United Nations

E/1997/27 CSW

Commission on the Status of Women


E/1997/27 CSW - Report of the forty-first session

                                 Chapter III


1.   The Commission considered item 4 of its agenda at its 1st meeting, on
10 March, and at its 13th meeting (closed meeting), on 20 March 1997.

2.   At the 1st meeting, on 10 March, pursuant to Economic and Social
Council resolution 1983/27, the Commission established a working group to
consider communications concerning the status of women.  The following five
members, nominated by their regional groups, were appointed:  Lily Boeykens
(Belgium); Ana Pen~a (Peru); Seyed Hossein Rezvani (Islamic Republic of
Iran); Nonhlanhla Pamela Tsabedze (Swaziland); and Zuzana Vranova'
(Slovakia).  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 (closed meeting), on 20 March, the Commission
considered the report of the Working Group on Communications on the Status
of Women (E/CN.6/1997/CRP.3).

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 is as follows:

     "1.  The Working Group on Communications on the Statusconcern at
     recurring situations of armed conflict, which sometimes amounted to
     genocide, leading to physical and psychological abuses of women and
     the continuing use of rape as a weapon of war.

     "6.  The Working Group noted that specific forms of violence against
     women continued to exist.  They included abduction, forced
     prostitution, forced marriage, trafficking in and sale of women, and
     forced intervention in the reproductive life of women, as well as
     female infanticide and the abandonment of female infants.  It
     expressed its concern at violence against pregnant women and at sexual
     enslavement.  It pointed out that the rights of migrant women workers
     and of internally displaced and vulnerable groups, including
     indigenous women, continued to be violated.  The Working Group was
     also concerned about the number of arbitrary killings and torture of

     "7.  The Working Group also noted the continuation of harmful
     traditional practices directed at women which persist owing to,
     inter alia, insufficient efforts of some States to confront those

     "8.  The Working Group expressed its concern at the continuation of
     the brutal treatment of women by persons misusing their authority,
     among others, and through the denial of fair trial, incommunicado and
     arbitrary detention, prolonged detention without trial, rape and
     sexual abuse by security forces and prison officials, cruel and
     degrading treatment, unlawful arrest and denial of legal protection
     through police negligence, as well as the continued practice of police
     discrediting of female complainants.

     "9.  The Working Group also noted the continuing discrimination
     against women in the context of employment, including sexual
     harassment, forced labour, unequal enjoyment of training opportunities
     and inequality of pay for work of equal value.

     "10.  The Working Group considered the non-confidential communications
     and noted the continued absence of women in decision-making processes,
     particularly in the context of war and conflict resolution.  It
     further noted that the exploitation of young girls and women and
     harmful traditional practices against them did exist.

     "11.  The Working Group expressed appreciation to Governments for
     having sent replies conducive to the clarification of the cases
     concerned.  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

     "12.  The Working Group reiterated that the content of the
     communication must refer only to women and to women's issues, namely,
     injustice, or discriminatory acts or practices against women, with
     reference to the criterion used in selecting the communications to be
     submitted to the Commission on the Status of Women.

     "13.  The Working Group on Communications on the Status of Women
     recommends that, in order to provide continuity in the review of
     communications, the Commission on the Status of Women should, to the
     extent possible, nominate the same members to serve on the Working
     Group for two years."


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Date last updated: 06 December 1999 by DESA/DAW
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