These meetings will take place every day for the duration of the Session at the New York Salvation Army building, several blocks away from the UN because there is “no room at the Inn”, that is, the UN building, where in previous years we always met. Is there some dark conspiracy that facilitates the process of making us women feel so unwelcome, so redundant, and so belittled, asks Margaret Owen ?

A longstanding proposal for the creation of a special U.N. agency for women – officially called a “gender entity” – is apparently moving at the sluggish pace of a paralytic snail. The proposal – originally conceived by a high-level panel of U.N. experts back in 2006 – has remained a theoretical exercise for so long that a coalition of women activists is spoofing it in a fake electronic newspaper being circulated at a U.N meeting on gender empowerment here.

 

Over sixty years ago, countries adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” That fundamental right has echoed for decades in conferences, treaties, and declarations. In 1995, in the Platform for Action adopted in Beijing, 189 governments agreed that laws that discriminate against women undermine equality, and pledged to “revoke any remaining laws that discriminate on the basis of sex.” Yet inequality, even in its most overt form, has not been vanquished. While discrimination against women persists around the world in many forms, laws that explicitly discriminate against women demonstrate State backing of discrimination, and symbolize governments’ clear disrespect for the fundamental right to equality for women and official endorsement of women as people of lesser worth.

In an Amnesty International document a number of key human rights challenges are described that must be effectively addressed to ensure concrete improvements in the situation of human rights across Iran. These include discrimination against women and minorities in law and practice, as well as entrenched failings in the administration of justice leading to arbitrary arrest, torture and other ill-treatment, unlawful killings, restrictions on freedoms of expression, association and assembly, unfair trial, and the death penalty and other cruel punishments.

Coalition of Women for Peace have posted a call for Action to Mark the UN Goldstone Report Deadline. Friday, February 5th, marks the deadline given by the UN General Assembly to Israel and to  Hamas to launch independent committees to investigate the findings of the Goldstone Report. The Goldstone Report has concluded that Israel's offensive against Gaza during Operation Cast Lead was "a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population".

Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW): Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

تقارير الحكومة المصرية (التقرير الدورى السادس والسابع مجمع) أمام الدورة 45 للجنة متابعة تطبيق اتفاقية إلغاء كافة أشكال التمييز ضد المرأة (لجنة السيداو) فى يناير 2010، فضلا عن تقرير الظل المقدم من الجمعية المصرية للنهوض بالمشاركة المجتمعية

This essay argues that CEDAW’s concept of equality is what is needed to end discrimination against women. It first traces the background of the controversy over the use of the terms equity and equality in international human rights law. Finally, to further demonstrate the importance of CEDAW’s principles of equality, and particularly that of substantive equality, it provides some illustrations of the positive impact these principles have had on domestic gender jurisprudence.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in partnership with the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) and UNESCO, and in collaboration with the Observatory of diversity and cultural rights (Fribourg – Switzerland), proposes the holding of a seminar on the parametres of, issues arising from, and challenges posed by cultural rights.

Gender focused NGO's can find significant advocacy opportunities in the processes of the UN CEDAW Committee - Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. The Committee also makes recommendations on any issue affecting women to which it believes the States parties should devote more attention. For example, at the 1989 session, the Committee discussed the high incidence of violence against women, requesting information on this problem from all countries.

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