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UN expert group on discrimination against women launches first mission to Iceland

GENEVA (15 May 2013) – The United Nations Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice will undertake its first mission to the Republic of Iceland from 16 to 23 May 2013, to assess the progress made towards achieving gender equality, and the protection and promotion of women’s human rights.

“The Working Group is particularly interested in assessing laws and legislative reforms and policies that were implemented by the Government of Iceland to promote women's rights and gender equality,” said Kamala Chandrakirana, who currently heads the expert group. “We will pay specific attention to women’s economic and social life, including in times of economic crisis.”

The Group’s delegation, comprised of Ms. Chandrakirana and Ms. Frances Raday, will retrospectively assess the impact of the 2008 financial and economic crisis in Iceland on women’s rights, and in particular and in particular economic and social rights, and measures taken to mitigate its impact.

During the visit, the delegation will meet with Government officials at national and local levels, representatives of civil society organisations, as well as experts and academics. The Group’s delegation also plans to visit Reykjavík, Akureyri and Dalvík, in a view to gather first-hand information on issues related to discrimination against women in the country.

A press conference to share the delegation’s preliminary findings will be held on 23 May 2013 in Reykjavík. Further details to follow.

Following its visit, the Working Group will present a report containing its conclusions and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2014.

The UN Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice is composed of five independent experts from all regions of the world: Kamala Chandrakirana, Chair-Rapporteur (Indonesia); Emna Aouij (Tunisia); Patricia Olamendi Torres (México); Frances Raday (Israel/United Kingdom) and Eleonora Zielinska (Poland). Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Women/WGWomen/Pages/WGWomenIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights, country page – Iceland: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/ISIndex.aspx

For inquiries and media requests, please contact: Narcisse Dongar (+41 22 917 9325 / ndongar@ohchr.org) or write to wgdiscriminationwomen@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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