The State Committee on Family, Women and Children’s Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) held capacity-building workshop for development of the sixth periodic State Report of the Government to the UN Committee on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The workshop brought together main gender focal points of line ministries, involved in crafting the report.
The participants were informed in detail about the rules, processes and guidelines regarding preparation of the periodic report on CEDAW implementation. The workshop was delivered by a renowned international expert Ms. Mary Shanthi Dairiam, who elaborated on the CEDAW Committee’s functions to assess state party compliance with obligations under CEDAW by reviewing the state party reports, issue concluding observations, general recommendations and review the cases under the Optional Protocol. She also provided information on the core principles of the Convention.
Azerbaijan has submitted its fifth periodic report back in 2015. Along with welcoming the progress achieved since the consideration in 2009 of the state party’s fourth periodic report in undertaking legislative reforms, CEDAW Committee urged state party to take several important steps including through the adoption of a multi-sectorial plan of action aimed at eliminating the phenomenon of son-preference, the national strategy on prevention of domestic violence and the national action plan on prevention of domestic violence, and setting a timeframe for the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence.
The CEDAW Convention, adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, is often described as the international bill of rights for women or the “Women’s Convention”. Azerbaijan ratified the Convention in 1995.
Countries that have ratified or acceded to the Convention are legally bound to put its provisions into practice and to move beyond “de jure” equality and to ensure an equality of results – equality which is felt by the average woman and man. They are also committed to submit national reports - an initial report a year after ratifying the Convention and then regular reports every four years - on measures they have taken to comply with treaty obligations. Azerbaijani government is expected to submit its next periodic report in March 2019.