84th CEDAW session

Information on the 84th 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, Costa Rica, Georgia, Hungary, Mauritania, Norway, Slovenia and Tunisia are scheduled for review at the 84th CEDAW session which will take place from 6 to 24 February 2023. Please note that the reviews of Nicaragua and Sao Tome and Principe have been postponed to the 85th CEDAW session in May 2022, and the review of Djibouti has been postponed to an as yet unknown date.

There are a number of ways that NGOs can engage to share their reflections on progress towards gender equality in the countries under review, highlight issues of concern, and influence recommendations made by the CEDAW Committee. OHCHR will in due course publish a note on NGO participation.

Notice on changes due to COVID-19 pandemic

Although the CEDAW Committee will meet in person at the United Nations in Geneva for the 84th CEDAW Session, NGO engagement may be in person or virtual. 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.

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. Monday 9 January 2023.
  • Reports are to be submitted as a Word document to OHCHR at ohchr-cedaw@un.org, with a copy to IWRAW Asia Pacific. 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 84th 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 which have submitted a shadow report have opportunities to engage directly with the CEDAW Committee during the review:

  1. Informal 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. Therefore, it is not always possible to accommodate all requests to make an oral intervention. Please 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 23 January. 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. 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 9 January:
Deadline for submission of shadow reports

Monday 23 January:
Deadline for registering interest in making an oral statement

Sunday 5 February:
NGO coordination meeting (Hungary, Georgia, Norway, Tunisia)

Monday 6 February:
Commencement of 84th CEDAW Session | Private lunch briefing (Hungary) | Public NGO briefing (Hungary, Georgia, Norway, Tunisia)

Tuesday 7 February:
Review of Hungary | Private lunch briefing (Georgia)

Wednesday 8 February:
Review of Georgia | Private lunch briefing (Norway)

Thursday 9 February:
Review of Norway | Private lunch briefing (Tunisia)

Friday 10 February:
Review of Tunisia

Sunday 12 February:
NGO coordination meeting (Bahrain, Mauritania, Slovenia, Costa Rica)

Monday 13 February:
Private lunch briefing (Bahrain) | Public NGO briefing (Bahrain, Mauritania, Slovenia, Costa Rica)

Tuesday 14 February:
Review of Bahrain | Private lunch briefing (Mauritania)

Wednesday 15 February:
Review of Mauritania | Private lunch briefing (Slovenia)

Thursday 16 February:
Review of Slovenia | Private lunch briefing (Costa Rica)

Monday 20 February:
Review of Costa Rica

Tuesday 21 February:
Review of Costa Rica (continued)

Wednesday 22 February:
Half-day of general discussion on the equal and inclusive representation of women in decision-making systems

We will update this page as more information is shared by OHCHR.

Please let us know if you are thinking of participating at the CEDAW session in February 2023 and if you wish to participate in the Informal Meeting with NGOs and/or the NGO ‘lunch’ briefing. We will be arranging online information sessions 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.