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Call for submission - Good practices in the elimination of discrimination against women with regard to the right to health and safety

The UN Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice (hereinafter “the UN Working Group”) has decided to research, as a priority, the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice with regard to the right to health and safety, in accordance with its mandate.

Within this broad area of research, the UN Working Group will pay particular attention to equality and non-discrimination in the enjoyment of the right to health, including sexual and reproductive rights; in the access to health services, including maternal health services; and in the guarantee of women’s safety.

Recognizing the broad scope covered by the concept of safety, the UN Working Group intends to focus particularly on the impact of safety in the context of women’s health, both physical and mental. This may include violence against women in the public space and in closed institutions as well as women’s access to justice to secure their right to health and security.

This research will culminate with the presentation of a thematic report by the UN Working Group to the Human Rights Council in June 2016.

International human rights law, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), recognises women’s rights to non-discrimination and gender equality in the area of health and safety. The UN Working Group observes that there are still many legal and practical barriers to guarantee women’s equality to enjoy their right to health, including sexual and reproductive rights and health, as well as their right to safety. 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 stakeholders to contribute to its research by submitting information on:

  • Constitutional and other legislative initiatives and reforms to recognise women’s rights, gender equality and non-discrimination with regard to their right to health and to safety;
  • Special legal reforms and practices to promote non-discrimination and gender equality with regard to health, in particular regarding: equal right to enjoy the highest available standard of health; equal access to all forms of healthcare at the highest available level; equal right to enjoy benefits of scientific progress and its application in medicine; and access to sexual and reproductive health services;
  • Access to information and to education regarding sexual and reproductive health services;
  • Equal rights, in law and in practice, with regard to health and safety, including with regard to sexual and reproductive rights and health;
  • Actions from States to promote gender equality and non-discrimination, including measures, policies and national action plans, to ensure women’s safety, including in confined spaces (e.g. detention facilities, pre-deportation centres, camps for displaced women and families) or opened spaces (e.g. transports).

The UN Working Group would like to encourage individuals and organisations to submit information on the above points and any additional information that highlight in particular good practices, lessons learned and promising experiences in the elimination of discrimination against women with regard to the right to health and safety.

The UN Working Group notes that various individuals and organizations may wish to develop documents and reports of consultations for submission. 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.

In order to facilitate the collection of information and good practices on these matters, the Working Group has developed a questionnaire available in English, French and Spanish.

Questionnaire responses and submissions should be sent to wgdiscriminationwomen@ohchr.org

The deadline for submissions is 15 August 2015.