NGOs plan to submit alternative report to CEDAW

Kathmandu, April 18

Leaders from Civil Society are planning to submit an alternative report on the prevalence of various forms of discrimination and violence against women in Nepal to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) committee in May.

They also urged the government to submit the periodic report of CEDAW to the CEDAW committee at the earliest.

CEDAW is an international treaty adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly.

Described as an international bill of rights for women, it was instituted on September 3, 1981 and has been ratified by 189 states, including Nepal.

All signatories to CEDAW should submit their periodic report every four years. Nepal had submitted its fifth periodic report in 2011.

Speaking at a national conference organised to discuss the alternative report on CEDAW today, they said the government has been delaying submission of the report and it was already too late.

Therefore they were planning to submit an alternative report from civil society to put pressure on the government to submit the national report as soon as possible.

The periodic report should have been be submitted to the CEDAW committee in June last year.

Meanwhile, the government has been seeking excuses citing the devastating earthquake on April and May last year.

With reference to the periodic report presented by the government to the committee, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) prepares shadow report to be submitted to the same committee.

Speaking at the programme, Sabin Shrestha, executive director, Forum for Women, Law and Development said that the alternative report from civil society is almost in the final stage.

He said, “Around 50 NGOs have worked together to prepare the alternative report to be submitted to the CEDAW committee.” Except 16 articles in CEDAW, they are going to add other hot issues such as women, peace and security, women’s right to information; and disaster and women.

They also said that there will be moral pressure on the government to submit its periodic report to the committee after civil society sends alternative report.

They also assured they would send a shadow report to the committee after the government sends the periodic report.

Chandani Joshi, who is a vigorous rights activist, said that the report will determine the future of women and their fight against various forms of violence.

“Such report prepared by the civil society will not be against the government report, but will support it,” she added.

Various issues regarding women will be raised at the meeting, thus subject experts from the government as well as non governmental organisations need to be present during the meeting, advised Joshi.