Notice on Disruption Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
The 76th CEDAW Session scheduled to begin on 22 June 2020 will take place remotely. However, IWRAW Asia Pacific has received notification from OHCHR that the State reviews of Bahrain, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Gabon, Kyrgyzstan, the Maldives, Mongolia and Panama have been postponed and will take place at one of the Committee’s future sessions. Therefore, NGOs should not travel to Geneva. All meetings of the CEDAW Committee at the 76th Session, other than the opening and closing of the session, will be a closed-door discussion.
Information on the 76th 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.
Bahrain, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Gabon, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Mongolia and Panama were originally scheduled to be reviewed by the CEDAW Committee in the 76th CEDAW Session from 22 June – 10 July 2020. These reviews have been postponed and will take place at one of the Committee’s future sessions. Please see the 76th CEDAW Session page on the OHCHR website, including the note on NGO participation in the 76th session, which is available in English, French and Spanish.
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 will be four weeks prior to the beginning of the future session at which the State reviews will take place. This date is not yet known. If your organisation has already prepared a shadow report, you may submit it to the CEDAW Secretariat now, and you will have the opportunity to update and re-submit it prior to the eventual review session. Please note that the CEDAW Committee is also seeking specific information from NGOs regarding the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on women’s rights and gender equality.
- 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 deadline for this will also be four weeks prior to the beginning of the future session at which the State reviews will take place. 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 76th Session page for your country’s list of issues and questions on this page.
- Shadow reports are to be submitted as a Word document to OHCHR at firstname.lastname@example.org, with a copy to IWRAW Asia Pacific. (Bearing in mind the UN’s green policy, hard copies of reports should be avoided if possible.) Our website provides guidelines for writing shadow reports, including reports focusing on specific thematic areas.
Information on the 78th Pre-Sessional Working Group
NGOs seeking to participate in the 78th Pre-Sessional Working Group for Bolivia, Indonesia, Peru, Russian Federation, South Sudan and Uzbekistan, Norway, Slovakia and Slovenia can brief the CEDAW Committee in an informal remote private meeting. In order to participate in this meeting, please contact the CEDAW secretariat at email@example.com by 29 June 2020.
The deadline for submission of shadow reports for the 78th Pre-Sessional Working Group in relation to Bolivia, Indonesia, Peru, Russian Federation, South Sudan and Uzbekistan, Norway, Slovakia and Slovenia is 15 June 2020.
Please let us know if your group is preparing a shadow report to CEDAW to be submitted for the CEDAW reviews of Bahrain, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Gabon, Kyrgyzstan, the Maldives, Mongolia and Panama, or the Pre-Sessional Working Group meeting relating to Bolivia, Indonesia, Peru, Russian Federation, South Sudan and Uzbekistan, Norway, Slovakia and Slovenia.
We will be hosting two online Q&A sessions to clarify the process. If you have any queries or if you need further clarification in relation to the 76th CEDAW session, we request that you choose one of these dates and inform us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy to email@example.com by 31 May 2020.
1st Q&A session: 3 June at 7 pm, Malaysia time
2nd Q&A session: 4 June at 9 pm, Malaysia time
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, with a copy to email@example.com.