Preparing for the 77th CEDAW Session

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Click here for information on the 79th CEDAW Pre-Sessional Working Group

Notice on Disruption Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

We recognise that developments such as the closure of national borders, enforcement of strict travel restrictions and general uncertainty are likely to continue in the near future and will undoubtedly impede the access of women’s human rights defenders to the CEDAW Committee. We are hopeful that the UN human rights system, including the CEDAW Committee, will work together to find more creative ways that harness the potential of technology to proceed with their respective sessions within the upcoming months. We remain committed to sharing timely updates through our website, listserv and social media channels as we receive more information regarding this.

Information on the 77th 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.

Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Senegal, South Africa, Sweden, Uruguay and Yemen were scheduled for review by the CEDAW Committee in the 77th CEDAW Session from 19 October – 6 November 2020. However, their reviews have been postponed until 2021. Please see the 77th CEDAW Session page on the OHCHR website.

Although the dates of the rescheduled 77th CEDAW Session are yet to be decided, NGOs will have several opportunities to impact the review session and therefore gender equality policies at country level. A note on NGO participation is available in English, French and Spanish.

Submit a shadow report/alternative information to the CEDAW Committee

  • The deadline to submit a shadow report will be four weeks prior to the rescheduled session. If NGOs wish to, they may submit information now and update it closer to the rescheduled session.
  • Reports are to be submitted as a Word document to OHCHR at, 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.
  • 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 also send this information to the CEDAW Secretariat four weeks prior to the rescheduled session. 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 77th 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 to be submitted for the 77th Session. Even if you do not attend the review in Geneva, there are ways we can support highlighting your issues and getting other groups who are there to prioritise and integrate your recommendations to CEDAW.

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