in the Reporting Process
of countries that have ratified the CEDAW Convention are obliged
to submit periodic progress reports to the CEDAW Committee. NGOs
can also submit their own reports to the committee to enable its
preparations and strengthen its capacity to draw accountability
from governments. CEDAW members are glad to use any information
that they can get that can help them to assess the information they
are receiving from States parties reports.
NGOs can ensure
that they are representing the voices of women who may not be visible
to the bureaucrats who write States parties reports. In particular,
they can critically engage with the reporting and monitoring process
- Data (especially
those collected through micro-studies)
on the real situation of women
on impact and progress made
- Gaps in policies
and their realisation
Reports on State
action may also help to reveal why women's rights commitments often
remain de jure commitments rather than representing de facto change.
It enables NGOs to identify areas for intervention where the state
may not be able to intervene effectively, and where NGOs may provide
support services to create enabling conditions for women's rights
to be achieved.
reports help experts within CEDAW to raise certain controversial
issues that may not at all be presented in the official report,
or to check on the validity or veracity of government reports, given
the alternative information provided them by NGOs.
NGOs can also
create a lobby presence during the CEDAW session wherein the government
renders its oral presentation. The presence of NGOs creates pressure
on the reporting state party to be prudent in what it reports to
CEDAW. Aside from this, NGOs can also lobby for the inclusion of
crucial issues in the concluding comments that will be drafted by
CEDAW. Concluding comments, among others, include suggestions by
the Committee on measures that states parties should undertake.
a tendency to send local UN representatives to the CEDAW sessions,
who are often not in a position to respond with authority to the
issues raised by the Committee. NGO observers are permitted to be
present at CEDAW and feed information back to their networks at
home about commitments made by their representative and, at the
same time, domestic pressure may help to ensure that appropriate
officials are sent to attend the meeting.
For a diagrammatic overview of the CEDAW reporting/review process, including the points in which NGOs are able to participate, click here.
page was last updated on November 28, 2005
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