Information on the 86th 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.
Albania, Bhutan, France, Guatemala, Jamaica, Malawi, Nicaragua, Philippines and Uruguay are scheduled for review at the 86th CEDAW session which will take place from 9 to 27 October 2023.
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. Prior to the session, OHCHR will share a note on NGO participation – this will appear at the top of the session page.
Although the CEDAW Committee will meet in person at the United Nations in Geneva for the 86th CEDAW Session, it is anticipated that NGO engagement may be in person or virtual.
Submit a shadow report/alternative information to the CEDAW Committee
- The deadline to submit a shadow report is expected to be 11 September 2023.
- Reports are to be submitted as a Word document to OHCHR at firstname.lastname@example.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 86th 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:
- Informal public meetings with NGOs:
- Oral interventions by NGOs are permitted during this public meeting with the Committee and State Delegates. However, normally 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 to register your interest in making an oral statement is expected to be Monday 25 September. As part of our coordination assistance, IWRAW Asia Pacific will compile the final list for 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).
- Private ‘lunchtime’ briefing with the CEDAW Committee:
- NGOs will have an opportunity to privately brief the CEDAW Committee in a country-specific meeting 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 11 September
Deadline for submission of shadow reports
Monday 25 September
Deadline to register interest in making an oral statement
Monday 9 October
Public NGO meeting (Bhutan, the Philippines, Jamaica and Guatemala)
Private lunch briefing (Bhutan)
Tuesday 10 October
Constructive Dialogue (Bhutan)
Private lunch briefing (Philippines)
Wednesday 11 October
Constructive Dialogue (Philippines)
Private lunch briefing (Jamaica)
Thursday 12 October
Constructive Dialogue (Jamaica)
Private lunch briefing (Guatemala)
Friday 13 October
Constructive Dialogue (Guatemala)
Monday 16 October
Public NGO meeting (France, Albania, Malawi, Nicaragua and Uruguay)
Private lunch briefing (France)
Tuesday 17 October
Constructive Dialogue (France)
Private lunch briefing (Albania)
Wednesday 18 October
Constructive Dialogue (Albania)
Private lunch briefing (Malawi)
Thursday 19 October
Constructive Dialogue (Malawi)
Private lunch briefing (Uruguay)
Friday 20 October
Constructive Dialogue (Uruguay)
Private lunch briefing (Nicaragua)
Monday 23 October
Constructive Dialogue (Nicaragua)
Please let us know if you are thinking of participating at the CEDAW session in October 2023 and if you wish to participate in the Informal Meeting with NGOs and/or the NGO lunch briefing. We will arrange 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 email@example.com, with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org.