IWTC Women's GlobalNet #338
Activities and Initiatives of Women Worldwide


July 21 2008
Helena Gronberg


1. Elections

2.  what you can do


1. election of members to the committee

States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) will convene in New York on 30 July 2008 to elect 11 new members to the 23 member CEDAW Committee. The new members will fill the vacancies that expire on 31 December 2008 and they will serve a four-year term beginning January 2009. The 19 countries that have nominated candidates are Bahrain, France, Cuba, Republic of Congo, Kenya, Jamaica, Mexico, Finland, Lebanon, Malaysia, India, Kazakhstan, Spain, Burundi, Brazil, Romania, Afghanistan, China and Azerbaijan. Among the 19 candidates for the 11 slots, the following 4 are being re-nominated: Shanthi Dairiam (Malaysia), Magalys Arocha Dominguez (Cuba), Xiaoqaio Zou (China) and Silvia Pimentel (Brazil). Of the 11 members of the Committee whose terms are expiring in 2008, 4 are from Asia Pacific, 4 are from Europe, and 3 are from Latin America and the Caribbean. For a complete list of candidates and bios go to: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/elections.htm


The Committee consists of 23 experts in the field covered by CEDAW. State parties to the Convention can nominate candidates in accordance with article 17 of the Convention. For complete details of the election processes see: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/mandate.htm. The elected members serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of a States party. Impartial geographical distribution, representation of different forms of civilization and principal legal systems are taken into consideration in the election process.  For more information on the CEDAW committee, visit IWRAW Asia Pacific at http://www.iwraw-ap.org/committee.htm  



You can lobby your government by sending expressions of support for certain candidates to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the National Women’s Institutes in your country.  Give reasons why you recommend certain candidates above others, and attach their resumes to your letters. You can also email or send letters to your country Missions in New York. Make sure that your government representatives know that women's rights advocates want independent experts from all over the world to be elected to the Committee. It is the responsibility of your government to ensure that the CEDAW Committee process continues to strengthen national efforts towards the realization of women's rights. Of the list of candidates, International Women’s Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) Asia Pacific, an organization that provides official and practical information on the application of the UN CEDAW Convention and other international human rights treaties, draws attention to three feminist experts that have been very active in their regions as well as in the international women's movements. They are Silvia Pimentel (Brazil), Shanthi Dairiam (Malaysia) and Indira Jaising (India).  These candidates are ideal because of their tremendous dedication and commitment to this cause, as well as for the insights and perspectives that they will bring forth. It is important that women's groups remain active and voiced in order to ensure that partial experts are not elected to the Committee.   



We would like to thank IWRAW Asia Pacific for much of the information we are sharing in this GlobalNet.

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