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United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to meet in Geneva from 4 to 22 July

BACKGROUND RELEASE
 
Committee to Consider Situation in Philippines, Myanmar, France, Albania, Turkey, Uruguay, Mali and Trinidad and Tobago
 
GENEVA (30 June 2016) - The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will hold its sixty-fourth session at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 4 to 22 July 2016, during which it will review reports presented by the Philippines, Myanmar, France, Albania, Turkey, Uruguay, Mali and Trinidad and Tobago 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 forms of discrimination against women in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or other fields.  The Committee, a 23-person expert body, monitors compliance with the Convention.  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, 4 July, the Committee will hear an address by the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore, and will also adopt its agenda and programme of work.
 
In addition to considering the reports of the 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 consider individual complaints as well as inquiries under the Optional Protocol to the Convention, in closed meeting.  The Committee will also discuss matters relating to general recommendations and its methods of work.
 
The Philippines is presenting its combined seventh and eighth periodic reports CEDAW/C/PHL/7-8.   The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined fifth and sixth periodic reports, considered in August 2006, can be found in CEDAW/C/PHI/CO/6.
 
Myanmar is presenting its combined fourth and fifth periodic reports CEDAW/C/MMR/4-5.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined second and third periodic reports, considered in November 2008, can be found in CEDAW/C/MMR/CO/3.
 
France is presenting its combined seventh and eighth periodic reports CEDAW/C/FRA/7-8.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the sixth periodic report, considered in January 2008, can be found in CEDAW/C/FRA/CO/6.
 
Albania is presenting its fourth periodic report CEDAW/C/ALB/4.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the third periodic report, considered in July 2010, can be found in CEDAW/C/ALB/CO/3.
 
Turkey is presenting its seventh periodic report CEDAW/C/TUR/7.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the sixth periodic report, considered in July 2010, can be found in CEDAW/C/TUR/CO/6.
 
Uruguay is presenting its combined eighth and ninth periodic reports CEDAW/C/URY/8-9.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined fourth to seventh periodic reports, considered in October 2008, can be found in CEDAW/C/URY/CO/7.
 
Mali is presenting its combined sixth and seventh periodic reports CEDAW/C/MLI/6-7.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined second to fifth periodic reports, considered in January 2006, can be found in CEDAW/C/MLI/CO/5.
 
Trinidad and Tobago is presenting its combined fourth to seventh periodic reports CEDAW/C/TTO/4-7.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined initial, second and third periodic reports, considered in January 2002, can be found in A/57/38(SUPP) paras. 119-166.

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 189 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 the 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, 107 of the Convention's 189 States parties have accepted the Optional Protocol.  Before the Committee considers 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); Gladys Acosta Vargas (Peru); Nicole Ameline (France); Bakhita Al-Dosari (Qatar); Magalys Arocha Dominguez (Cuba);  Barbara Evelyn Bailey (Jamaica); Niklas Bruun (Finland); Louiza Chalal (Algeria); Naéla Mohamed Gabr (Egypt); Hilary Gbedemah (Ghana); Nahla Haidar (Lebanon);  Ruth Halperin-Kaddari (Israel); Yoko Hayashi (Japan); Lilian Hofmeister (Austria); Ismat Jahan (Bangladesh); Dalia Leinarte (Lithuania); Lia Nadaraia (Georgia); Theodora Oby Nwankwo (Nigeria); Pramila Patten (Mauritius); Silvia Pimentel (Brazil); Biancamaria Pomeranzi (Italy); Patricia Schulz (Switzerland); and Xiaoqiao Zou (China).

The Chairperson is Ms. Hayashi.  The Vice Chairpersons are Ms. Bailey, Ms. Gabr and Ms. Leinarte.  Ms. Schulz is the Rapporteur.

Proposed Programme of Work


 
Monday, 4 July

10 a.m.

Opening of the session, adoption of the agenda, organization of work, report of the Chair on activities undertaken, ways and means of expediting the work of the Committee

3 p.m.

Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations

4:30 p.m.

Informal meeting with national human rights institutions


Tuesday, 5 July

10 a.m.

Combined seventh and eighth periodic reports of the Philippines CEDAW/C/PHL/7-8

3 p.m.

Philippines (continued)


Wednesday, 6 July

United Nations holiday

Thursday, 7 July

10 a.m.

Combined fourth and fifth periodic reports of Myanmar CEDAW/C/MMR/4-5

3 p.m.

Myanmar (continued)

 

Friday, 8 July

10 a.m.

Combined seventh and eighth periodic reports of France CEDAW/C/FRA/7-8

3 p.m.

France (continued)

 

Monday, 11 July

10 a.m.

Closed meeting

3 p.m.

Closed meeting

4 p.m.

Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations

5 p.m.

Informal meeting with national human rights institutions

 

Tuesday, 12 July

10 a.m.

Fourth periodic report of Albania CEDAW/C/ALB/4

3 p.m.

Albania (continued)

 

Wednesday, 13 July

10 a.m.

Seventh periodic report of Turkey CEDAW/C/TUR/7

3 p.m.

Turkey (continued)

 

Thursday, 14 July

10 a.m.

Combined eighth and ninth periodic reports of Uruguay CEDAW/C/URY/8-9

3 p.m.

Uruguay (continued)

 

Friday, 15 July

10 a.m.

Combined sixth and seventh periodic reports of Mali CEDAW/C/MLI/6-7

3 p.m.

Mali (continued)

 

Monday, 18 July

10 a.m.

Combined fourth to seventh periodic reports of Trinidad and Tobago CEDAW/C/TTO/4-7

3 p.m.

Trinidad and Tobago  (continued)

 

Tuesday, 19 July

10 a.m.

Closed meeting

3 p.m.

Closed meeting

 

Wednesday, 20 July

10 a.m.

Closed meeting

3 p.m.

Closed meeting

 

Thursday, 21 July

10 a.m.

Closed meeting

3 p.m.

Closed meeting

 

Friday, 22 July

10 a.m.

Closed meeting

3 p.m.

Closed meeting

4 p.m.

Public closing of the session

The Committee’s dialogues with the delegations will take place from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 17:00 at Palais des Nations – Room XVIII. Live webcasts of these meetings can be viewed on http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/.

For more information about the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: http://www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/cedaw/pages/cedawindex.aspx

 
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