We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR

Circle of Empowerment

Twenty-Five years of the un committee on the elimination of discrimination against women

Hanna Beate Schopp-Schilling, Editor, Cees Flinterman, Associate Editor

Publication Year: 2007

Adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, CEDAW (the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women) has impacted women’s rights in the areas of personal status laws, labor markets, migration, human trafficking, health, cultural stereotypes, and domestic violence. The book contains essays and rare personal reflections on how to make CEDAW work by current and former CEDAW Committee members. Analyzes the new challenges brought on by globalization that affect international human and women’s rights.

Published by: The Feminist Press

Advance Praise, Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (62.1 KB)
pp. i-v

Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (30.1 KB)
pp. vi-

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (50.9 KB)
pp. vii-xi

read more

Message on CEDAW’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary

pdf iconDownload PDF (41.1 KB)
pp. 1-2

From the birth of the United Nations, women have made judicious and skillful use of our organization as a platform to voice their demands for equality and nondiscrimination. From the signing of the Charter—which proclaims the equal rights of men and women—and the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, through subsequent instruments...

read more

Introduction and Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF (65.8 KB)
pp. 3-6

This book tells a story of success. It celebrates twenty-five years of the work and achievements of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (the Committee) in monitoring the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (the Convention), the most important international human...

read more

Personal Reflection: In Celebration

pdf iconDownload PDF (42.0 KB)
pp. 7-8

Since the coming into force of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on September 3, 1981, there has been significant progress in the promotion of the human rights of women. In many countries, constitutions now include provisions guaranteeing equality between women and men. Laws that prohibit discrimination in general—as well as in regard to specific rights such as...

The Convention as a Living Instrument

read more

The Nature and Scope of the Convention

pdf iconDownload PDF (125.2 KB)
pp. 10-29

A historical perspective on women as individual holders of human rights clearly identifies them as latecomers. The adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, 1979; the Convention) and later of its Optional Protocol (1999) was a milestone in the long and arduous process toward this goal....

read more

Personal Reflection: Interpreting the Convention

pdf iconDownload PDF (56.1 KB)
pp. 30-35

The CEDAW Convention was the product of a determined bid by the women’s movement to ensure a comprehensive code setting out the major principles of women’s human rights and the obstacles to achieving them throughout the world. It was a notable piece of work, ranging across a huge canvas, but it was a work constrained by opposition to a new human rights...

read more

Relationships with UN Conferences, Specialized Agencies, Programs,and Funds

pdf iconDownload PDF (108.3 KB)
pp. 36-50

The adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was a historical event for women of the world and the recognition of their human rights. Nevertheless, its implementation was faced with various difficulties: the CEDAW Committee had only one monitoring instrument—the reporting procedure with the...

Human Rights I: Overarching Challenges

read more

Universalizing Women’s Human Rights through CEDAW

pdf iconDownload PDF (114.3 KB)
pp. 52-67

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was one of the first human rights treaties that incorporated the concepts of universality, indivisibility, and interdependence of human rights. The Convention’s norms of equality and nondiscrimination on the ground of sex are elaborated in specific provisions...

read more

Culture, Religion, and CEDAW’s Article 5 (A)

pdf iconDownload PDF (122.5 KB)
pp. 68-85

The clash between culture, religion, and women’s equality with men has become a major issue in the global arena. Such conflicts arise in the context of almost all orthodox religions and traditionalist cultures and result in barriers to women’s rights that vary in form and severity. My interest in this topic goes back to 1974, when, as a young lecturer, I introduced...

read more

Personal Reflections

pdf iconDownload PDF (68.8 KB)
pp. 86-89

In the Muslim World; From the Arab Region

read more

Education and Legal Literacy

pdf iconDownload PDF (102.6 KB)
pp. 90-103

For more than twenty years the CEDAW Convention has been part of my life. I lectured on it as a professor of law, I used it as an activist and since 2005 I monitor its implementation as a CEDAW Committee member. This essay will focus on the meaning and scope of Article 10 of the Convention providing for the right to education. I will also consider women’s...

read more

Personal Reflection: Persistent Discrimination

pdf iconDownload PDF (63.4 KB)
pp. 104-105

I joined the CEDAW Committee in January 2002 after the Tanzanian expert, Dr. Asha Rose Migiro, who had been elected to the Committee in August 2000, resigned by virtue of being appointed Minister of Community Development, Gender and Children. The Committee accepted my nomination as a replacement, and I was expected to serve the remaining...

read more

Private Global Enterprises, International Trade, and Finance

pdf iconDownload PDF (112.4 KB)
pp. 106-121

When I was a member of the CEDAW Committee in the mid-1980s, my colleagues and I spent much energy on the struggle between competing ideologies. Members from the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc countries, which dominated the Committee, insisted that women could achieve equality only under their centrally controlled socialist economies...

Human Rights II: Specific Challenges

read more

Poverty, Prostitution, and Trafficking

pdf iconDownload PDF (111.7 KB)
pp. 124-140

In 1986, I was a professional researcher at the Trade Union Research Center in Moscow, responsible, as Chief of the Section, for studying issues concerning working women. In that capacity I had prepared a variety of documents for the United Nations and the International Labour Organization (ILO); I had taken part in the Second and Third UN World...

read more

Personal Reflection: Rethinking Prostitution and Trafficking

pdf iconDownload PDF (69.3 KB)
pp. 141-144

I shall never forget my first CEDAW session in January 2003 and how enthusiastically I prepared for it. As I read one of the first government reports as a member of the Committee, I did not want to believe my eyes at one point. The report of a not-to-be-named Western European State proudly declared that it had a very pro-woman migration policy. The...

read more

Unfinished Battles: Political and Public Life

pdf iconDownload PDF (105.4 KB)
pp. 145-158

This essay is the product of three different experiences. First, there is my experience as a historian. Like many students and academics of my generation I discovered, with the help of the feminist movement of the sixties, that history—as it was then written and taught—ignored women almost completely. Thus, I learned in school that universal suffrage had

read more

Impediments to Progress: The Formal Labor Market

pdf iconDownload PDF (130.7 KB)
pp. 159-178

When I started my work as an expert on the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (the Committee) in 1989, I held the political position of Director General for Women’s Affairs of the newly established Department of that name in the traditional Federal Ministry of Family, Youth and Health in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG)...

read more

Personal Reflection: Opportunities and Traps- The Informal Labor Market

pdf iconDownload PDF (50.1 KB)
pp. 179-182

It was not long after I joined the Committee in 2003 that I realized that I had earned the reputation of an “Article 11 fanatic.” That was mainly because during the examination of States Parties’ reports, I regularly posed questions on the situation of women in the informal sector and expressed my concerns about the increase of females in the global workforce in the...

read more

The Female Face of Migration

pdf iconDownload PDF (84.8 KB)
pp. 183-195

It was while I was the Philippine Ambassador to Brussels in the mid- 1980s that I had one of my earliest personal encounters with the “human face” of migration, and—as to be expected in hindsight—it was the face of a woman, a Filipina. Three people paid a call on me at the Embassy that day: the young Filipina, a Belgian man, and a Filipina Catholic nun...

read more

Women’s Health : Accommodating Difference

pdf iconDownload PDF (111.6 KB)
pp. 196-211

My interest in the area of women’s health started in the 1980s, when I was a graduate law student. At that time freedom of choice in abortion was a major constitutional issue, new frontiers were being reached through innovations in assisted medical reproduction, and feminist theory was just starting to develop. After completing my studies in the United States at...

read more

Rights of Rural Women: Examples from Latin America

pdf iconDownload PDF (93.1 KB)
pp. 212-222

As a diplomat for the Mexican Government, I have been associated with the CEDAW Convention from its very first beginning. Not only was I responsible for the organization of the First UN World Conference on Women (Mexico, 1975), which endorsed the preparation of the Convention, but also, as a representative of Mexico to the Commission on the...

read more

CEDAW and Violence against Women: Providing the “Missing Link”

pdf iconDownload PDF (93.3 KB)
pp. 223-233

I first heard about the CEDAW Convention in 1988 while I was studying as a Ph.D. student at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in the United States. Though I remember no substantial discussion about CEDAW, Charlotte Bunch taught a course called “Women, Violence and Human Rights,” which I took with about thirty other women—graduate...

read more

Women in War and Its Aftermath: Liberia

pdf iconDownload PDF (83.2 KB)
pp. 234-245

Liberia is a small country on the northwest coast of Africa with a population of more than 3.4 million. Originally inhabited only by indigenous Africans, it became the home for liberated American slaves in the nineteenth century, and thus the name “Liberia” was adopted, meaning “Land of the Free.” The country is rich in natural resources, such as diamonds,...

The Work of the Committee

read more

The Nature and Mandate of the Committee

pdf iconDownload PDF (105.2 KB)
pp. 248-261

The CEDAW Convention established the creation of a body of independent experts—the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women—to monitor its implementation through a review of States Parties’ reports. The procedural articles of the Convention describe the nature of this Committee, the characteristics of its members, their election...

read more

Personal Reflections

pdf iconDownload PDF (127.4 KB)
pp. 262-285

Support by the UN Division for the Advancement of Women; The Early Years; Challenging Governments; The First Twelve Years; The Middle Years; Outreach and Impact; Dual Perspectives; Working for Equality; Achievements and Obstacles; Challenges and Impacts; Progress and Obstacles; On Twenty Years of Involvement

read more

Strengthening Women's Human Rights Through Individual Complaints

pdf iconDownload PDF (97.5 KB)
pp. 286-297

Human rights are inclusive: they include both women and men, they include any individual without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion (UN Charter, 1945). It is that fundamental message of human rights that has always motivated me. For that reason I was more than pleased when The Netherlands government asked me to chair The Netherlands...

read more

The Ju

pdf iconDownload PDF (96.6 KB)
pp. 298-308

As members of the CEDAW Committee—Yolanda Gómez on her second mandate and Regina da Silva on her first—we were directly involved in the first inquiry by the Committee under the Optional Protocol to CEDAW. Both us have been deeply engaged in the struggle for sex and gender equality in our countries and at the regional and international...

read more

Personal Reflection: The Circle of Empowerment

pdf iconDownload PDF (68.4 KB)
pp. 309-312

As one of the CEDAW experts from 1994–1998, I had the rare opportunity of “engaging the State” in a critical dialogue about the Convention. Until then, I had always thought of UN processes as too remote to be appreciated by NGOs and much less by ordinary women. As an activist, who had worked for many years in social movements and in the “parliament of the...

read more

From Global to Local: The Involvement of NGOS

pdf iconDownload PDF (99.6 KB)
pp. 313-325

My engagement with the CEDAW Convention started in 1989, when I read about it and subsequently attended a meeting held in Vienna to discuss this treaty in the context of reproductive rights. At that time, I was working with a regional program on women, law, and development that was based in Malaysia. Previously, however, I had worked for more...

read more

Personal Reflections

pdf iconDownload PDF (97.0 KB)
pp. 326-338

Achieving Fruitful Results; A Lawyer's Perspective; The Finnish Act on Equality; A Source of Inspiration; An Important Part of History; Spreading the Convention's Norms through Education

Remaining Challenges and the Way Forward

read more

Personal Reflections

pdf iconDownload PDF (92.3 KB)
pp. 340-351

Thoughts on the Committee's Past, Hopes for its Future; Important Changes and Further Reforms Needed; Reflections on the Future

Works Cited

pdf iconDownload PDF (141.7 KB)
pp. 352-366

Contributors’ Biographies

pdf iconDownload PDF (88.5 KB)
pp. 367-376

Text of the Convention

pdf iconDownload PDF (79.0 KB)
pp. 377-388

Text of the Optional Protocol to the Convention

pdf iconDownload PDF (61.0 KB)
pp. 389-394

Summary List of General Recommendations

pdf iconDownload PDF (33.7 KB)
pp. 395-

Index, Information about The Feminist Press

pdf iconDownload PDF (107.6 KB)
pp. 396-412


E-ISBN-13: 9781558617896
Print-ISBN-13: 9781558615632

Page Count: 424
Publication Year: 2007

Recommend

UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Sex discrimination against women -- Prevention.
  • United Nations. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access