey.


Proposed Programme of Work

Monday, 30 June

10 a.m.         Opening of session, adoption of agenda

3 p.m.           Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations

4:30 p.m.      Informal meeting with national human rights institutions

Tuesday, 1 July

10 a.m.          Peru combined seventh and eighth periodic reports (CEDAW/C/PER/7-8)

3 p.m.           Peru (continued)
         
Wednesday, 2 July
         
10 a.m.         India combined fourth and fifth periodic reports (CEDAW/C/IND/4-5)

3 p.m.          India (continued)

Thursday, 3 July

10 a.m.         Mauritania combined second and third periodic reports (CEDAW/C/MRT/2-3)

3 p.m.          Mauritania (continued)

Friday, 4 July
         
10 a.m.         Syria second periodic report (CEDAW/C/SYR/2)

3 p.m.          Syria (continued)

Monday, 7 July

10 a.m.         Half-day general discussion on girls’/women’s right to education

4 p.m.           Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations and national human rights
institutions

Tuesday, 8 July

10 a.m.         Georgia combined fourth and fifth periodic reports (CEDAW/C/GEO/4-5)

3 p.m.          Georgia (continued)

Wednesday, 9 July

10 a.m.         Lithuania fifth periodic report (CEDAW/C/LTU/5)

3 p.m.          Lithuania (continued)

Thursday, 10 July

10 a.m.         Swaziland initial and second periodic report (CEDAW/C/SWZ/1-2)

3 p.m.          Swaziland (continued)

Friday, 11 July

10 a.m.         Central African Republic initial to fifth periodic reports (CEDAW/C/CAF/1-5)
3 p.m.         Central African Republic (continued)

Friday, 18 July

3 p.m.           Closing of the session.       


Live webcasts of the session can be viewed on http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/


The Committee’s concluding observations will be made available at http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=812&Lang=en on Monday 21 July.

To learn more about the Committee on the Elimination of the Discrimination against Women, visit: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/

To arrange an interview with a Committee member, please contact Jakob Schneider (+41 22 917 9301 / jschneider@ohchr.org)

For more information and other media requests, please contact Ravina Shamdasani (+41 (0) 22 917 9169) rshamdasani@ohchr.org

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For use of the information media; not an official record

CEDAW14/004E