Economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) are particularly important for women because they directly address issues of poverty and inequality, which have a different and disproportionate impact on the lives of girls and women. When needs are transformed into rights, women are able to demand that these rights be respected, protected and fulfilled, and to hold governments accountable if they fail to do so. The international human rights framework also allows us to connect local or seemingly individual issues to systemic forces and the broader international community working to advance these rights around the world. Through parallel reporting, civil society can take an active role in holding States accountable to their legally mandated obligations, amplify the voices of groups whose rights are being violated and strengthen the visibility of issues that otherwise might not get adequate attention. Effective parallel reporting has a relevant potential as a tool for mobilization, to strengthen jurisprudence and to support ongoing advocacy. Through a common language grounded in human rights, this process also allows us to deepen solidarity and movement-building and increase the impact of our work.
Developed by members of the Women and ESCR Working Group (WESCR WG) and the Monitoring Working Group (MWG), this guide provides practical information and tools for using parallel reporting to advance women’s economic social and cultural rights and substantive equality. The guide also aims at strengthening an intersectional analysis and approach in parallel reporting around women’s ESCR. In line with ESCR-Net’s objective to operationalize intersectionality in practice, the guide is the result of a collective effort of our members to raise the attention of United Nations treaty bodies towards issues of substantive equality, including the impact that violations of economic, social and cultural rights have on women.
This guide is part of the project Altavoz, which supports grassroots groups, communities and NGOs to bring their issues to the attention of United Nations bodies through parallel reporting and increase government accountability to human rights obligations. The project facilitates exchanging learnings and support for communities, grassroots groups and NGOs that want to use parallel reporting in their advocacy and organizing. The project enables ESCR-Net members and allies to both offer and seek support regarding parallel reporting on ESCR, including women’s ESCR, with the ultimate aim of building a global movement for social justice, as envisioned in ESCR-Net’s Common Charter for Collective Struggle.
In this guide
- What is UN Treaty Body reporting?
- What are states obligations regarding economic, social and cultural rights?
- Why engage in parallel reporting?
- Choosing the relevant Treaty Body
- How the reporting process works
- Engaging with treaty bodies before, during and after the review cycle
- Follow-up procedures
- Using a human rights-based approach to data collection
- Tips for developing your parallel report
- What kinds data to include?
You can offer and seek support from ESCR-Net members on parallel reporting, before, during and after the review cycle.
Read about how ESCR-Net members have used parallel reporting in their work