80th CEDAW Session

Notice on changes due to COVID-19 pandemic

Although the CEDAW Committee will meet in person at the United Nations in Geneva for the 80th CEDAW Session, NGO engagement will be entirely virtual. NGOs can participate remotely via Zoom in relevant meetings and the public portions will be live webcast on UN Web TV.

IWRAW Asia Pacific remains committed to assisting NGOs to take part, and will continue to share updates through our website, listserv and social media channels as we receive more information on the schedule and modes of engagement.

Information on the 80th 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.

Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Russian Federation, South Africa, South Sudan, Sweden and Yemen are scheduled for review at the 80th CEDAW session which will take place from 18 October to 12 November 2021. The reviews of Nicaragua and Spain, previously scheduled for the same session, have been postponed to 2022, with more specific details to be shared later.

The OHCHR has now published the NGO Information Note, Schedule of Dialogues (State Reviews), and Programme of Work for the upcoming 80th CEDAW Session.

Submit a shadow report/alternative information to the CEDAW Committee

  • The deadline to submit a shadow report is four weeks prior to the commencement of the session, i.e. 20 September 2021.
  • Reports are to be submitted as a Word document to OHCHR at ohchr-cedaw@un.org, with a copy to IWRAW Asia Pacific. Please note the change in OHCHR’s email address for this session. The word limit is 3300 (inclusive of footnotes), 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 80th 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.

Engaging directly with the CEDAW Committee at the review

NGOs have opportunities to engage directly with the CEDAW Committee during the review:

  1. Informal remote public meetings with NGOs:
    • Oral interventions by NGOs are permitted during this public meeting with the Committee and State Delegates. However, a maximum of 10 minutes is available per country, to be shared by all NGOs. Kindly confirm if you are interested in making an intervention, as we will assist in coordinating with other NGOs on dividing time and identifying priority areas.
    • The deadline for adding your name to the speakers’ list is Monday 4 October (Geneva time), following which you will receive a link from OHCHR to join the meeting. As part of our coordination assistance, we will send the list to OHCHR on behalf of your country group, with names in the order of presentation and with allotted times for speaking (as agreed by your group in advance).
  2. Remote private ‘lunchtime’ briefing with the CEDAW Committee:
    • NGOs will have an opportunity to privately brief the CEDAW Committee in a country-specific briefing before the Constructive Dialogue is held with the respective State delegates. It is an opportunity to answer any questions raised by Committee members during the informal public meeting and/or new questions that arise during the private briefing.

Dates for your calendar

Monday 20 September:
Deadline for submission of shadow reports

Monday 4 October:
Deadline for registering interest in making an oral statement

Monday 18 October:
Informal meeting with NGOs (Maldives and Sweden)

Wednesday 20 October:
Constructive dialogue (Maldives)

Thursday 21 October:
Constructive dialogues (Maldives)

Friday 22 October:
Constructive dialogue (Sweden)

Monday 25 October:
Informal meeting with NGOs (Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia and Yemen)

Tuesday 26 October:
Constructive dialogue (Egypt)

Wednesday 27 October:
Constructive dialogue (Yemen)

Thursday 28 October:
Constructive dialogue (Ecuador, Indonesia)

Friday 29 October:
Constructive dialogue (Ecuador, Indonesia)

Monday 1 November:
Informal meeting with NGOs (Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, South Sudan and South Africa)

Tuesday 2 November:
Constructive dialogue (Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation)

Wednesday 3 November:
Constructive dialogue (Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation)

Thursday 4 November:
Constructive dialogue (South Sudan)

Friday 5 November:
Constructive dialogue (South Africa)

Monday 15 November:
Publication of the CEDAW Committee’s Concluding Observations


Please let us know if you are thinking of participating at the CEDAW session in October/November 2021 and if you wish to participate in the virtual Informal Meeting with NGOs and/or the virtual NGO ‘lunch’ briefing. We will be arranging an information session in the coming weeks to review the above information and answer any questions. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out if further clarification is needed.

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.


* to be confirmed