UN Committee publishes list of issues to prepare for examination of NZ’s eighth CEDAW report

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The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (the Committee) has published a list of issues for the examination of New Zealand's last report on CEDAW. 

New Zealand is required to periodically report on the country’s performance under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The eighth periodic report was the last report submitted by the Government in 2016. This report will be examined at the 70th session of the UN Committee in July 2018. The Committee will consider how well New Zealand is meeting obligations under CEDAW.

A pre-session working group was held in November 2017 to prepare for the examination of the report. As a result of this session, the Committee released a list of issues (CEDAW/C/NZL/Q/8) requesting further information from the Government.

There are 21 issues with several focused on violence against women. These include Issue 6 which addresses Stereotypes and harmful practices:

"Please provide information on concrete measures being taken to change social and cultural patterns that lead to stereotyping and reinforcement of traditional roles of women and men within the family and society, particularly targeting the media which perpetuates discrimination against women and girls (CEDAW/C/NZL/CO/7, para. 21). Please provide an update on progress and challenges in combating cyberbullying following the entry into force of the Harmful Digital Communications Act in 2015, and in eliminating harmful practices such as child marriages. What impact have such measures had in eliminating stereotypical perceptions and attitudes regarding the roles of women in society and in the family as well as in addressing the persistence of harmful practices such as child marriages?"

For background information see our previous story on the Government's submission of the eighth periodic CEDAW report. Also see the Ministry for Women, which is the lead agency responsible for the Government’s CEDAW reporting obligations.

Related news

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recently adopted the interpretative tool CEDAW General Recommendation No. 35 which updates recommendation 19 to elaborate on the gender-based nature of violence against women and provide further guidance for states.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Dubravka Šimonović, published a report exploring the gaps and adequacy of current international frameworks for addressing violence against women, including CEDAW. She also submitted her report to the 35th session of the Human Rights Council on violence against women, its causes and consequences.

Update

The Human Rights Commission is hosting open consultations in Auckland (February 2018) and Wellington (March 2018) across Aotearoa for women related to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Feedback from these consultations will be used to inform reporting to the United Nations later in the year on CEDAW.