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UN panel to examine steps by 8 nations to fight discrimination against women

UN panel to examine steps by 8 nations to fight discrimination against women

As part of an ongoing effort by the United Nations to end discrimination of women, a UN expert panel will meet in New York next week to examine measures to promote gender equality undertaken by eight countries from different regions of the world.

The 23-member panel, formally known as the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, will meet at UN Headquarters from 14 January to 1 February to look at the record of the eight nations - Fiji, Iceland, Estonia, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Portugal and the Russian Federation - in complying with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Under that treaty - which now has 168 States parties - countries must end discrimination against women in the enjoyment of all civil, political, economic and cultural rights. In pursuing the Convention's goals, States parties are encouraged to introduce affirmative action measures designed to promote equality between women and men.

Often described as the international bill of rights for women, the Convention, in its 30 articles, provides an agenda for national action to end discrimination against women. It spells out the basis for realizing equality between men and women through ensuring women's equal access to - and equal opportunities in - political and public life as well as education and employment. States parties agree to take measures, including legislative and temporary special measures, so that women can enjoy all their human rights and fundamental freedoms.