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UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE ON ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN TO MEET IN GENEVA FROM 1 TO 19 OCTOBER
Committee to Consider Reports Presented by Chile, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Togo and Turkmenistan
27 September 2012

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will hold its fifty-third session in Conference Room XVI at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 1 to 19 October 2012, during which it will review reports presented by Chile, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Togo and Turkmenistan on how they implement the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

States parties to the Convention commit themselves to ending all political, economic, social, cultural, civil or other forms of discrimination against women.  The Committee, a 23-person expert body, monitors compliance with the treaty.  It assesses to what extent each State is meeting its obligations, and makes recommendations for the implementation of the Convention.

At this session, the Committee will review the reports of Chile, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Togo and Turkmenistan on the legislative, judicial, administrative and other measures they have adopted in order to implement their obligations under the Convention and other progress made in that respect.  The Committee and each of the five States parties presenting reports will interact in a constructive dialogue on women's enjoyment of their human rights in that country.  The outcome of that dialogue is the Committee's concluding observations, which recognize progress a State has made in implementing the Convention, detail the Committee's concerns about gaps in implementation or insufficient compliance and make recommendations on measures the State should take to fully implement the Convention.  The Committee encourages wide distribution of its concluding observations, which are made available on the CEDAW Webpage at the close of each session.

At the opening meeting on Monday, 1 October, the Committee will adopt its agenda and organization of work and hear a report by the Chairperson on activities undertaken between the fifty-second and fifty-third sessions of the Committee. Following the opening of the session, the Committee will hold a private meeting with United Nations bodies and other specialized agencies. 

In addition to considering five States party reports, the Committee will also consider individual complaints under the Optional Protocol to the Convention, in a closed meeting.  States parties to the Optional Protocol recognize the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications submitted by or on behalf of individuals, under the jurisdiction of the State party, claiming to be victims of violations set forth in the Convention. The Committee will also discuss inquiries relating to grave or systematic violations by a State party of rights set forth in the Convention in a closed session.  Inquiries are covered under article 8 of the Optional Protocol.  The Optional Protocol entered into force on 22 December 2000 and currently has 104 States parties.  

On Monday 1 October and on Monday 8 October public meetings will be held in which representatives of non-governmental organizations and national human rights institutions have the opportunity to submit their own reports and address the Committee.  Those reports are also available on the CEDAW Webpage along with the country reports and other background information and supplementary documentation for the session.  In the afternoon of Thursday 18 October the Committee will celebrate its 30th Anniversary with a public event. 

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women


The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 18 December 1979, and entered into force on 3 September 1981.  Often described as an international bill of rights for women, the Convention both defines discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination.  Since its entry into force, the Convention has achieved near-universal acceptance, with 187 States parties.

The Convention defines discrimination against women as "... 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".

By accepting the Convention, States commit themselves to undertake a series of measures to end discrimination against women in all forms, including:

· Incorporating the principle of equality of men and women in their legal system;

· Abolishing all discriminatory laws and adopting appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women;

· Establishing tribunals and other public institutions to ensure the effective protection of women against discrimination; and

· Ensuring elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by persons, organizations or enterprises.

Optional Protocol to the Convention

On 22 December 2000, the Optional Protocol to the Convention entered into force, by which States parties recognize the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications submitted by individuals or groups of individuals claiming to be victims of a violation of their rights under the Convention.

To date, 104 of the Convention's 187 States parties have accepted the Optional Protocol.  Before the Committee will consider a complaint, it first must establish its admissibility under the terms of the Optional Protocol.  The Optional Protocol also enables the Committee, upon the fulfilment of certain criteria, to undertake inquiries into possible grave or systematic violations of women's rights.  

Membership


The Committee is made up of 23 experts of high moral standing and recognized competence in the field of women's rights.  Members are nominated and elected by the States parties and serve in their personal capacity.

The Committee Members are: Ayse Feride Acar (Turkey); Nicole Ameline (France); Olindia Bareiro-Bobadilla (Paraguay); Magalys Arocha Dominguez (Cuba); Violet Tsisiga Awori (Kenya); Barbara Evelyn Bailey (Jamaica); Meriem Belmihoub-Zerdani (Algeria); Niklas Bruun (Finland); Naela Mohamed Gabr (Egypt); Ruth Halperin-Kaddari (Israel); Yoko Hayashi (Japan); Ismat Jahan (Bangladesh); Indira Jaising (India); Soledad Murillo de la Vega (Spain); Violeta Neubauer (Slovenia); Pramila Patten (Mauritius); Silvia Pimentel (Brazil); Maria Helena Lopes de Jesus Pires (Timor-Leste); Victoria Popescu (Romania); Zohra Rasekh (Afghanistan); Patricia Schulz (Switzerland); Dubravka Šimonović (Croatia) and Xiaoqiao Zou (China).

Silvia Pimentel is the Chairperson; Nicole Ameline, Victoria Popescu and Zohra Rasekh are the Vice-Chairpersons; and Violet Tsisiga Awori is the Rapporteur.


Proposed Programme of Work


Monday, 1 October

10 a.m. Opening of Session, adoption of agenda and organization of work, report of the Chair.

11.30 a.m. Informal meeting with United Nations bodies and specialized agencies (closed meeting)

3 p.m. Meeting with non-governmental organizations.

4.30 p.m. Meeting with national human rights institutions.

5.30 p.m. Closed meeting.


Tuesday, 2 October

10 a.m. Chile: combined fifth and sixth periodic reports (CEDAW/C/CHL/5-6)

3 p.m. Chile (continued)

5.30 p.m. Closed meeting.


Thursday, 4 October

10 a.m. Togo: combined sixth and seventh periodic reports (CEDAW/C/TGO/6-7)

3 p.m. Togo (continued)

5.30 p.m. Closed meeting.


Friday, 5 October

10 a.m. Equatorial Guinea: sixth periodic report (CEDAW/C/GNQ/6).

3 p.m. Equatorial Guinea (continued)

5.30 p.m. Closed meeting.


Monday, 8 October

10 a.m. Closed meeting.

3 p.m. Meeting with non-governmental organizations.

4.30 p.m. Meeting with national human rights institutions.

5.30 p.m. Closed meeting.


Wednesday, 10 October

10 a.m. Comoros: combined initial to fourth periodic reports (CEDAW/C/COM/1-4)

3 p.m. Comoros (continued)

5.30 p.m. Closed meeting.


Thursday, 11 October

10 a.m. Turkmenistan: combined third to fourth periodic reports (CEDAW/C/TKM/3-4)

3 p.m. Turkmenistan (continued)

5.30 p.m. Closed meeting.


Thursday, 18 October

10 a.m. Closed meeting.

3 p.m. 30th Anniversary Event


Friday, 19 October

10 a.m. Closed meeting.

12 p.m. Public Closing: adoption of the report of the Committee on its fifty-third session and of provisional agenda for the fifty-fourth session.


For use of the information media; not an official record

CEDAW12/013E