89th 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.

Benin, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia are scheduled for review at the 89th CEDAW session which will take place from 7 to 25 October 2024. Please note that these still await confirmation, and there may be changes to the schedule and/or modalities, owing also to the current liquidity situation of the United Nations Secretariat. Please check the official session page for up-to-date information.

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 share a note on NGO participation in English, French and Spanish.

Submit a shadow report/alternative information to the CEDAW Committee

  • The deadline to submit a shadow report is expected to be Monday 9 September 2024.
  • 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 3,300 (inclusive of footnotes), or 6,600 for shadow reports submitted as part of a coalition. Hardcopies 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 official 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, 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 inform us if you are interested in making an intervention, as we will assist in coordinating with other NGOs on dividing time and identifying priority areas.
    • As of January 2024, the United Nations Office at Geneva has ceased all hybrid or virtual meetings. Engagement at the informal public meeting must either take place in person at the United Nations in Geneva, or through the submission of a pre-recorded video statement.
    • The deadline to register your interest in making an oral statement is expected to be Friday 27 September 2024. 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).
  2. 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.
    • Engagement at the lunch briefing can be hybrid upon request to IWRAW Asia Pacific.

Dates for your calendar
Monday 9 September 2024
Expected deadline for submission of shadow reports

Friday 27 September 2024
Expected deadline to register interest in making an oral statement

Monday 7 October 2024
Commencement of 89th CEDAW session

Please let us know if you are thinking of participating at the 89th CEDAW session in October 2024 and if you wish to participate in the informal meeting with NGOs and/or the NGO lunch briefing. We will arrange online information sessions at a later date to review the above information and answer any questions. In the meantime, please 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.