| UNIFEM CEDAW SEA Programme Efforts
The regional programme initiates systematic action involving state organs, organised civil society and NGOs at the national and regional level to address the constraining factors, ensuring that the programme's framework advances effective interventions to enhance effective implementation of the Convention.
UNIFEM has already initiated tools for cooperation with partners in the region to support implementation of the Convention in previous programming. In particular, UNIFEM has an MOU with UNICEF for cooperation throughout the Southeast Asia region in providing assistance to States Parties in meeting their commitments under CEDAW, and has been involved in consultations with UNDP regarding APGEN phases I and II. This project will pursue further opportunities for collaboration and ways of strengthening the UN, NGO and all other relevant stakeholder commitment to supporting the Convention. At regional and country levels, the links between CEDAW, BPfA, MDG, PRSP, CCA, UNDAF will be consciously cultivated and elaborated.
During the inception missions undertaken by UNIFEM in designing this project, Government and NGO representatives from across the region expressed tremendous enthusiasm for working to improve implementation of the Convention and for working with UNIFEM to help create the conditions that will make this possible. Their commitment is an invaluable resource in the struggle to achieve equality for the women of Southeast Asia . Their insights and experiences, and willingness to collaborate have helped shape this project and will critically inform the ongoing development and implementation of the strategies.
UNIFEM LAUNCHES PUBLICATION ON BEST PRACTICES IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEGISLATION
BANGKOK, 2009 - UNIFEM launched its publication DV Legislation and its Implementation: An Analysis for ASEAN Countries based on International Standards and Good Practices at a side event of the High-level Intergovernmental Meeting to Review Regional Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and its Regional and Global Outcomes, at the UN Convention Centre in Bangkok on 17 November 2009. The launch was followed by a panel discussion focusing on the implementation and monitoring of anti-domestic violence legislation, using good practices from the ESCAP region. Read more...
ASEAN Workshop on Domestic Violence Legislation
Ha Noi, 20 October, 2008 – to mark the National Women’s Day, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), the National Committee for the Advancement of Vietnamese Women (NCFAW) in cooperation with the United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM) CEDAW Southeast Asia Programme funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the ASEAN Secretariat organized the ASEAN Workshop on Domestic Violence Legislation on 20-21 October 2008 in Ha Noi. More than 60 representatives from 10 ASEAN Member States, Japan and Timor Leste participated. The Workshop is one of the activities implemented under the Framework for Cooperation between ASEAN and UNIFEM. This is an activity on the threshold of the 7th Meeting of the ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW) which will be hosted by MOLISA on 22-23 October 2008 in Ha Noi.
In opening the Workshop, H.E. Mdm. Huynh Thi Nhan, Vice Minister of MOLISA highlighted that violence in the family is no longer a private matter of each family or one country but it has become a global concern. It has damaged the human dignity, health and psychology of victims. Therefore, the prevention and control of domestic violence has received the attention of the international community as well as in the region. As Ms. Mega Irena from the ASEAN Secretariat highlighted in the opening session that one of ASEAN principles under the ASEAN Charter signed in November 2007 is respect for fundamental freedoms, the promotion and protection of human rights, and the promotion of social justice. This is an overarching principle that includes elimination of domestic violence.
All ASEAN Member States have ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women as well as the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action were adopted by the ASEAN Member States.
In the Southeast Asia region, the year 2004 witnessed an important milestone in efforts made to address domestic violence. That is the signing of the ASEAN Declaration on the Elimination against Women at the 37th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting. Viet Nam will assume the Chairmanship of the ACW from 2008 to 2009 and play a critical role as the Chair in the implementation of this Declaration and operationalisation of the ACW’s Work Plan.
Based on the ACW’s Work Plan, Viet Nam has been taking its responsibility of proposing and holding this important Workshop with the collaboration of other ASEAN Member States. One of the priority activities of the ACW’s Work Plan is to promote gender sensitive legislation and policy in line with CEDAW norms and standards, particularly eliminating domestic violence. Viet Nam and some other ASEAN Member States have promulgated specific laws against domestic violence. Implementation of these laws need to extensive, effective and continually monitored. This workshop will provide a platform for sharing experiences and drawing lessons in drafting, implementing and monitoring domestic violence legislation as well as for strengthening regional cooperation in addressing domestic violence. It is expected that the outcomes of this Workshop will be considered by the ASEAN Senior Officials at the 7th ACW Meeting for further actions at regional level.
ASEAN Regional Workshop on Gender Equality Legislation
Bangkok, Thailand; 13-15 February 2008
The three days workshop hosted by the Office of Women’s Affairs and Family Development, Ministry of Human Security and Social Development, Government of Thailand, brought together legal drafters and technical staff of the national women’s machineries, ministries of justice and gender equality advocates from ten ASEAN countries and Timor Leste to discuss gender equality legislation. The event was supported by UNIFEM East and South East Asia sub-regional office under its ASEAN-UNIFEM Framework of Cooperation.
The workshop provided participants a theoretical framework for drafting and analyzing gender equality laws in terms of the scope, substantive content and effective monitoring and implementation mechanisms as prescribed by the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). A comparative study of good practices from around the globe and from the Southeast Asian region was presented to offer practical guidance to legal drafters and gender advocates for better laws on gender equality. The workshop contributed to skills building of legal practitioners and helped to identify the strategies and ways for the harmonization of domestic legislation to comply with the CEDAW requirements, for the adoption of new laws, where necessary, and for the better implementation of gender equality laws in the ASEAN region.
The workshop further promoted ASEAN partnership and cooperation towards the effective implementation of CEDAW through better understanding of the importance of the de jure substantive equality and non-discrimination against women.
See Joint Recommendations of the workshop participants
ASEAN High-Level Meeting on Good Practices in CEDAW Reporting and Follow-up Vientiane,
Lao PDR; 14-15 January 2008
At the ASEAN High-level meeting hosted by the Government of Laos, ASEAN member countries exchanged experiences in preparing for the CEDAW Committee review of State reports, and planning follow-up to the Committee Concluding Comments. The common challenges in preparation and follow-up to the CEDAW review process as well as some good practices that can be models for ASEAN member countries were identified. The meeting promoted ASEAN partnership and cooperation towards the effective implementation of CEDAW through a better understanding of the mechanisms that facilitate effective monitoring and reporting. It also highlighted how civil society groups can add value to the CEDAW review process including helping governments to identify gaps in CEDAW implementation. See Joint Statement of the meeting.
“Workshop on Integrating CEDAW in Tertiary Curriculum in Southeast Asia,”
8-9 November, 2007, Bangkok
UNIFEM in collaboration with Office of Human Rights Studies and Social Development, Mahidol University organized a Workshop on Integrating CEDAW in the Curriculum of Tertiary Educational Institutions on 6-7, November, 2007.
A group of 20 academics from seven Southeast Asian countries teaching law, human rights and women studies in higher educational institutions joined the workshop and shared good practices in integrating the CEDAW principles of gender equality and non-discrimination into university-level curriculum.
Participants shared examples of establishing inter-disciplinary Women’s Studies courses, courses on women’s rights in law schools, as well as integrating gender equality and non-discrimination messages into university foundation courses and subjects as diverse as literature to mathematics. Development of guidelines for integration of gender equality teaching into curriculum, and providing orientation and training to faculty was identified as effective strategies. Linking theory with practical examples of daily discrimination that women face through student involvement with legal clinics, field research and close linkages with NGOs was also highlighted as an important teaching strategy. Participants committed to continue sharing resource materials and information.
“The Role of the Judiciary in Promoting Gender Equality,”
A Southeast Asia regional colloquium
25-27 October 2007, Chiang Mai
Supreme Court and appellate court judges, and representatives from judicial training institutions from seven Southeast Asian countries take part in for the Regional Colloquium on the Role of the Judiciary in Promoting Gender Equality. This event is organised by UNIFEM’s CEDAW SEA programme with Chiang Mai University and the Office of the Judiciary of Thailand in recognition of the important role played by the judiciary in interpreting and implementing laws. The meeting aims to promote the use of CEDAW by judges, to raise awareness among them on the need for gender sensitivity and gender responsiveness in the justice system, as well as to promote capacity building to this end.
Regional Workshop of CEDAW Watch Groups:
Role of NGOs in Monitoring CEDAW Implementation
The Regional Workshop of CEDAW Watch Groups was organised jointly by UNIFEM and the Cambodian NGO Committee on CEDAW to discuss the role of NGOs in monitoring progress in the implementation of CEDAW by governments. The workshop served as a forum for the NGOs from seven countries to exchange strategies on how they prepared alternative information for the CEDAW Committee in the form of shadow reports, and how to use the Committee’s Concluding Comments to press the governments further for implementation of CEDAW. The discussions addressed issues such as coalition building among diverse group of NGOs, advocacy with governments and inclusion of the voices of marginalized groups. More importantly the meeting was an opportunity for these NGOs to network and get to know each others. The workshop concluded that shadow-reporting of CEDAW implementation based on diverse and reliable data and analysis could be a cornerstone for effective monitoring while developing effective NGOs and government dialogue is another factor in successful implementation of CEDAW. Participants also agreed that more had to be done to reach out to disadvantaged groups of people such as ethnic minorities, migrant women and women with disabilities, as well as partnering with media.
Study Session on Indigenous Women and the CEDAW
The study session,
sponsored by UNIFEM and coordinated by the Asian Indigenous Women’s
Network was an enlightening experience for the 22 participants from UNIFEM-SEAP countries (Thailand, Indonesia,
Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, East Timor) as well as India,
Nepal and Mongolia. Held in Baguio City, in the Philippines between the
23rd-26th November 2005, the participants were introduced to the CEDAW
and learnt the workings and intricacies of the convention and how it
applies to indigenous women. Consisting of Indigenous women and NGOs
working with indigenous women, the participants shared the plights of
these women in their respective countries as well as recommendations on
the use of CEDAW to help rectify the problems and improve the living
conditions of Indigenous women, be it those in rural areas or those in
the cities. Atty. Eleanor Conda, a UNIFEM consultant facilitated the
study on CEDAW and context and linkages to indigenous peoples were
carried out by Tebtebba resource persons.
The Regional NGO Study
Session on Rural Women and CEDAW for APWN
through November 17th to 20th, 2005, in Manila Philippines the session
was aimed at increasing understanding of CEDAW within The Asian Peasant
Women’s Network and their member NGOs as well fuelling a discussion on
how CEDAW can be relevant to the issues of the human rights of rural
women. A brief overview of the plights of rural women in South East
Asia, was provided by APWN. It was also agreed that shadow reporting
should be on the NGOs’ agenda and the basic principles of CEDAW more
accessible at the grassroots level.
International Women’s Day, 2005
“Rebuilding Women’s Lives in the Aftermath of Disasters”
March 8, 2005, United Nations, Bangkok, Thailand
On 8th March 2005, UNIFEM, in collaboration with the Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality organised an International Women’s Day event titled “Rebuilding Women’s Lives in the Aftermath of Disasters”. 150 people (140 women and 10 men) attended the event at United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok. The event received extensive media coverage on Thai television, National Newspaper, and Inter-press services. The impact of the 2004 Tsunami has focused all of us on women’s vulnerability in the aftermath of disasters and the importance of their role in the rebuilding process. Lucita Lazo, the Regional Programme Director of UNIFEM East and Southeast Asia, spoke about the importance of moving from a needs based response to disasters, to using a rights based framework, including CEDAW, for relief and rebuilding efforts, to ensure long term benefits to women’s lives.