The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
Introduction to CEDAW • The UN General Assembly adopted CEDAW in 1979 • CEDAW establishes women’s right to non-discrimination on the basis of gender and affirms equality in international law • Commonly referred to as the ‘Women’s Convention’ or the international Bill of Women’s Rights, CEDAW incorporates human rights standards in fundamental areas of life to be realised progressively by states • States Parties progress under CEDAW is monitored by a Committee through periodic reports every four years
Introduction to CEDAW • Ratified by 186 countries – NOT including Iran, Somalia, Sudan, the United States and 3 small Pacific Island nations (Nauru, Palau and Tonga). • The Convention has 16 substantive articles that cover a wide range of women’s rights including in education, employment, marriage and family life, political and public life, and equality before the law etc.
Article 1 - Discrimination • Article 1 – “discrimination against women" shall mean 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
Article 2 – Eliminate Discrimination • Article 2 – Countries have to take measures to eliminate discrimination • Constitution or anti-discrimination law to make sure that women are treated equally • Sanctions prohibiting discrimination against women • Fines for people and bodies/organisations who discriminate against women • Withdrawal of funding for programmes • Ensure that government agencies and other state actors do not discriminate against women • Section 75 in the Northern Ireland Act 1998 • Equality proofing
Article 3 – Policy Measures • Article 3 – Policy Measures • The Government and its agencies are supposed to take policy measures to ensure that women enjoy their human rights on the same basis as men • National policy strategies • National promotional campaigns • Funding for women’s groups and special programmes
Article 4 – Temporary Measures/Positive Discrimination • Article 4 – Temporary Measures/Positive Discrimination • The Government is supposed to introduce ‘temporary measures’ to accelerate equality between men and women • 50/50 in the Northern Ireland Police Service • Quota to increase women’s representation in politics – the British Labour Party • Special quotas in the public sector in increase women at management levels • Special scholarships for women for university to train as doctors, lawyers etc.
Article 5 – Sex Role Stereotyping and Prejudice • Discrimination against women is due to stereotypical ideas – women in the home as mothers and men out in the world working • Governments are supposed to take measures to modify the social and cultural matters of men and women to eliminate sexist views • Family education includes a proper understanding of maternity as a social function • Family education should include recognition that both men and women are responsible for their development of their children
Article 6 – Trafficking and Prostitution • The Government shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women
Article 7 - Political and Public Life • Women can vote in elections and go for election • Participate in the formulation of government policy – consultation and representation • Participation in NGOs and associations involved in public and political life • Typically minority ethnic women are excluded or face barriers to participation
Article 8 – Representation • Women should be able to represent their governments at an international level • Women should be able to participate in international organisations
Article 9 – Nationality • Women should have equal rights to acquire, change or retain their nationality • Change of nationality of a husband should not automatically affect women • In some countries, women loose their nationality because of their husband or cannot change their nationality • Equal rights to nationality of women’s children • In some countries, children born to women cannot obtain her nationality, they take their fathers
Article 10 –Education • Same access to education as men for both rural and urban women • Career guidance • General education • Technical education • Professional and higher level education • Access to the same curriculum and teaching staff • Access to same examinations • Education grants and scholarships • Elimination of stereotyping in schools • Access to information on health and well-being, including family planning
Article 11 – Employment Rights • Women have the same right to employment • Women have the same rights to promotion, job security, benefits, advanced vocational training • Women have the right to social security, particularly in cases of retirement, sickness etc. • Women have the right to be protected against unsafe working conditions • Maternity rights • Government must protect women so they do not loose their jobs • Promote social services to enable families to combine their work responsibilities and participation in public life • Childcare
Article 12 – Healthcare • Eliminate discrimination in healthcare, including those related to family planning • Provide supports for women having children, maternity leave, free services where necessary
Article 13 – Financial Matters • Women have equal right to family benefits • Bank loans, mortgages etc. • Participate in recreational activities
Article 14 – Rural Living • Allow women to participate in rural development through planning • Access to healthcare, including counselling and family planning • All types of training, including literacy and community services • Organise self help groups and community activities • Adequate living conditions
Article 15 – National law • States Parties shall accord to women equality with men before the law. • States Parties agree that all contracts and all other private instruments of any kind with a legal effect which is directed at restricting the legal capacity of women shall be deemed null and void. • the same rights with regard to the law relating to the movement of persons and the freedom to choose their residence and domicile
Article 16 - Marriage • States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations and in particular shall ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women • The same right freely to choose a spouse and to enter into marriage only with their free and full consent; • The same rights and responsibilities with regard to guardianship, wardship, trusteeship and adoption of children, or similar institutions where these concepts exist in national legislation; in all cases the interests of the children shall be paramount; • The same rights for both spouses in respect of the ownership, acquisition, management, administration, enjoyment and disposition of property, whether free of charge or for a valuable consideration. • The betrothal and the marriage of a child shall have no legal effect,
Article 17 – 30 • Report Mechanism • Function of Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women • Legislation in National Level • Language
Evaluation Process • The CEDAW Committee, made up of 23 experts, is the treaty-based body dealing with women’s rights violations under The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). • The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a functional commission of the UN Economic and Social Council and principal global policy-making body on gender equality and advancement of women with 46 Member States which meet annually for 10 days. • The Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women is one of over 30 thematic “Special Procedures” of the UN Human Rights Council, a charter-based body of the UN. She transmits urgent appeals and communications to States regarding alleged cases of violence against women, undertakes fact-finding country visits and submits annual thematic reports. • The new HRCWorking Group on the elimination of discrimination against women in law and in practice, made up of 5 regional reps,will will work with States to end legal discrimination.
Evaluation Process Two main ways of monitoring by the Committee: • State party reports: • States parties have to submit reports to the Committee every four years • The Committee questions each State party about their implementation of the Convention at one of their tri-annual sessions • Committee issues concluding comments to the State party • NGOs can submit shadow reports to the Committee to encourage the Committee to ask relevant questions and issue recommendations. • Optional Protocolto CEDAW (ratified by 100 countries): the Committee can investigate mass violations under its inquiry procedure and take individual complaints under its complaints procedure.
Case Study: Afghanistan *Taliban was overthrown in 2001 *Women carried out businesses transactions *Taliban took over in the 1990’s *Restricted and violated women’s right on education, work and freedom of movement *Over one million girls are attending school * Education for women and their right to vote was introduced to the constitution in 1964 *Access to health care services *Strict dress code *Job positions held by women: - 70% teachers - 50% civil servants - 40% doctors *Afghan government and NGO has set up programs to improve women’s status and public participations. *Imposed harsh penalties on women for breaking such rules. E.g.: public lashings *Restricted access to health care services
Case Study: Afghanistan • However, *Girls’ drop-out rates of school is still high *Little or no progress at school *Increase of female teachers is essential, as families would not let daughters to attend school with male teachers *Freedom of movement is still a restriction *Exchange of young women to repay debts still continues *Early marriage – 57% married before age of 16. *Widespread intimidation and general security threatens women’s right to vote freely
Indonesia? • Indonesia has signed & ratified • Convention on the Political Rights of Women 1958 • CEDAW 1984 • Reports regularly to HR Bodies • Explicit linkage to specific human rights • Accountability • entitlements of rights holders – the People • Obligations of duty holders – the State • Empowerment not charity • give people the power, capacities, capabilities & access to change their own lives • Participation – active, informed • Requires transparent procedures • Non-discrimination & attention to vulnerable groups
Victimizing Process Pre-Departure Depart to Destination Country Agent make a contract to the foreign agent Agent try to meet The requirements Worker Come to Agent Disorder Manner Post Departure Gap Promising to the employer At the high level expectation Come to the foreign Agent Abuse and Violence Send To employer Torture : Hitting, Kicking Burning Raping Pouring hot water • Vulnerability of victim • Language • Information of rights • Can not afford to plea by themselves • Access to officer Abuse: threatening Yelling/Shouting Isolating - Fraud