• Wednesday, July 30, 2014
  • A program of IPS Inter Press Service supported by the Dutch MDG3 Fund

    CEDAW 30th Anniversary, Celebrating at the U.N.

    08 Dec 2009

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gives the opening remarks/ Credit: Bomoon Lee/IPS

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gives the opening remarks/ Credit: Bomoon Lee/IPS

    Women all over the world are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). UNIFEM organised a special event in New York, opened by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who declared that “The Convention is one of the most successful human rights treaties ever.”

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    RIGHTS: Women’s Treaty a Powerful Force for Equality

    07 Dec 2009

    By Liza Jansen

    UNITED NATIONS, Dec 4 (IPS) – Activists and U.N. officials celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) say the treaty has been an increasingly successful tool for challenging discriminatory laws and battling violence against women’s and girls.

    “The CEDAW Convention is at the core of our global mission of peace, development and human rights,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at the opening of CEDAW’s 30th anniversary event in New York Thursday. “The Convention is one of the most successful human rights treaties ever.” More »

    Q&A: India’s Anti-Women Laws Dropping from the Books Liza Jansen interviews Indian Jurist SUJATA MANOHAR

    03 Dec 2009


    Sujata Manohar  Credit:Bomoon Lee/IPS

    Sujata Manohar Credit:Bomoon Lee/IPS

    UNITED NATIONS, Dec 2 (IPS) – The 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) this month has brought women’s rights champions from around the world to the United Nations to share their success stories. One is Sujata Manohar, who helped create a national law in India that bars sexual harassment in the workplace.

    “Some people believe the traditional way of life is better, but they are not in the majority and there is a clear move towards elimination of all kinds of discrimination,” says Manohar, a Supreme Court justice.

    CEDAW, adopted in December 1979 by the U.N. General Assembly, is an international human rights treaty exclusively devoted to gender equality and is often described as an international bill of rights for women.

    The Convention consists of 30 articles defining discrimination against women and an agenda for national action to end such discrimination. More »

    Q&A: ‘You Have To Be Educated To Be A Leader’

    30 Nov 2009

    Eunice Wanjiru interviews DEMITIRI MUKANDASHIMIYE, nurse, Nyamata Health Centre

    BUGESERA DISTRICT, Rwanda, Nov 30 (IPS) – Traffic flowing in and out of her office, each interruption addressed with effortless calm, the nurse in charge of Hospitalisation and Immunisation at Nyamata Health Center in Bugesera District, is a confident woman in her element.

    Settling down to talk to us in her small office – an examination bed in one corner, a file cabinet opposite, a long wooden table holding hospital equipment like thermometers, a stethoscope and a few documents – Demitiri Mukandashimiye, gazes across her neatly arranged work desk. 

    The bulk of her work, she says, consists of admitting pregnant mothers and immunising infants. And following up on the mothers to ensure they don’t skip any immunisation days.  More »

     

    BOLIVIA: Women Clamour for Right to Land

    28 Nov 2009

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    Bolivian Quechua leader in meeting on women's access to land. Credit: Franz Chavez/IPS

    Franz Chávez

    LA PAZ, Nov 27 (IPS) – Despite major advances in land distribution in Bolivia, single, widowed and undocumented women in this South American country have little chances of owning rural lands due to the patriarchal traditions and customary practices of indigenous peoples, in violation of international instruments and conventions protecting women’s rights.


    The struggle of Bolivian women to own productive land is only just beginning, representatives from such diverse geographical areas as the Andean highlands, the Amazon jungle and the dry Chaco lowlands said to IPS at a women’s movement meeting in La Paz earlier this month.  More »

    RIGHTS: Nigeria Failing To End Discrimination Against Women

    28 Nov 2009

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     Salma Ahmad Kano

    KANO, Nov 28 (IPS) – Nigeria ratified the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1985 without reservations. But few of its citizens have ever heard of the document. Day-to-day life for women in Nigeria is shaped less by international conventions than it is by the diverse cultures, traditions and religions found in the country.

    Hauwa Usman* is a recently-widowed woman from Fanisau village near the northern Nigerian city of Kano. Slim and dark-skinned, this young woman’s face carries signs of long, exhausting emotional strain. She says she was born during the Murtala Muhammed regime, making her 33 or 34 – a little older than CEDAW. 

    Article 16 of CEDAW confirms that men and women have the same right to choose a spouse and to enter into marriage; it also says that the marriage of a child has no legal force – instead requiring that laws specifying a minimum age for marriage be passed.  More »

    Q&A: CEDAW – Signed, Sealed and Largely Left on the Shelf

    27 Nov 2009

    Ebrima Sillah interviews OUMOULKHAIRY KANE, head of the Association for the Defence of Women’s Rights in Mauritania

    NOUAKCHOTT,  Nov 27 (IPS) – Mauritania formally adopted the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women in 2001, but in the eight years since, it has had limited effect on the status of women.


    Human rights lawyer Oumoulkhairy Kane spoke to IPS by phone from Nouakchott about conservative resistance, politicians fearful of crossing powerful clerics, and the work that lies ahead in achieving women’s empowerment and gender equality in Mauritania.  More »

    RIGHTS-LAOS: Lapses with Labour – Part 2

    26 Nov 2009

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    Melody Kemp*

    VIENTIANE, Nov 26 (IPS) – “Most workers have limited knowledge, ultimately you don’t know how many hidden killers are in your workplace. The boss knows, but he won’t tell you,” Wang Fengping, an engineer who was once employed by Hong Kong-based Gold Peak batteries at their factory in Guondong, China. 

    In 2008, Wang was unable to walk. Her kidneys had failed and she was dependent on dialysis. According to medical opinion she was unlikely to make old age.  More »

    GENDER: For U.S., Lessons in CEDAW From San Francisco

    25 Nov 2009

    (From left) Emily Murase, Commission on the Status of Women, Tina Tchen, executive director of the White House Council on Women, Ann Lehman and (back) Andrea Shorter, president.  Credit:Department on the Status of Women

    (From left) Emily Murase, Commission on the Status of Women, Tina Tchen, executive director of the White House Council on Women, Ann Lehman and (back) Andrea Shorter, president. Credit:Department on the Status of Women

    By Andrew Stelzer

    SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 25 (IPS) – In 1998, San Francisco stepped up and joined the world.

    Tired of the U.S. government’s refusal to ratify CEDAW, women’s activists pushed the city government to adopt the convention’s principles, in an effort to improve local women’s lives.

    An ordinance was passed, and now, more than a decade later, San Francisco is reflecting on their success in reforming the city’s government agencies, and taking on a push for change in the local private sector.

    The original ordinance created a dedicated staff person; soon after, a task force was established, and ‘Guidelines for a Gender Analysis’, emerged: a tool for city departments to evaluate where and how discrimination was taking place.

    “We knew that the city departments on their own, didn’t have the mechanism or the understanding just to take the ordinance and say ‘here’s where we are failing’,” says Krishanti Dharmaraj, a member of the task force until 2004.

    “(City departments) had to report their findings to the CEDAW task force, and had to tell (the task force) what they were hoping to do to eliminate discrimination,” she says. More »