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Call for submission: Good Practices in the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in Family and Cultural Life

In 2014, in accordance with its mandate, the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice intends to research, as a priority, the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice in family and cultural life.

Within this broad area of research, the Working Group will pay particular attention to equality and non-discrimination in marriage, rights and responsibilities in the family and participation in all aspects of cultural life including arts, sports and cultural activities.

This thematic research will culminate in the report that the Working Group will present to the Human Rights Council in June 2015.

International human rights law, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), recognize women’s rights to non-discrimination and gender equality in the field of family and cultural life. The UN Working Group observes that there are still many legal and practical obstacles to guarantee women’s equality within the family and in all spheres of cultural life. Eradicating this discrimination and advancing towards gender equality in these two fields are essential to guarantee women’s full citizenship and the enjoyment of all their human rights.

In this regard, the UN Working Group would like to invite anyone to contribute to its research by submitting information on:

  • Constitutional and other legislative initiatives and reforms to recognize women’s rights, gender equality and non-discrimination;
  • Specific legal reforms and practices to promote non-discrimination and gender equality in marriage, in particular regarding: minimum age of marriage; right to enter into a marriage contract; rights of women during marriage (including, inter alia, property, care of children and their education, choice of  a profession and occupation, nationality, deciding number and spacing of children, guardianship); rights of women during marriage dissolution (including equal share of property, remarriage and custody of children); and rights of widows;
  • Equal rights, in law and practice, within the family, including in regards to inheritance; share of responsibilities within the household and in caring of children, the sick and the elderly; and decision-making;
  • Access to justice for women in cases of violations to the rights related to equality and non-discrimination in cultural and family life, including violence against women (information on positive legal precedents is encouraged);
  • Actions, in law and practice, including temporary special measures, to promote gender equality and non-discrimination in the arts, sports, science and other cultural practices, including the participation of women in the interpretation of cultural traditions, values and practices.

The UN Working Group would like to encourage individuals and organizations to submit information on the above points and that any additional information highlight in particular good practices, lessons learned and promising experiences in the elimination of discrimination against women in family and cultural life.

The UN Working Group notes that various individuals and organizations may wish to develop documents and reports of consultations for submission for consideration. In accordance with the established practice of mandate-holders, the UN Working Group welcomes all relevant submissions that NGOs and other stakeholders may wish to present for its consideration.

The following questionnaire (English, French and Spanish versions available) can also be used as a means to submit information to more specific questions within this thematic focus.

Submissions should be sent to wgdiscriminationwomen@ohchr.org

The deadline for submissions is 31 July 2014.