Source description last updated: 4 September 2019
In brief: The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is a United Nations body of independent experts that monitors the implementation of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Coverage on ecoi.net:
State Reports, Concluding Observations, NGO
Covered monthly on ecoi.net for countries of priorities A-C
The CEDAW committee “consists of 23 experts on women’s rights from around the world.
Countries who have become party to the treaty (States parties) are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights of the Convention are implemented. During its sessions the Committee considers each State party report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of concluding observations.” (CEDAW website: Introduction, undated)
“Since its early sessions, the Committee has invited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to follow its work. In order to ensure that it is as well informed as possible, the Committee invites representatives of national and international NGOs to provide country-specific information on the States parties whose reports are scheduled for consideration at a given session.” (OHCHR website: Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: Working methods, undated)
“In accordance with the Optional Protocol to the Convention, the Committee is mandated to: (1) receive communications from individuals or groups of individuals submitting claims of violations of rights protected under the Convention to the Committee and (2) initiate inquiries into situations of grave or systematic violations of women’s rights. These procedures are optional and are only available where the State concerned has accepted them.
The Committee also formulates general recommendations and suggestions. General recommendations are directed to States and concern articles or themes in the Conventions.” (CEDAW website: Introduction, undated)
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: worldwide
Thematic focus: Women’s rights, gender issues, discrimination against women, violence against women, trafficking in women
“The Committee has adopted reporting guidelines to assist States parties in the preparation of initial and subsequent periodic reports” (OHCHR website: Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: Working methods, undated). “According to these guidelines, the initial report is intended to be a detailed and comprehensive description of the position of women in that country at the time of submission […]. Second and subsequent national reports are intended to update the previous report […]” (CEDAW website: Reporting, undated, page image as of 13 August 2019 available at archive.org). “The Committee recommends that States parties consult national non-governmental organizations in the preparation of their reports. It requests that reports of States parties describe the situation of non-governmental organizations and women’s associations and their participation in the implementation of the Convention and the preparation of the report.” (OHCHR website: Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: Working methods, undated)
Following consideration of each State Party report, the CEDAW Committee formulates concluding comments which outline factors and difficulties affecting the implementation of the Convention for that State party, positive aspects, principal subjects of concern and suggestions and recommendations to enhance implementation of the Convention.” (CEDAW website: Reporting, undated)
Language(s) of publications:
English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Chinese
Further reading / links:
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women:
Federal Chancellery (Austria) – Federal Minister for Women, Media and Civil Service: What is CEDAW?, 2007
All links accessed 4 September 2019