Geneva: Consultation with CESCR and CEDAW Committees members on current challenges and opportunities related to women and ESCR

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Women and ESCR Working Group (WESCR WG) of the International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net) engaged in a consultation with the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The joint briefing: Women and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – Current Challenges and Opportunities for Advancement took place in Geneva, Switzerland, on Saturday, 7 November.  

This meeting brought together 23 participants, including Working Group members, CEDAW and CESCR Committee members and other human rights experts from diverse regions in order to facilitate strategic exchange and discussion aimed at advancing women’s ESC rights and substantive equality.

During the consultation, participants discussed specific and systemic challenges to the realization of women’s ESC rights in practice, drawing upon the work of ESCR-Net members in the areas of land, health and work, and shared different approaches to the application of a substantive equality perspective. The discussions were based on a series of key issues raised and recommendations made by WESCR WG members to the committees during the course of the introductory presentations for each session. Further information regarding context and suggested strategies in relation to each issue were lined out in briefing papers (draft) that the WESCR WG prepared to accompany this consultation. Read draft versions of the briefing papers here: health, land and work

The dialogue offered an opportunity for CESCR and the CEDAW Committee to build on each other’s work, and for the group as a whole to consider ways in which civil society and the committees can interact in order to advance women’s ESC rights. 

The rich discussions concluded with a series of recommendations made to the committees by the WESCR WG in order advance the application of the substantive equality framework in relation women’s ESCR; as well as a number of potential ideas that will guide future collective work by the WESCR WG. Read the agenda of the consultation here. Check the list of participants here

Please download the report on the event here