79th CEDAW Session

Notice on Disruption Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

We recognise that developments such as the closure of national borders, enforcement of strict travel restrictions and general uncertainty are likely to continue in the near future and will undoubtedly impede the access of women’s human rights defenders to the CEDAW Committee. We are hopeful that the UN human rights system, including the CEDAW Committee, will work together to find more creative ways that harness the potential of technology to proceed with their respective sessions within the upcoming months. We remain committed to sharing timely updates through our website, listserv and social media channels as we receive more information regarding this.

Information on the 79th CEDAW Session

IWRAW Asia Pacific is an NGO which supports the CEDAW Committee and OHCHR in facilitating participation of women’s groups/NGOs in the CEDAW review process.

Bahrain, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, South Sudan, Spain and Yemen were scheduled for review at the 79th CEDAW session which will take place from 21 June to 9 July 2021. However, all of these country reviews have been postponed. Bahrain’s review is expected to take place in 2022, while the remaining reviews are postponed until the 80th CEDAW session which will take place in October 2021. The agenda for the 79th session has now been published by OHCHR.

Submit a shadow report/alternative information to the CEDAW Committee

  • The deadline to submit a shadow report is expected to be four weeks prior to the respective session. In the case of Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, South Sudan, Spain and Yemen, this would be 20 September 2021.
  • Reports are to be submitted as a Word document to OHCHR at cedaw@ohchr.org, with a copy to IWRAW Asia Pacific. The word limit is 3300, or 6600 for shadow reports submitted as part of a coalition. Bearing in mind the UN’s green policy, hard copies of reports should be avoided. Our website provides guidelines for writing shadow reports, including reports focusing on specific thematic areas.
  • If you have submitted a pre-session report, you have an opportunity to present updated shadow report information, and provide your alternative information to respond to the CEDAW Committee’s List of Issues and Questions which your state will have to answer. It is important that your updated report to CEDAW addresses the issues raised in the List of Issues and Questions, which is how the Committee prioritises issues for the review and seeks to address gaps in the state report. Please see the CEDAW 79th Session page for your country’s List of Issues and Questions.
  • In addition to standard and thematic shadow reports, the Committee welcomes information on the impact on women’s rights and gender equality of measures taken by the States under review to address the COVID-19 crisis, and the integration of a gender perspective into COVID-19 recovery plans.

Please inform us if your group is preparing a shadow report to CEDAW.

Spread the word!

Please circulate this information to women’s rights groups you know. If you are with an NGO or a coalition working on an NGO report to CEDAW, please contact us at iwraw-ap@iwraw-ap.org, with a copy to audrey@iwraw-ap.org.