Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights


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Report from the 52nd Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women

By Alice de Jonge

Monash University, Faculty of Business & Economics

In July 2012 I attended the 52nd Session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as an American Society of International Law UN Observer. During the Session, periodic reports were presented to the Committee from eight member States: Guyana, Indonesia, Bulgaria and Jamaica during the first week of the Session, and Mexico, New Zealand, Bahamas and Samoa during the second week of the Session. This article deals with the four country sessions held during the second week of CEDAW’s 52nd session. Something that became obvious throughout each of these sessions was that human rights, in this case women’s rights particularly, often raise issues that are politically very sensitive. And this, in turn, means that the ability, and the willingness, of a government to push through reforms required to bring the state into compliance with international law CEDAW obligations can often be imperilled by domestic politics. Continue reading