Preparing for the 72nd 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.

Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Botswana, Colombia, Ethiopia, Serbia, and the UK will be reviewed by the CEDAW Committee from 18 February – 8 March 2019, as per the Session page on the OHCHR website. NGOs can read information on their participation in the review.

Please refer to the proposed programme of work and the schedule of dialogue with states parties.

NGOs have several opportunities to impact the review session and therefore gender equality policies at country level.

1. Submit a shadow report/alternative information to the CEDAW Committee

1a. The deadline to submit a shadow report is 3 weeks before the review, 28 January 2019, to be emailed or posted to the OHCHR at, with a copy to IWRAW Asia Pacific.

1b. 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. You should send this information to the CEDAW Secretariat by 28 January 2019, 3 weeks before the review session begins on 18 February. It is important for your updated report to CEDAW to address the issues raised in their List of Issues and Questions, which is a way the Committee prioritises issues for the review and seeks to address gaps in the state report. You can find your country’s list of issues and questions on this page.

Please inform IWRAW Asia Pacific if your group is preparing a shadow report to CEDAW to be submitted for the review in February-March 2019. 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.

2. Engage directly with the CEDAW Committee

During the review in February-March 2019 in Geneva, the Informal Briefing with NGOs – part of the official schedule of the Committee – enables NGOs to provide oral submissions. One day before each country’s review, groups of NGOs can also hold a lunch briefing to discuss their issues with the Committee. This space is only for NGOs and is closed to state delegates and those who have participated in the writing of the state report.

Important dates for NGOs during the CEDAW Session (NB: subject to change)

Monday 18 February:
1. Colombia: Lunch briefing
2. Colombia, Antigua and Barbuda, Ethiopia, Myanmar: Informal briefing with NGOs

Tuesday 19 February:
1. Colombia: State review
2. Antigua and Barbuda: Lunch briefing

Wednesday 20 February:
1. Antigua and Barbuda: State review
2. Ethiopia: Lunch briefing

Thursday 21 February:
1. Ethiopia: State review
2. Myanmar: Lunch briefing

Friday 22 February:
1. General discussion on trafficking in women and girls in the context of global migration
2. Exceptional report on the situation of Rohingya women and girls in Northern Rakhine State, Myanmar

Monday 25 February:
1. UK: Lunch briefing
2. UK, Angola, Serbia, Botswana: Informal briefing with NGOs

Tuesday 26 February:
1. UK: State review
2. Angola: Lunch briefing

Wednesday 27 February:
1. Angola: State review
2. Serbia: Lunch briefing

Thursday 28 February:
1. Serbia: State review
2. Botswana: Lunch briefing

Friday 1 March:
1. Botswana: State review

Please let us know if you are thinking of participating at the review in February in Geneva and in the Informal Briefing and/or the Lunch Briefing.

3. Attend the “From Global to Local” training and mentoring programme in Geneva

This is run by IWRAW Asia Pacific and aims to help women’s groups and NGOs who wish to participate in the CEDAW reporting 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 training and mentoring gives you updated information and hints and tips about engaging with the CEDAW review process.

Participants in “From Global to Local” are requested to abide by IWRAW Asia Pacific’s policy on addressing rights of marginalised groups of women and be respectful of their fellow participants.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you will be in Geneva for the review and would like to join the programme. We request a small fee to help us cover the cost for venue, materials and refreshments. We may have some partial funding for some NGOs who qualify and we can also work with you to raise funds for your participation in the review. Please write to us for information. If you have plans to write to donors, we can supply support letters.

Please note that only NGOs are eligible to participate in “From Global to Local”. IWRAW Asia Pacific has taken the position that members of the government delegation to the CEDAW session, or individuals who 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!

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