A meeting of the United Nations committee on the elimination of discrimination against women opened in New York today to look into the situation of women in eight countries, including Papua New Guinea, which will be reviewed for the first time, and India, which will be examined on an exceptional basis.
Violence against women, political participation, discriminatory family law, eliminating gender stereotypes and preventing trafficking will be some of the areas explored by the committee of experts charged with ensuring that governments eliminate discrimination against women.
During its 19-day session at UN Headquarters, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Woman (CEDAW) will review the status of women in Argentina, Fiji, Russia, Australia, Papua New Guinea, India and Albania.
India will be reviewed on an exceptional basis, with the Committee considering the country’s follow-up report on the impact of the 2002 Gujarat massacres on women.
Following the eight reviews, the experts will make recommendations to each government about what more it should do to eliminate discrimination against women.
The Committee regularly reviews each country once it becomes a party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Currently, 186 countries have accepted the Convention, which was adopted in 1979.
Government representatives of each country will be questioned by the experts about how they are ensuring that women are able to fully exercise their rights under each of the 16 substantive articles of the 30-article Convention.
All the sessions are public meetings, but the Committee will also meet in private to consider complaints from individuals or groups of individuals claiming to be victims of a violation of their rights.