Brunei Darussalam’s record on women’s rights will be examined by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) for the first time on Wednesday 29 October 2014 in meetings that will be webcast live.

Violence against women, as well as women’s vulnerability to violence, has increased dramatically in the Euro-Mediterranean region from 2011 to early 2014.
 
Violence against women is recognized as a human rights violation and States have committed themselves to preventing and combating all forms of violence against women, and to end impunity for perpetrators.

A landmark U.N. treaty on women’s rights, which will be 30 years old next week, is in danger of being politically undermined by a slew of reservations by 22 countries seeking exemptions from some of the convention’s legal obligations. “A reservation must not defeat the object and purpose of a treaty,” Ambassador Palitha Kohona, a former chief of the U.N. Treaty Section, told IPS.

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.

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