The State of Play on the Implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in North Africa and the Middle East

15-06-2011

The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has been ratified by all states in North Africa and the Middle East, except Iran and Sudan. Many of these states have entered reservations relating to the primacy of the Islamic law in cases of incompatibility with the provisions of CEDAW. Most States have reported regularly to the CEDAW Committee on the measures taken to implement the Convention. Special attention will be given to a few selected states in the region: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Syria. After a brief description of the objectives and the substance of CEDAW the paper will deal with some examples of typical reservations, the involvement of NGOs in the implementation of the Convention, the content of the reports and the constructive dialogue with the Committee, and the recommendations by the CEDAW Committee. The paper will conclude with a provisional assessment of the significance of CEDAW in North African and Middle East states.

The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has been ratified by all states in North Africa and the Middle East, except Iran and Sudan. Many of these states have entered reservations relating to the primacy of the Islamic law in cases of incompatibility with the provisions of CEDAW. Most States have reported regularly to the CEDAW Committee on the measures taken to implement the Convention. Special attention will be given to a few selected states in the region: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Syria. After a brief description of the objectives and the substance of CEDAW the paper will deal with some examples of typical reservations, the involvement of NGOs in the implementation of the Convention, the content of the reports and the constructive dialogue with the Committee, and the recommendations by the CEDAW Committee. The paper will conclude with a provisional assessment of the significance of CEDAW in North African and Middle East states.