An Evaluation of Women Status after
Thirty Years of CEDAW
Prepared By
Md. Saeed Anwar
Sociology Discipline
Khulna University
Khulna, Bangladesh
Overview of CEDAW
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women
The Convention on the Elimin...
Optional Protocol
Came into force in 2000 / Approved by 71 states
Third-party complaints of state violations
Independen...
Object: First international convention to define “discrimination
against women” comprehensively in all dimensions (art. 1)...
Principles of CEDAW
• To incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in
their legal system, abolish all discrim...
Significance of CEDAW
• CEDAW is the sole international legal instrument specially
designed to promote and protect women‟s...
• CEDAW addresses gender inequalities in all spheres and at all
levels within the family, community, market and state.
CED...
Article of CEDAW
• PART I
– Discrimination (Article 1)
– Policy Measures (Article 2)
– Guarantee of Basic Human Rights and...
• PART III
– Education (Article 10)
– Employment (Article 11 )
– Health (Article 12)
– Economic and Social Benefits (Artic...
• PART V
– Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
(Article 17)
– National Reports (Article 18)
– Rul...
UN and CEDAW
• On 18 December 1979, the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women was ado...
International CEDAW Day
• 3 September is international Convention on the Elimination of
all forms of Discriminations Again...
CEDAW and Optional Protocol
The Optional Protocol provides an international complaints
procedure for individuals or groups...
CEDAW and Worldwide Women Status between 1979-
2009
• Austria: Austria‟s Ending Violence against Women Law
Moves into Acti...
• Colombia: After a groundbreaking decision by the
Constitutional Court in May 2006, women in Colombia may
now legally acc...
• India: Twelve years after the Supreme Court of India issued
a landmark judgment regarding sexual harassment,
significant...
• Tajikistan: More women are now successfully claiming their
right to own land and helping to avert the threat of feminize...
• Philippine: A new gold standard for gender equality has been
created in the Philippines through the recent enactment of ...
• Sierra Leone: Dramatic changes to Sierra Leone‟s legislative
framework offer hope for women who suffer discrimination in...
CEDAW and the Women’s Rights in
Bangladesh
• Women in Bangladesh have been subjected to exploitation and
negligence for de...
The Government of Bangladesh ratified the CEDAW on
November 6, 1984. However, at the time of ratification,
the Government ...
Reasons for Reservations
The Government of Bangladesh has put forward the following
reasons for such reservations:
a) Bang...
Implementation of CEDAW in Bangladesh
The CEDAW activities in Bangladesh have so far been
undertaken under two broad categ...
CEDAW and Present Status of Women in Bangladesh
Socio-Cultural
• Bangladesh is one of the seven countries in the world whe...
Education
The overall literacy rate of the population (7 years and above)
is 32.4 (6). The rate is 38.9 for males compared...
Health and Nutrition
In Bangladesh, due to overall poverty health care receives
inadequate resource allocations. At househ...
Population Control and Family Planning
In the last twenty years Bangladesh has achieved a great deal
in this area. Total F...
Employment
As regards employment, women in Bangladesh are far behind
men. Nearly 43 percent women are involved in agricult...
Women in Development Plans
• Women are considered as a distinct target group by the national
development plans. The empowe...
CEDAW’s Approach
to Achieving Gender Equality
CEDAW is an “anti-discrimination” treaty, meaning that in
CEDAW gender inequ...
CEDAW Convention, Application of Quota and
Temporary Special Measures
The CEDAW Convention prescribed application of quota...
• The rights to participate in the formulation of government
policy and its implementation.
• The rights to hold public of...
CEDAW and Women Leadership in Different Countries
• There have been some truly ground breaking results, in
countries such ...
Role of CEDAW to Develop Minority and Indigenous
Women Status
• Several organizations highlighted the need for CEDAW to
be...
CEDAW and Improvement Women’s Rights
Women‟s Social Rights
Index
(126 countries, 1981-2005)
Commitments to the CEDAW
weigh...
The obstacles to Implement CEDAW’s Activities
• Hostile external environment (Peru, Zimbabwe).
• Lack of government commit...
CEDAW Shortcomings
• Some clauses reflect a male dominant society
• Despite reporting requirements imposed by CEDAW, almos...
Concluding Remark
• Women's rights have become the most inspiring rallying flag in
today's world. Seminars are held, debat...
References
• The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), 2009. 30 Years United Nation
Convention on the Elimin...
THANKS TO ALL
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

An evaluation of women status after thirty years of cedaw

1,901

Published on

Published in: Education
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
1,901
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
46
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

An evaluation of women status after thirty years of cedaw

  1. 1. An Evaluation of Women Status after Thirty Years of CEDAW
  2. 2. Prepared By Md. Saeed Anwar Sociology Discipline Khulna University Khulna, Bangladesh
  3. 3. Overview of CEDAW Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the international human rights treaty that is exclusively devoted to gender equality. It was adopted on 18 December 1979 by the UN General Assembly, and is often described as an international bill of rights for women. Came into force in 1981 / Approved by 180 states Internationally accepted principles and measures to achieve equal rights for women everywhere (UNIFEM, 2009).
  4. 4. Optional Protocol Came into force in 2000 / Approved by 71 states Third-party complaints of state violations Independent investigations of grave or systematic violations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women 23 experts charged with oversight of compliance by member states Sessions twice annually to consider progress reports by member states States file reports once every 4 years Authority to investigate violations and make recommendations (UNIFEM, 2009).
  5. 5. Object: First international convention to define “discrimination against women” comprehensively in all dimensions (art. 1) Domains: “political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field” (art. 1) State obligations: Public sphere: To embody the principle of equality in “national constitutions or other appropriate legislation” art. 2(a)(c)  Private sphere: To eliminate discrimination against women “by any person, organization or enterprise” art. 2(e) Cultural sphere: To “modify the social and cultural patterns to achieving the elimination of prejudices and customary and all other practices” art. 5(a) Reservations: – 60 states continue to have reservations to the Convention (UNESCO 2005)
  6. 6. Principles of CEDAW • To incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in their legal system, abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women; • To establish tribunals and other public institutions to ensure the effective protection of women against discrimination; and • To ensure elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by persons, organizations or enterprises.
  7. 7. Significance of CEDAW • CEDAW is the sole international legal instrument specially designed to promote and protect women‟s rights in a holistic and systematic way. • CEDAW defines the principle of substantive equality between men and women. Substantive equality‟‟ means real equality which is based on the principle of equality between men and women, guaranteeing not just equality of opportunity, but real equality- equality of outcome. • CEDAW provides a complete definition of discrimination. • CEDAW legally binds all states parties that sign and ratify or accede to the convention to fulfill, protect, and respect women‟s human rights (Afroz, 2012).
  8. 8. • CEDAW addresses gender inequalities in all spheres and at all levels within the family, community, market and state. CEDAW recognizes and addresses violations of women‟s human rights in the private sphere of the home. • CEDAW requires States Parties to ensure that private organization, enterprises and individuals promote and protect women‟s rights. • CEDAW requires States parties to eliminate prejudice and customary and all other practices that obstruct women‟s development that are grounded in the idea of inferiority of either of the sexes (Afroz, 2012).
  9. 9. Article of CEDAW • PART I – Discrimination (Article 1) – Policy Measures (Article 2) – Guarantee of Basic Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Article 3) – Special Measures (Article 4) – Sex Role Stereotyping and Prejudice (Article 5) – Prostitution (Article 6) • PART II – Political and Public Life (Article 7) – Representation (Article 8) – Nationality (Article 9)
  10. 10. • PART III – Education (Article 10) – Employment (Article 11 ) – Health (Article 12) – Economic and Social Benefits (Article 13) – Rural Women (Article 14) • PART IV – Law (Article 15) – Marriage and Family Life (Article 16)
  11. 11. • PART V – Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (Article 17) – National Reports (Article 18) – Rules of Procedure (Article 19) – Committee Meetings (Article 20) – Committee Reports (Article 21) – Role of Specialized Agencies (Article 22) • PART Vl – Effect on Other Treaties (Article 23) – Commitment of States Parties (Article 24) – Administration of the Convention (Articles 25-30) (DAW, 2009).
  12. 12. UN and CEDAW • On 18 December 1979, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. • It entered into force as an international treaty on 3 September 1981 after the twentieth country had ratified it. By the tenth anniversary of the Convention in 1989, almost one hundred nations have agreed to be bound by its provisions. • The Convention was the culmination of more than thirty years of work by the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, a body established in 1946 to monitor the situation of women and to promote women's rights. • The Commission's work has been instrumental in bringing to light all the areas in which women are denied equality with men (DAW, 2009).
  13. 13. International CEDAW Day • 3 September is international Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discriminations Against Women (CEDAW) Day. • CEDAW is the international bill of women's rights adopted by the United Nations in 1979. • Each member state ratifying the Convention is required to submit a periodic four- yearly report on the status of implementation. • Non-government organizations and women's groups can submit an Alternate to the Committee (The Daily Star, 2012).
  14. 14. CEDAW and Optional Protocol The Optional Protocol provides an international complaints procedure for individuals or groups to petition the UN when: • State party is accused of grave/systematic violations of European Convention on Human Rights • All available domestic remedies have been exhausted • Complaint is compatible with provisions of the Convention • Complainant's allegations can be substantiated (i.e. the complaint is not an abuse of the right to complain) • Complaint is submitted after the state party ratified the protocol • Complaint relates to events arising after state party ratification.
  15. 15. CEDAW and Worldwide Women Status between 1979- 2009 • Austria: Austria‟s Ending Violence against Women Law Moves into Action. The CEDAW Committee under the Optional Protocol to the Convention decided two complaints against Austria concerning domestic violence in 2007 • Bangladesh: Bangladesh now prohibits sexual harassment, thanks to a milestone decision issued in 2009 by the High Court. A public interest litigation case, brought by the Bangladesh National Women‟s Lawyers Association, challenged the High Court to step in and take action as there was no national law against sexual harassment. • Cameroon: Traditional leaders in Cameroon are changing traditional practices that are harmful to women after learning about CEDAW and the rights that it provides for women.
  16. 16. • Colombia: After a groundbreaking decision by the Constitutional Court in May 2006, women in Colombia may now legally access abortion in certain circumstances. • Egypt and Jordan: Egypt and Jordan have taken a positive step towards strengthening their obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and, in so doing; have demonstrated their commitment to advancing gender equality in their countries. • Hungary: One of the first complaints considered by the Committee under CEDAW‟s Optional Protocol came from Hungary in 2004. A woman belonging to the Roma minority alleged that she had been subjected to forced sterilization by medical staff in a Hungarian hospital
  17. 17. • India: Twelve years after the Supreme Court of India issued a landmark judgment regarding sexual harassment, significant strides have been made towards eliminating this particular form of discrimination against women. • Jamaica: While the impact of CEDAW is most noticeable at the macro level, in instances of constitutional or legislative reform, the changes that CEDAW have brought about in individual women‟s lives all over the world cannot be underestimated. • Kyrgyzstan: More than 200 women in Kyrgyzstan joined together in an innovative community art project titled “CEDAW in Kyrgyzstan: Movement towards Justice” and created an extraordinary quilt to bring visibility to CEDAW‟s 30th anniversary and more importantly, to express their experiences of discrimination.
  18. 18. • Tajikistan: More women are now successfully claiming their right to own land and helping to avert the threat of feminized poverty, due to comprehensive changes to the land reform processes in Tajikistan. • Mexico: Mexico has embarked upon a major transformation of its response to violence against women, with the 2007 passage of the Mexican General Law on Women‟s Access to a Life Free of Violence. • Morocco: The groundbreaking introduction of Morocco‟s new Family Code in 2004 gave women greater equality and protection of their human rights within marriage and divorce, as mandated by Article 16 of the Convention.
  19. 19. • Philippine: A new gold standard for gender equality has been created in the Philippines through the recent enactment of the Magna Carta of Women (MCW). The new law will prevail over existing laws and will be the basis of reform of discriminatory elements of these laws. • The Solomon Islands: Important changes to the law of evidence in the Solomon Islands offer survivors of sexual assault a greater chance of receiving justice after a new law, the Evidence Act, was passed in 2009. Under the previous rules of evidence, established by common law, women faced discrimination during the court process, particularly with respect to rape cases, as a result of archaic practices which left women little chance of finding justice.
  20. 20. • Sierra Leone: Dramatic changes to Sierra Leone‟s legislative framework offer hope for women who suffer discrimination in areas such as marriage, divorce and inheritance, and many of whom are vulnerable to domestic violence. • Thailand: Fundamental women‟s rights are included in the highest law of the land after the enactment of Thailand‟s 2007 Constitution. These important changes were brought about through a collaborative process between the government‟s Constitutional Drafting Committee and women‟s rights NGOs. • Kenya: As a result of Kenya‟s courts‟ forcefully asserting that the principle of gender equality must be respected despite traditional biases in favour of men, women and girls are getting a fairer share of inheritance (DAW, 2009).
  21. 21. CEDAW and the Women’s Rights in Bangladesh • Women in Bangladesh have been subjected to exploitation and negligence for decades. In a society, which is basically male dominated, women, have always been kept oppressed by religious fanaticism, superstition, oppression and various discrimination. Their merit and labor have only been recognized in domestic tradition. • Though lately, Bangladesh has realized that „empowerment of women‟ is a necessary condition for economic development to keep pace with the world. In the international arena Bangladesh ratified the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1984, however, with some „reservations (The Daily Star, 2012).
  22. 22. The Government of Bangladesh ratified the CEDAW on November 6, 1984. However, at the time of ratification, the Government of Bangladesh made reservations to a number of provisions of the Convention. These included: • a. Article 2 : policy measures. • b. Article 13(a) : equality as to the right to family benefits. • c. Article 16(1)(c) : equal rights and responsibilities during marriage and at its dissolution. • d. Article 16(1)(f) : equal rights and responsibilities with regard to guardianship, trusteeship and adoption of children etc (The Daily Star, 2012).
  23. 23. Reasons for Reservations The Government of Bangladesh has put forward the following reasons for such reservations: a) Bangladesh is a Muslim populated country. The prevalent Muslim Personal Laws are essentially based upon Shariah Laws, which in turn were formulated in light of the Holy Quran and Sunnah. Therefore, the provisions of personal law could not be changed so easily as required by the Convention as they were based on religion. b) In addition, in the second periodic report of Bangladesh, it was mentioned that it would not be easy to modify Hindu Personal Laws because of the complex religious issues involved (Afroz, 2012).
  24. 24. Implementation of CEDAW in Bangladesh The CEDAW activities in Bangladesh have so far been undertaken under two broad categories, namely: (1) CEDAW activities at the initiative of the Government. (2) CEDAW activities undertaken by the non-government organizations (Afroz, 2012).
  25. 25. CEDAW and Present Status of Women in Bangladesh Socio-Cultural • Bangladesh is one of the seven countries in the world where the number of men exceeds the number of women. According to various indicators the status of women in Bangladesh is much lower than that of men. Traditional cultural, social and religious values and practices have reinforced the lower status of women accorded to them in society and have limited their opportunities for education, technical and vocational training, employment and participation in the overall development process (UN, 1997 ).
  26. 26. Education The overall literacy rate of the population (7 years and above) is 32.4 (6). The rate is 38.9 for males compared to 25.5 for females. Male children are still sent to school more frequently and parents are still more likely to spend more on their books made and education than that of girls as it is thought to be an investment in the case of boys who are expected to look after their parents financially in old age. Education for girls is considered as less useful as they are expected to get married and leave their families behind. Among rural households only one fourth of total educational expenses are for girls. (UN,1997)
  27. 27. Health and Nutrition In Bangladesh, due to overall poverty health care receives inadequate resource allocations. At household level too, poverty results in limited expenditure on health care. Women are more disadvantaged than man in terms of access to health care and the quality of nutrition and health care received. Life expectancy is lower by almost a year for women. This is contrary to the norm in other countries where women tend to live longer than men (UN,1997).
  28. 28. Population Control and Family Planning In the last twenty years Bangladesh has achieved a great deal in this area. Total Fertility Rate (TFR) has fallen to 3.4 with 49 percent of the total population in the reproductive age group. Average age at marriage has increased from 13.5 years in the 17 to 19.9. Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) has increased to 45 percent. The Planning Commission projections show a population of 137.3 million by the year 2000 (UN,1997).
  29. 29. Employment As regards employment, women in Bangladesh are far behind men. Nearly 43 percent women are involved in agricultural activities but 70 percent of them work as unpaid family labour. The 1991 census indicated that 11 percent of all women were economically active. Labour force participation rates for females stood at 9.9 and 14.1 percent in the Labour Force Surveys (LFS) of 1985-86 and 1990-91 respectively (UN,1997).
  30. 30. Women in Development Plans • Women are considered as a distinct target group by the national development plans. The empowerment of women has been emphasized in the latest plans. • Among the previous plans, the First Five Year Plan(1973-78) emphasized a welfare oriented approach and focused on the rehabilitation of war affected women and children. Population control was the most important area in which women were considered as beneficiaries. However, their productive role was not emphasized (UN,1997).
  31. 31. CEDAW’s Approach to Achieving Gender Equality CEDAW is an “anti-discrimination” treaty, meaning that in CEDAW gender inequalities are understood to have been produced by sex-based discrimination. The State obligations imposed by CEDAW are primarily obligations to eliminate the many different forms of gender-based discrimination women face. CEDAW in that sense embodies both a theory of women‟s subordination, and a strategy for overcoming this subordination. – It provides the highest level of normative authority – It provides the definitive certainty of law. – It responds to country realities and emerging issues (UNIFEM, 2009).
  32. 32. CEDAW Convention, Application of Quota and Temporary Special Measures The CEDAW Convention prescribed application of quota through temporary special measures, to accelerate women‟s full and equal participation in governance at all levels and women‟s leadership in all decision-making process. Articles 7 and 8 of CEDAW explicitly cover the rights of women to non-discrimination in a country‟s public and political spheres, such as • Their rights to equality with men in regard to the rights to vote. • The rights to be eligible for election to all publicly elected bodies.
  33. 33. • The rights to participate in the formulation of government policy and its implementation. • The rights to hold public office and to perform all public functions at all levels of government. • The rights to participate in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and associations concerned with the public and political life of the country. • And the rights to represent the national government at the international level and to participate in the work of international organizations (Begum, 2012).
  34. 34. CEDAW and Women Leadership in Different Countries • There have been some truly ground breaking results, in countries such as Rwanda, Sweden, South Africa, Nicaragua, Liberia and Nepal. Quotas are very effective in those countries. • Bangladesh is an unique example of having women both as Prime Minister and as Opposition Leader for more than a decade. • In Bangladesh , reservation of seats for women at the local government levels has increased and the number of women in politics at the grassroots level. • A study of 2007 in India found that the increased presence and visibility of female politicians in local government raised the academic performance and career aspirations of young women (Begum, 2012).
  35. 35. Role of CEDAW to Develop Minority and Indigenous Women Status • Several organizations highlighted the need for CEDAW to be used to better help minority and indigenous women around the world. Minority and indigenous women are often doubly discriminated because they are women and because they are indigenous or a member of a minority group. • Often they do not know where to seek help when they face discrimination. It is important that they become more aware of their rights due to CEDAW (WOMANKIND, 2009).
  36. 36. CEDAW and Improvement Women’s Rights Women‟s Social Rights Index (126 countries, 1981-2005) Commitments to the CEDAW weighted scale of reservations (126 countries, 1981-2005) Cho, 2009
  37. 37. The obstacles to Implement CEDAW’s Activities • Hostile external environment (Peru, Zimbabwe). • Lack of government commitment (South Africa) • Poor information (Albania, Peru) • Lack of awareness (Ghana, Nepal). • Failure to enact national legislation (Nepal). (WOMANKIND , 2009)
  38. 38. CEDAW Shortcomings • Some clauses reflect a male dominant society • Despite reporting requirements imposed by CEDAW, almost none of the developing countries collect and report gender- disaggregated data on rural household structure and operations, income-generating activities, ownership of assets, use of land, and participation in land markets. • Gender policy is developing without broadly relevant information about women‟s status and roles in developing countries. • CEDAW provides an incentive and forum for valuable data collection. To date, however, that it is a lost opportunity (Singh, 2008)
  39. 39. Concluding Remark • Women's rights have become the most inspiring rallying flag in today's world. Seminars are held, debates are organized, conventions are signed and of course, promises are made again and again. • But for the women of Bangladesh, it is still a long way ahead to actually realize the standards of CEDAW Convention. No doubt that, from the international market, their Government has brought home a “magic-lamp”, called the „Women's Convention‟ and promised them that all forms of gender discrimination would be eliminated from the society at once. However, the reality falls far apart. Prevalent age-old traditions, orthodox social norms, conservative values, economic dependency, illiteracy, gender discrimination, violence and above all the inadequate governmental efforts and efficient policy measures all makes the so-called “magic lamp” vulnerable to sustain the gusty wind.
  40. 40. References • The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), 2009. 30 Years United Nation Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women. Retrieved from http://www.unifem.org/cedaw30/, Access date, 22 January, 2013 • WOMANKIND Worldwide, 2009. CEDAW the 30-year struggle for equality. Published by WOMANKIND Worldwide, London, UK • The Daily Star, 2012. International CEDAW Day: Let's fulfill the commitments. Online edition, Dhaka, Bangladesh • Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW, 2009). Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, Retrieved from http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/text/econvention.htm Access date 22 January, 2013 • Afroz, B. T., 2012. CEDAW and the Women‟s Rights in Bangladesh - a promised Silver Lining. Retrieved from http://www.worldnewsbank.com/tureen-seminar.html. Access date 22 January 2013 • UNESCO 2005. Section for Women and Gender Equality, Bureau of Strategic Planning at the Human Rights Based Approach to UNESCO Programming: Training for Resource Persons, Orléans, France • Cho, S. Y., 2009. A Panel Analysis on the Effects of the Women s Convention, George-August University of Gottingen, Germany • Singh, N., 2008. Legal Empowerment of Poor Women and Girls. Strategic Planning and Coordination at Canadian International Development. Canada • UN, 1997. Committee on the elimination of Discrimination Against Women. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/esa/gopher-data/ga/cedaw/17/country/Bangladesh/. Access date 22 January, 2013 • Begum, F. A., 2012. CEDAW Convention after 30 Years : Challenges & Achievements Towards Advancement of Women in the Public & Political Spheres. Retrieved from http://www.wunrn.com/news/2012/12_12/12_17/121712_cedaw.htm Access date 22 January 2012
  41. 41. THANKS TO ALL
  1. A particular slide catching your eye?

    Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

×