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UN womens antidiscrimination body opens session to hear reports of eight countries

During its three-week session, which opened Monday, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will consider reports from Belgium, Tunisia, Zambia, Ukraine, Denmark, the Republic of Congo, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Suriname. The latter three are presenting reports for the first time.Often described as an international “bill of rights” for women, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women commits countries to incorporate the principle of equality in national legal systems, abolishing all discriminatory laws and adopting those which promote equality.Over the course of its meetings, scheduled to last until 21 June, the Committee will also discuss a report of the UN Secretariat on the ways of expediting the Committee’s work.In addition the Committee will examine revised draft reporting guidelines, as well as contributions of one of its experts, Hana Beate Schopp-Schilling, concerning how the results of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Xenophobia and Related Intolerance and the Second World Assembly on Ageing will affect the panel’s work.Over the course of its deliberations, the Committee will hold closed meetings with the Special Rapporteur of the Inter-American Commission on the Human Rights of Women, and with States parties to the Convention. read more