Preparing for the 73rd 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.

Austria, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guyana, Mozambique, and Qatar will be reviewed by the CEDAW Committee from 1 July – 19 July 2019.

Please see the 73rd CEDAW Session page on the OHCHR website, as well as the OHCHR’s information on the participation of NGOs.

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

Submit a shadow report/alternative information to the CEDAW Committee

  • The deadline to submit a shadow report is three weeks before the session, June 10 2019. It should be emailed in Word document format to the OHCHR at, ideally with a copy to IWRAW Asia Pacific so that we can assist in keeping track of your submission. Please note that due to its greening policy the UN will no longer receive hardcopies.
  • If you have submitted a presession 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 June 10 2019, three weeks before the review session begins on 1 July 2019. It is important for your updated report to CEDAW to address the issues raised in the Committee’s 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 73rd CEDAW Session page for your country’s List of Issues and Questions.

Please inform us if your group is preparing a shadow report to CEDAW to be submitted for the review in July 2019. Even if you do not attend the review, there are ways we can support the highlighting of your issues and encouraging other groups in attendance to prioritise and integrate your recommendations to CEDAW.

Engage directly with the CEDAW Committee

NGOs have opportunities to engage directly with the CEDAW Committee during the review in July 2019 in Geneva:

  • NGOs can provide oral submissions during the Informal Meeting of NGOs, which is part of the official schedule of the Committee.
  • Groups of NGOs can also hold a lunch briefing to discuss their issues with the Committee for one hour, one day before their country’s review. This space is only for NGOs and is closed to state delegates or those who have participated in the writing of the state report.

Important dates for your consideration include the date for your country’s review, as well as the Informal Meeting of NGOs (reading of oral statements), the private NGO lunch briefings, and the NGO Coordination Meeting which is suggested by IWRAW Asia Pacific and OHCHR as a way for all NGOs to plan sharing the limited time and space.

NB these dates are subject to change:

Sunday 30 June:
Qatar, Mozambique and Côte d’Ivoire: NGO Coordination Meeting hosted by IWRAW Asia Pacific

Monday 1 July:
1. Qatar: NGO lunch briefing
2. Qatar, Mozambique and Côte d’Ivoire: Informal Meeting of NGOs

Tuesday 2 July:
1. Qatar: State review
2. Mozambique: NGO lunch briefing

Wednesday 3 July:
Mozambique: State review

Thursday 4 July:
Côte d’Ivoire: NGO lunch briefing

Friday 5 July:
Côte d’Ivoire: State review

Sunday 7 July:
DR Congo, Austria, Cabo Verde and Guyana: NGO Coordination Meeting hosted by IWRAW Asia Pacific

Monday 8 July:
1. DR Congo: NGO lunch briefing
2. DR Congo, Austria, Cabo Verde and Guyana: Informal Meeting of NGOs

Tuesday 9 July:
1. DR Congo: State review
2. Austria: NGO lunch briefing

Wednesday 10 July:
1. Austria: State review
2. Cabo Verde: NGO lunch briefing

Thursday 11 July:
1. Cabo Verde: State review
2. Guyana: NGO lunch briefing

Friday 12 July:
Guyana: State review

Please let us know if you are thinking of participating at the review in July in Geneva, including providing an oral statement at the Informal Meeting of NGOs and/or the lunch briefing. Please note due to the time limit of 10 minutes per country at the Informal Meeting of NGOs, we request that all NGOs from each country have a process for discussion on priorities to reduce overlaps and enhance efficiency and coverage of important issues. We encourage all groups who are participating in Geneva to attend the NGO Coordination Meetings held on the Sunday preceding each week of the review, so that you can discuss and negotiate shared use of the allocated time and space for NGOs.

Attend the From Global to Local training and mentoring programme in Geneva

IWRAW Asia Pacific’s From Global to Local training and mentoring programme 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 that 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 provides up-to-date information as well as 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 note that only NGOs are eligible to participate in From Global to Local. IWRAW Asia Pacific has taken the position that persons who 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 programme.

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.

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, with a copy to