New resources on CEDAW and its Optional Protocol


New jurisprudence

The Concluding Observations from the CEDAW Committee’s 54th session are now available.  The following States Parties were examined during this session: Angola; Austria; Cyprus; Greece; Hungary; Pakistan; and, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

During its 54th session, the CEDAW Committee adopted General Recommendation 29 on article 16 of CEDAW (advance unedited version).  The General Recommendation focuses on the economic consequences of marriage, family relations and their dissolution.  


New scholarship

The Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal for Gender Studies) has published a special edition on CEDAW (in Dutch and English).  For articles by Cees Flinterman, Rikki Holtmaat, Fleur van Leeuwen and others, see here (subscription only).  Articles include: 

Jasper Krommendijk, “Just “a Little UN Committee” or Important Policy Driver? The Impact and Effectiveness of the CEDAW Committee in New Zealand” (2013) 16(1) Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies 8

Anna Sledzinska-Simon, “Making Progress in the Elimination of Gender Stereotypes in the Context of Gender-based Violence.  The Role of the CEDAW Committee” (2013) 16(1) Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies 41

Leontine Bijleveld, “Tien jaar individueel klachtrecht VN-Vrouwenverdrag; Is via een klacht bij het CEDAW-Comité de positie van vrouwen structureel te verbeteren?” (2013) 16(1) Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies 25

Late last year, Marsha A Freeman, Christine Chinkin and Beate Rudolf published an edited commentary on The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: A Commentary (Oxford University Press).  The commentary is now available in paper back and two recent book reviews follow.

Simone Cusack, “The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women: A Commentary” (Marsha A. Freeman, Christine Chinkin & Beate Rudolf (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012) (2013) 35 Human Rights Quarterly 251

Julia L. Ernst, “Review Essay: The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: A Commentary edited by Marsha A Freeman, Christine Chinkin and Beate Rudolf” (2012) 13(2) Melbourne Journal of International Law

Jaclyn Ling-Chien Neo, “Calibrating Interpretive Incorporation: Constitutional Interpretation and Pregnancy Discrimination under CEDAW” Human Rights Quarterly (forthcoming 2013)

The success in implementing human rights treaties is often determined by the national laws of a country. There is an implementation gap in dualist regimes where courts do not implement human rights treaty provisions because they have not been domesticated by a legislative (or other necessary) incorporating act. Interpretive incorporation is a judicial trend that seeks to mitigate this strict separationist view. This article examines the use of interpretive incorporation in Malaysia to incorporate CEDAW’s prohibition against pregnancy discrimination through constitutional interpretation. It calibrates the outcomes of interpretive incorporation based on the status judges effectively give to unincorporated human rights treaties. The article reflects on some of the continuing local constraints on interpretive incorporation.

Vijaya Nagarajan and Archana Parashar, “Space and Law, Gender and Land: Using CEDAW to Regulate for Women’s Rights to Land in Vanuatu” (2013) 24(1) Law and Critique 87

International laws such as The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) promise a universal system of rights to varied people in varied places. In many Pacific states this has been translated to mean that women should have the same privileges as men to control, possess and use land. This could not be further from the truth as evidenced by women’s experiences in Vanuatu, which bring home the visible and invisible spaces of international law. The insights of legal geographers into the spatialised dimensions of social, political and economic activities, together with those of feminist legal scholars into the gendered nature of law, are invaluable in understanding how some spaces are prioritized while others are devalued. We rely on these insights to uncover the prioritized legal spaces of Vanuatu and to locate them against the lived-in spaces of Vanuatu’s women. Becoming aware of the multispatiality of law is the first step in contemplating a landscape where justice can play a part.

New presentations

Statement by Ms Nicole Améline, Chairperson of Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) at the Fifty-seventh Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, New York, 4 March 2013

Presentations from the CEDAW Committee’s recent General Discussion on Access to Justice, Geneva, 18 February 2013 


New reports 

Report of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Fifty-fourth session (11 February – 1 March 2013), UN Doc CEDAW/C/2013/I/CRP (2013)

Results of the Fifty-first, Fifty-second and Fifty-third sessions of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, UN Doc E/CN.6/2013/CRP.1 (2013)


New blog posts

Ronli Sifris, The Major Reproductive Rights Developments from OP CEDAW Cases (13 January 2013) 

Karen Tayag Vertido, Karen Tayag Vertido on Using the Optional Protocol to CEDAW (14 March 2013)


17 March 2013


The photo is reproduced with the kind permission of CEDAW Committee member Yoko Hayashi