Posted October 17, 2020 from Guatemala



I want to reflect on the access of women victims of violence to the CEDAW complaints system.

The recognition of women's human rights and the validity of CEDAW has been one of the greatest achievements of women in their fight for equality and eradicating gender-based violence.

However; The creation of the complaint mechanism presents several challenges included in accessing it for the victims.

The first challenge he faces is the knowledge of the CEDAW population, the rights it guarantees, and the complaint mechanism, foreseeing that the community outside the world of law is very rarely interested in learning about legal issues, in addition to the skepticism that exists about the claim of women's rights, which is typically considered a whole matter of feminists movement, who in the most conservative societies are stigmatized.

It is precisely this false statement that creates a significant obstacle; the stigmatization that is a feminist issue creates the first barrier to make CEDAW more widely known and understand that it should be known to all—usually being the exclusive knowledge and management of the feminist movement and non-governmental organizations related to it.

Ignorance of the guarantees contained in CEDAW and the complaint mechanism means that victims do not try to access it.

But from my perspective, perhaps the most serious obstacle is the economic investment represented by accessing the CEDAW complaints mechanism. Often, a victim may know the mechanism and have all the intentions to present their case before him.

Still, you usually will have to resort to the support of a lawyer or someone who knows about the subject; you must have money to travel to the headquarters of the Committee. Many times you can turn to an NGO that supports. Still, for this possibility, the NGO must be interested in The case, which is usually related to the NGO's object and the relevance of the case. This also limits access because many times, there are cases that need to be brought to justice and not remain in impunity even though they are not cases considered paradigmatic.

From my perspective, this would have a solution, creating a support fund for victims so that they can access the complaint mechanism without being limited by any NGO's strategic interests.

Comments 5

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Nini Mappo
Oct 18
Oct 18

Hello Astridoeb,
A warm welcome to World Pulse, and congratulations on your first post! Good on you for highlighting this problem regarding some aspects of accessibility of CEDAW by women it is meant to serve. I hope that the process can get streamlined so that CEDAW can serve all vulnerable women and help improve safety and close the gender gap.
Hoping that you are well and sparkly in Guatemala :)

Adriana Greenblatt
Oct 18
Oct 18

Hola Astridoeb desde Canada! Bienvenido a World Pulse y felicidades por su primera publicacion! Thank you for this information, as someone having worked in human rights law this is so interesting - and I think we need more of your wisdom! I often have found complaint mechanisms (or I like the term reporting too which UN Women had started using bc some people have stigmatized the word complaint!) internal to organizations where I often work also inaccessible! We need to streamline and make sure that these are not "legal -ease" and more readily known by women, both internal to organizations, and on the macro international level!

Big abrazos desde Montreal, Canada!

Oct 18
Oct 18

Hi Astridoeb,

Thank you for writing about CEDAW and letting us know the challenges of the complaints mechanism of the organisation. I applaud you for not only raising your voice on this issue, but suggesting a solution, which in your opinion, should work. 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.

Oct 19
Oct 19

Helo Helooo Astridoeb :) Wecome to World Pulse. Your story is your power.

Very well said. This gives more info about CEDAW. I wonder how this complain mechanism work and how it can be access.

Thank you for sharing.

Hello, Astrid,

Welcome to World Pulse! Wow, I'm so happy that a new voice from Guatemala is rising up!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about CEDAW. It's great progress indeed, and it's a huge task at hand, just like you mentioned. We love to know more about you. Please continue to share your thoughts and stories with us.

Welcome again to our growing sisterhood!