Preparing for the 71st CEDAW SESSION

IWRAW Asia Pacific is an NGO providing support to the CEDAW Committee and OHCHR in facilitating the engagement and participation of country-level women’s groups/NGOs to the CEDAW review process.

Bahamas, Republic of Congo, Lao PDR, Macedonia, Mauritius, Nepal, Samoa and Tajikistan will be reviewed by the CEDAW Committee during the 71st CEDAW Session (22 Oct – 3 Nov 2018) in Geneva, Switzerland.

We know many of you are already preparing for the review. We are writing to inform you of specific dates for your attention and to remind you of several opportunities for you to impact the review session and therefore gender equality policies at country level.


Following are the dates of importance for all countries, as per the official Schedule of review.

WEEK 1 Sunday, 21 October Monday 22 October Nepal Monday, 22 October Tuesday, 23 October
Congo Tuesday, 23 October Wednesday, 24 October
Bahamas Wednesday, 24 October Thursday, 25 October
Samoa Thursday, 25 October Friday, 26 October
WEEK 2 Sunday, 28 October Monday 29 October Mauritius Monday, 29 October Tuesday, 30 October
Tajikistan Tuesday, 30 October Wednesday, 31 October
Macedonia Wednesday, 31 October Thursday, 1 November
Lao PDR Thursday, 1 November Friday, 2 November



  1. Country specific shadow reports/alternative information to the CEDAW Committee

Submitting a shadow report to CEDAW

The deadline for this is 3 weeks before the beginning of the session, i.e. 1 October 2018, to be emailed and/or posted to the OHCHR at, copying IWRAW AP at

Updating a shadow report to CEDAW

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. The list of issues and questions for each country can be found at this page. You should send this information to the CEDAW Secretariat also by 1 October 2018.

Please inform us if your group is preparing a shadow report to CEDAW to be submitted for the review in October-November 2018. Even if you do not attend the review, there are ways we can support highlighting your issues and getting other groups who are there to prioritise and integrate your recommendations to CEDAW.

  1. Advocacy at the UN

You have opportunities to engage directly with the CEDAW Committee during the review in October-November 2018 in Geneva. NGOs can provide a short oral submission on the Mondays of the two weeks of the review in the Meeting with NGOs which is part of the official schedule of the Committee.

Meeting with NGOs

For Week 1 of the review when Nepal, Congo, Bahamas, and Samoa are being reviewed, the Committee’s Meeting with NGOs will be held on Monday 22 October 2018. For Week 2 of the review when Mauritius, Tajikistan, Macedonia and Laos are being reviewed, the Committee’s Meeting with NGOs will be held on Monday 29 October 2018.

During each meeting, NGOs from all four countries can read their oral submissions. Each country is allocated a 10-minute time slot, followed by a short question and answer session between the Committee and NGOs.

NGO Lunch Briefing

Groups of NGOs from each country can also hold a private lunch briefing to discuss their issues with the Committee for 1 hour, one day before the review. This space is only for NGOs and closed to state delegates. This space is a shared space for all NGOs collectively.

Please let us know if you are thinking of participating at the review in in Geneva and in the Meeting with NGOs and/or the private Lunch Briefing with the Committee.

For more information on the 71st CEDAW Session please check the official session page of the CEDAW at the OHCHR website.

  1. Coordination and support for NGOs

NGO Coordination Meeting

IWRAW AP coordinates the NGO Coordination meeting on each Sunday before the week of review to ensure that NGOs wishing to engage with the CEDAW Committee will have the opportunity to discuss the sharing of limited time and space for the oral submission and lunch briefing.

For Week 1, for NGOs from Nepal, Republic of Congo, Bahamas and Samoa, the NGO Coordination meeting will be held on Sunday 21 October 2018 at the Hotel Pension de Silva (time to be decided later).

For Week 2, for NGOs from Mauritius, Tajikistan, Macedonia and Laos, the NGO Coordination meeting will be held on Sunday 28 October 2018 at the Hotel Pension de Silva (time to be decided later).

We strongly urge all NGOs who wish to participate in the NGO spaces to attend the Coordination meeting on Sundays 21 and 28 October to ensure all NGOs discuss fair distribution of time and to ensure justice to be done to the women’s rights priorities.

From Global to Local (G2L)

For the last 20 years IWRAW AP has run the “From Global to Local” training and mentoring programme in Geneva. G2L aims to help women’s groups and NGOs who wish to participate in the CEDAW reporting process, and gives you updated information, hints and tips about engaging with the CEDAW review process. The objectives of this training programme are to:

(a) Help women’s organisations understand the CEDAW reporting process so they can prepare a shadow/alternative report that touches on all of the articles of the CEDAW Convention and use the reporting process to frame their advocacy efforts;

(b) Facilitate the presence of NGO representatives from reporting countries at the CEDAW Sessions to monitor the review of their State parties and to interact with the CEDAW Committee members in order to raise pertinent issues concerning women’s human rights in their country.

The G2L schedule for the 71st Session is as follows:

Week 1

Training programme from 19-21 October 2018 at Hotel Pension de Silva and mentoring and support until 27 October 2018.

Week 2

Training programme from 26-28 October 2018 at Hotel Pension de Silva and mentoring and support until 3 November 2018.

Please let us know if you will be in Geneva for the review and would like to participate. You are welcome to join the programme. We request a small fee to help us cover the cost for venue, materials and refreshments.

Please note that ONLY NGOs are eligible to participate in “From Global to Local”. IWRAW Asia Pacific has taken the position that persons that will be on the government delegation to the CEDAW session, or have helped write the government report to the CEDAW Committee, should NOT be involved in writing  the shadow/alternative report, and are NOT eligible to attend the “From Global to Local” training at the CEDAW Session.

Spread the Word

We hope that you will circulate this information to women’s groups you know are planning to submit information to CEDAW. If you are with an NGO or a coalition working on an NGO report to CEDAW, please contact us at this email:

Thank you in advance for your time and assistance. We look forward to working with you all.