Expanding use of CEDAW GR 30 to promote accountability on women, peace and security
APWAPS co-hosted a training on the use of ‘CEDAW General Recommendation 30 on Women in Conflict Prevention, Conflict and Post-conflict Situations’ on 15-16 December 2014.
This was an important event to build awareness and knowledge among women activists in Asia on the use of this instrument, and focused on women activists from countries that will be reporting to CEDAW in the coming year, which includes Azerbaijan, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Timor Leste and Indonesia.
APWAPS views CEDAW GR 30 as an important mechanism to promote accountability on the women, peace and security agenda. The recommendation, adopted by the CEDAW Committee in October 2013, specifically addresses women’s rights in conflict situations. GR 30 is vital as it prioritizes protecting women’s human rights at all times and advancing substantive equality before, during and after armed conflict; it makes women rights central to the women. peace and security (WPS) agenda.
The GR is particularly relevant to advocacy on WPS in the context of Asia-Pacific where national government have been slow to institute action plans for 1325, and overall, the WPS-related resolutions of the UN Security Council have had little impact. CEDAW, however, has been ratified by almost all governments in Asia-Pacific and has clear mechanisms for reporting and accountability. APWAPS affiliates are looking to CEDAW GR 30 as a way to strengthen their lobby work on women, peace and security, and to bring about changes in government policies and actions that will make a real difference for women in conflict-affected communities..
The training was led by Ms. Pramila Patten, who leads the CEDAW Task Force on GR 30 and who also served as the Chair of the CEDAW Working Group on GR 30.
Following a general orientation on the WPS agenda from GNWP’s Mavic Cabrera Balleza, Ms Patten provided an extensive briefing on the components of the recommendation. Participants then engaged in an exercise of writing mock shadow reports regarding the state of women’s in conflict, conflict prevention and post-conflict situations. Each report was reviewed and received input from Ms Patten. This input will helps CSOs to lobby national governments and write shadow reports for CEDAW to promote accountability on women’s rights in conflict and post-conflict situations in Asia.