hide message

Welcome to the Resource Centre

We make it our mission to work with advocates in civil society, business and government to address inequalities of power, seek remedy for abuse, and ensure protection of people and planet.

Both companies and impacted communities thank us for the resources and support we provide.

This is only possible because of your support. Please make a donation today.

Thank you,
Phil Bloomer, Executive Director

Donate now hide message

UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women

UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women supervises the application of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women by ratifying member states as well as the implementation of the convention’s Optional Protocol.

The Committee is made up of 23 experts.  Members are nominated and elected by states party to the Convention.  Officially, they work in a personal capacity and do not represent any country or organization.  The current Committee members can be found here.

The Committee typically holds three sessions a year.  It examines initial and periodic reports by ratifying states on “national action taken to improve the situation of women”.  Before each session it holds a five-day working group in which five members of the Committee decide the issues and questions “with regard to the reports the committee will consider at upcoming sessions”.  At the sessions governments present their reports, and the Committee puts questions to the governments on the implementation of the Convention.  The Committee then issues Concluding Comments on each government’s report, which include positive comments as well as concerns and recommendations.

The Committee considers communications from individuals or groups submitting claims of rights abuses by States that have ratified the Optional Protocol, including failure to protect women from abuses by private actors.  Furthermore, under the “inquiry procedure” of the protocol, the Committee can initiate a “confidential investigation” if it receives reliable information of “grave or systemic violations” of rights under the Convention. 

It also issues General Recommendations which “usually elaborate the Committee's view of the obligations assumed [by governments] under the Convention”.  

The Committee primarily considers governmental action on women’s rights issues, but in some instances also refers to impacts of the private sector and other actors.  Committee reports and other statements relating to the private sector include:

General Recommendation No. 13, Equal remuneration for work of equal value

General Recommendation No. 16, Unpaid women workers in rural and urban family enterprises

General Recommendation No. 19, Violence against women

General Recommendation No. 24, Women and health

General Recommendation No. 25, on temporary special measures

In July 2007, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights prepared for UN Special Representative on business & human rights John Ruggie an “Individual Report on the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women”.  This report “outlines the nature of States Parties’ obligations vis-à-vis corporate activities under the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women…as elaborated by the Committee…”

Get RSS feed of these results

Related stories and components

Article
5 December 2019

Cambodia: 21 NGOs renew call for govt. to address gender-based violence at work

Author: Chheng Niem, The Phnom Penh Post

"NGOs renew call on gender-based violence at work", 2 December 2019...

Read more

Article
3 April 2019

Cambodia: Women's Affairs Minister says Cambodian women still face issues of trafficking, exploitation and gender-based violence among other things

Author: Davin Sen, Khmer Times

"Women still face too many challenges in society: Minister", 3 April 2019...

Read more

Article
26 March 2019

Cambodia: Women and NGOs gather to celebrate women's rights and call for an end to all forms of discrimination against women

Author: Kimmarita Long, The Phnom Penh Post

"Civil groups call for clear policies on women’s rights", 26 March 2019...

Read more

Article
6 September 2017
+ Français - Hide

Author: Amnesty International France

« Russie. Une femme souhaitant devenir capitaine de navire va contester en justice des dispositions sexistes du droit du travail », 4 septembre 2017...

Read more

Article
29 June 2017

Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations highlights extraterritorial human rights obligations of European companies

Author: Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) of the Council of Europe

...

Read more

Article
6 May 2016

UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women asks Switzerland to investigate impacts of country’s tax policies on women’s rights

Author: Anam Salem, Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, NYU School of Law (USA)

"Global Justice Clinic and Partners Convince Human Rights Body to Investigate Impacts of Swiss Tax Policies on Women’s Rights", 25 Apr 2016...

Read more

Story
8 March 2016

Margaret Jungk resigns from UN Working Group on business & human rights

See full story

Story
3 March 2016

NGOS submit submission to UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women over human rights impacts of Switzerland’s tax policy

See full story

Article
12 November 2015

UN Forum Series Blog: Advancing women’s human rights: This is progress in business and human rights

Author: Sanyu Awori & Dorathy Stanislaus Benjamin, Intl. Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific

[T]he adoption of the UNGPs provided a new opportunity to hold both States and non-State actors, in this case businesses and corporations, accountable by WHR [women’s human rights] activists...[R]egardless of their perceived shortcomings, the UNGPs...

Read more

Article
27 January 2015

UN experts call for focus on human rights & corporate accountability in Sustainable Development Goals

Author: UN News Centre

"UN experts say post-2015 negotiations must emphasize human rights, accountability",...

Read more