Chapter III COMMUNICATIONS CONCERNING THE STATUS OF WOMEN 1. The Commission considered item 4 of its agenda at the 1st meeting, on 11 March, and at the 13th meeting (a closed meeting), on 21 March 1996. 2. At the 1st meeting, on 11 March, pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution 1983/27, the Commission established a working group to consider communications regarding the status of women. The following five members, nominated by their regional groups, were appointed: Sabria Boukadoum (Algeria), Fadi Karam (Lebanon); Monica Martinez (Ecuador); Zuzana Jezerska (Slovakia); and Sharon Kotok (United States of America). Subsequently, Ana Isabel Garci'a (Costa Rica) was appointed to replace Monica Martinez (Ecuador), who was unable to complete her term. The Working Group on Communications on the Status of Women held four meetings. ACTION TAKEN BY THE COMMISSION Report of the Working Group on Communications on the Status of Women 3. At the 13th meeting (a closed meeting), on 21 March, the Commission considered the report of the Working Group on Communications on the Status of Women (E/CN.6/1996/CRP.4). 4. At the same meeting, the Commission adopted the report of the Working Group, as amended during the discussion, and agreed to include it in the report of the Commission. The report of the Working Group read as follows: "1. The Working Group on Communications on the Status of Women was guided in its deliberations by the mandate given in Economic and Social Council resolution 1983/27 of 26 May 1983. "2. The Working Group considered the confidential list of communications concerning the status of women (E/CN.6/1996/SW/COMM.LIST/30 and Add.1 and Add.2) and the non-confidential list of communications concerning the status of women (E/CN.6/1996/CRP.32). "3. The Working Group took note of the three confidential communications received directly by the Division for the Advancement of Women of the United Nations Secretariat, as well as of the 16 communications taken from the confidential list of communications received from the Centre for Human Rights of the United Nations Office at Geneva. It also took note of the non-confidential list of communications on the basis of a summary prepared by the Secretariat. "4. Regarding the confidential communications received directly by the Division, the Working Group noted some specific trends in the alleged cases of discrimination and/or violation of human rights of women, namely violations of the rights of freedom of expression and of movement; and discrimination in the right to citizenship. "5. The Working Group also considered the communications received from the Centre for Human Rights and noted the allegations of forced abortion and other violations of women's human rights in situations of war and armed conflict, such as the systematic practice of rape and abuse as a tactic of war; rape, sexual molestation and torture by security and armed forces; and rape, torture and murder in detention. The Working Group also took note of alleged cases of discriminatory treatment of female babies and rape and abuse of migrant women workers. "6. From the summary of non-confidential communications, the Working Group took note of alleged cases of violence against women; and noted the lack of women in decision-making, particularly as regards war and conflict resolution. The Working Group also took note of communications relating to the right to inheritance and ownership of land and property. "7. Having considered the above-mentioned communications, the Working Group noted that some recurring trends could be clearly identified, namely different forms of violence against women and violation of their human rights, particularly in situations of armed conflict and war. "8. The Working Group expressed appreciation to the Governments for having sent in replies conducive to the clarification of the respective cases; it noted, however, that some Governments had not replied and suggested that the Commission encourage all Governments concerned to cooperate in order to make the communications mechanism more effective. "9. The Working Group emphasized that the communications procedure of the Commission on the Status of Women was not sufficient and, therefore, not effective. In that regard, the Working Group recommended that the Commission's communications procedure be further improved."
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