FIGHTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN USING THE CEDAW

Ashah Mastullah
Posted October 20, 2020 from Uganda

For purposes of this Article, emphasis will be put on the role of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

Violence against women is a sustained gender inequality. Violence against women was not directly addressed in the original text of the Convention due to the general understanding of the issue during the drafting process and its later emergence in the international human rights context. There are CEDAW articles that relate to state obligation to address specific forms of violence against women for example, Article 6. Today, CEDAW remains one of the most important instruments for ending violence against women and securing women’s human rights.

It has taken decades of struggle by the women’s rights movement to persuade the international community to view gender-based violence against women as a human rights concern and not just as a private matter in which the State should not interfere. This violence seriously inhibits women’s ability to enjoy rights and freedoms on a basis of equality with men. Against this background, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) is the treaty monitoring body created to oversee state implementation of and compliance with CEDAW. It consists of 23 women’s rights experts from around the world who meet in Geneva three times per year.

The CEDAW Committee’s work on advancing the rights of women cannot be overstated. The CEDAW Committee has influenced the growing recognition of state obligation to end all forms of discrimination against women. Its General Recommendations have continued to be powerful authorities on women’s rights around the world.

The CEDAW Committee’s interaction with states during the reporting procedure give practical view of the Articles of the CEDAW and the mandate that the convention has in fighting against discrimination against women. This way, the CEDAW goes far to   identify the causes of gender inequality. 

Further, The CEDAW Committee has played a key role in simplifying what is entailed in violence against women and violation of women’s human rights.  Taking an example of the Committees work;

EIPR and Interights v. Egypt (2011): applicants in this case used CEDAW’s General Recommendation 19, and A.T. v Hungary (CEDAW’s first case on domestic violence) to successfully argue that Egypt had failed to meet its due diligence obligations and the violence suffered by the applicants constituted a form of discrimination.

In conclusion, the CEDAW Committee has performed largely in fighting violence against women and specifically this is expressly stated in the a number of general recommendations like in General Recommendation No. 35.

Comments 10

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aneesah85
Oct 20
Oct 20

Thank you for sharing the concrete example of a GR in action, Ashah! It's always amazing to see the ways in which CSOs and others can leverage CEDAW to advance women's human rights protections.

Andrace
Oct 20
Oct 20

Hi Ashah,

Thank you for writing about CEDAW and what is being done concerning domestic violence. I applaud you for raising your voice on this issue and pray that CEDAW would not just lip serve, but actually act such that we see the effect on the society as a plan that actually works! We must continue to raise our voices like you have just done by sharing your first post on World Pulse. Together, we can!

Congratulations and a warm welcome to the sisterhood! 'Nice to have you join us.

Keep writing and shining.

Love and hugs,
E. J.

Liana C
Oct 20
Oct 20

Thank you for highlighting CEDAW - I think it is a powerful, but not widely known body of work, especially with the consistent work of the Committee to make change. It's a tool for each country to use to support changes.

Jill Langhus
Oct 21
Oct 21

Hello Ashah,

Welcome to World Pulse. How are you doing? Thanks for sharing your information about CEDAW.

I'm looking forward to seeing more posts from you and learning more about your work, goals, and mission.

I hope you have a great, rest of the week.

talaal jabbar
Oct 21
Oct 21

Welcome to World Pulse

Hello, Ashah,

Welcome to World Pulse! I'm glad that a new voice from Uganda is here and is rising up!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about CEDAW, dear. You are right, women and girls have been clamoring for women's rights for ages. This is one step of progress, but there is more work to do. Please keep sharing your voice and your stories here. We love to know more from you!

Welcome again to our growing sisterhood!

Nini Mappo
Oct 23
Oct 23

Huraaah! She's aliiivee!!
Good to 'see' you sis, is all I'm saying ;)

Hahaha! Thanks, Nini love. :) I have some problems with the internet connection last week until now due to the typhoons that visit our country. The 22nd typhoon is still here but is about to leave soon.

Nini Mappo
Oct 23
Oct 23

Hello Ashah,
Welcome to World Pulse, and thank you for this informative piece. I am only now beginning to learn about CEDAW, and your story added to my growing knowledge. I hope that one day CEDAW fulfils everything it was set to up for.

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi

Hi Ashah,
How are you and thank you so much for sharing your post on this Committee. many of us didn't know what exactly the committee does and we are glad that you have shade some light on its important roles. This is a committee that we have to constantly follow to promote and protect the rights of women in our different countries.
Have a blessed day.