Under Article 18 of the CEDAW Convention, a State party is obligated to present a report to the CEDAW Committee one year after ratification and every four years thereafter on the legislative, administrative and other measures that they have to take to implement their obligations under this treaty.
Each States party is invited to send a delegation to engage in a constructive dialogue with the CEDAW Committee on the report that it has submitted.
Two sessions before the review, the Committee will hold a pre session working group discussion that draws up a list of issues and questions which the state has to address in writing before the review.
At the review, one CEDAW Committee member is appointed as the rapporteur for the country. She briefs the Committee on the issues pertaining to the country, leads the review and drafts the Concluding Observations.This section, including the following pages, explains in brief the reporting process under CEDAW. For a more detailed explanation, please download this PDF document.
Why the State Reports?
- It is a monitoring mechanism emphasising the State's accountability for ensuring that its citizens enjoy guaranteed rights and that it is responsible for violations of those rights.
- It emphasises the importance of thorough investigation of overt and covert violations.
- It provides a process and forum where governments are required to answer to their responsibilities and where different ways can be used to ensure that they do this
- It provides a forum whereby groups within countries can monitor the progress of their governments and question this progress, as often opportunities to do so are not readily available through local processes.
Alternative or shadow reports are an avenue through which NGOs can intervene in the reporting process. Shadow Reports from NGOs provide additional information to the CEDAW Committee on the implementation of the CEDAW Convention in their country. The CEDAW Committee can use information in this report to develop questions for the State party during their constructive dialogue.To find out more about how NGOs can use the CEDAW Convention, including submitting Shadow Reports, please refer to this section. IWRAW Asia Pacific runs the Global to Local programme, which facilitates the participation of women activists at the review of their respective government’s report by the CEDAW Committee. National NGOs are welcome to take part.
Following the dialogue with the State party, the CEDAW Committee adopts its Concluding Observations, which identify positive aspects, factors and difficulties affecting the implementation of the CEDAW Convention, principal areas of concern and recommendations. These Concluding Comments should be distributed widely by the States party in its country.
The Concluding Comments are a useful source of information in discerning how CEDAW understands obligations under a particular article, and what the State should do to implement the CEDAW Convention.
The Committee now uses a new follow-up procedure. In the Concluding Observations, they will identify two priority issues which the states are directed to report on within two years of issuance of the Concluding Observations as a way of monitoring implementation of its recommendations.
A simple flowchart of the reporting and review process is available here.