United Nations

A/49/38


General Assembly

 

 



                       Report of the
                Committee on the Elimination
               of Discrimination Against Women
                     Thirteenth session

                      General Assembly
          Official Records - Forty-ninth Session
                 Supplement No. 38 (A/49/38)


                            Note


Symbols of United Nations documents are composed of capital
letters combined with figures. Mention of such a symbol indicates
a reference to a United Nations document.

     The disignations employed and the presentation of the
material in this document do not imply th expression of any
opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United
Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory,
city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the
delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


                               [Original: English/French/Spanish]

                                             [12 April 1994]


                           CONTENTS

Chapter                                         Paragraphs   Page

LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL ...........................             vi

 I.   MATTERS BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF STATES
      PARTIES ...................................              1

      A. General recommendation 21 ..............              1

      B. Suggestions ............................             10

         Suggestion 5 ...........................             10

         Suggestion 6 ...........................             10

      C. Other matters ..........................             12

         1.   Reservations to the Convention ....             12

         2.   Adequate meeting time to consider reports
              of States parties .................             14

         3.   Overdue reports ...................             14

II.   ORGANIZATIONAL AND OTHER MATTERS ..........   1 - 29    16

      A. States parties to the Convention .......   1 - 2     16

      B. Opening of the session .................   3 - 8     16

      C. Membership and attendance ..............     9       17

      D. Adoption of the agenda .................    10       17

      E. Report of the pre-session working group   11 - 21    17

      F. Organization of work ...................      22     19

      G. Composition and organization of work of the
         working groups .........................  23 - 29    19

III.  REPORT OF THE CHAIRPERSON ON THE ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN
      BETWEEN THE TWELFTH AND THE THIRTEENTH SESSIONS OF THE
      COMMITTEE .................................  30 - 35    21

IV.   CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
      UNDER ARTICLE 18 OF THE CONVENTION ........  36 - 776   23

      A. Introduction ...........................  36 - 37    23

      B. Consideration of reports ...............  38 - 776   23


         1.   Initial reports ...................  38 - 368   23

              Guatemala .........................  38 - 87    23

              Guyana ............................  88 - 125   31

              Libyan Arab Jamahiriya ............ 126 - 185   38

              Madagascar ........................ 186 - 244   45

              Netherlands ....................... 245 - 317   53

              Zambia ............................ 318 - 368   63

         2.   Second and third periodic reports . 369 - 728   71

              Australia ......................... 370 - 412   72

              Barbados .......................... 413 - 449   80

              Colombia .......................... 450 - 498   86

              Ecuador ........................... 499 - 545   94

              Japan ............................. 546 - 607  101

              New Zealand ....................... 608 - 665  111

              Senegal ........................... 666 - 728  120

         3.   Reports submitted on an exceptional
              basis ............................. 729 - 776  128

              Bosnia and Herzegovina ............ 732 - 757  128

              Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and
              Montenegro) ....................... 758 - 776  133

 V.   IMPLEMENTATION OF ARTICLE 21 OF THE
      CONVENTION ................................ 777 - 783  139

      Action taken by the Committee on the report of Working
      Group II .................................. 779 - 783  139

VI.   WAYS AND MEANS OF EXPEDITING THE WORK OF THE
      COMMITTEE ................................. 784 - 823  140

      A. Action taken by the Committee on the report of
         Working Group I ........................ 805 - 821  143

      B. Plan of activities of the Centre for Human Rights
         of the United Nations Secretariat ......    822     145

      C. Feasibility of preparing an optional protocol to
         the Convention .........................    823     145

VII.  CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE COMMITTEE TO INTERNATIONAL
      CONFERENCES ............................... 824 - 840  146

      A. Fourth World Conference on Women ....... 824 - 830  146

      B. International Conference on Population and
         Development ............................    831     149

      C. World Summit for Social Development .... 832 - 840  149

VIII. PROVISIONAL AGENDA FOR THE FOURTEENTH SESSION OF THE
      COMMITTEE ................................. 841 - 843  151

IX.   ADOPTION OF THE REPORT ....................    844     153

                               Annexes

 I.   States parties to the Convention on the Elimination
      of All Forms of Discrimination against Women as
      at 4 February 1994 ........................            154

II.   Membership of the Committee on the Elimination of
      Discrimination against Women ..............            158

III.  Documents before the Committee at its thirteenth
      session ...................................            159

IV.   Status of submission and consideration of reports
      submitted by States parties under article 18 of the
      Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
      Discrimination against Women as at 4 February 1994     161

      A. Initial reports .........................           161

      B. Second periodic reports .................           167

      C. Third periodic reports ..................           171

      D. Reports submitted on an exceptional basis           174



                      LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL


                                                 4 February 1994

Sir,

     I have the honour to refer to article 21 of the Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,
according to which the Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women, established pursuant to the
Convention, "shall, through the Economic and Social Council,
report annually to the General Assembly of the United Nations on
its activities".

     The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against
Women held its thirteenth session from 17 January to 4 February
1994 at United Nations Headquarters.  It adopted the report on
that session at its 258th and 259th meetings, on 4 February.  The
report is herewith submitted to you for transmission to the
General Assembly at its forty-ninth session.

     Accept, Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration.


                                    (Signed) Ivanka CORTI
                                             Chairperson
                                    Committee on the Elimination
                                  of Discrimination against Women


His Excellency Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali
Secretary-General of the United Nations
New York


     I.  MATTERS BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF STATES PARTIES


        A.  General recommendation 21 (thirteenth session)

              Equality in marriage and family relations

1.   The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women (General Assembly resolution 34/180,
annex) affirms the equality of human rights for women and men in
society and in the family.  The Convention has an important place
among international treaties concerned with human rights.

2.   Other conventions and declarations also confer great
significance on the family and woman's status within it.  These
include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (General
Assembly resolution 217/A (III)), the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights (resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex), the
Convention on the Nationality of Married Women (resolution
1040 (XI), annex), the Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum
Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages (resolution
1763 A (XVII), annex) and the subsequent Recommendation thereon
(resolution 2018 (XX)) and the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies
for the Advancement of Women. 1/

3.   The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women recalls the inalienable rights of
women which are already embodied in the above-mentioned
conventions and declarations, but it goes further by recognizing
the importance of culture and tradition in shaping the thinking
and behaviour of men and women and the significant part they play
in restricting the exercise of basic rights by women.

Background

4.   The year 1994 has been designated by the General Assembly in
its resolution 44/82 as the International Year of the Family. 
The Committee wishes to take the opportunity to stress the
significance of compliance with women's basic rights within the
family as one of the measures which will support and encourage
the national celebrations that will take place.

5.   Having chosen in this way to mark the International Year of
the Family, the Committee wishes to analyse three articles in the
Convention that have special significance for the status of women
in the family:


                           Article 9

         1.    States parties shall grant women equal rights with
     men to acquire, change or retain their nationality.  They
     shall ensure in particular that neither marriage to an alien
     nor change of nationality by the husband during marriage
     shall automatically change the nationality of the wife,
     render her stateless or force upon her the nationality of
     the husband.

         2.    States parties shall grant women equal rights with
     men with respect to the nationality of their children.

Comment

6.   Nationality is critical to full participation in society. 
In general, States confer nationality on those who are born in
that country.  Nationality can also be acquired by reason of
settlement or granted for humanitarian reasons such as
statelessness.  Without status as nationals or citizens, women
are deprived of the right to vote or to stand for public office
and may be denied access to public benefits and a choice of
residence.  Nationality should be capable of change by an adult
woman and should not be arbitrarily removed because of marriage
or dissolution of marriage or because her husband or father
changes his nationality.


                          Article 15

         1.    States parties shall accord to women equality with
     men before the law.

         2.    States parties shall accord to women, in civil
     matters, a legal capacity identical to that of men and the
     same opportunities to exercise that capacity.  In
     particular, they shall give women equal rights to conclude
     contracts and to administer property and shall treat them
     equally in all stages of procedure in courts and tribunals.

         3.    States parties agree that all contracts and all
     other private instruments of any kind with a legal effect
     which is directed at restricting the legal capacity of women
     shall be deemed null and void.

         4.    States parties shall accord to men and women the
     same rights with regard to the law relating to the movement
     of persons and the freedom to choose their residence and
     domicile.

Comment

7.   When a woman cannot enter into a contract at all, or have
access to financial credit, or can do so only with her husband's
or a male relative's concurrence or guarantee, she is denied
legal autonomy.  Any such restriction prevents her from holding
property as the sole owner and precludes her from the legal
management of her own business or from entering into any other
form of contract.  Such restrictions seriously limit the woman's
ability to provide for herself and her dependents.

8.   A woman's right to bring litigation is limited in some
countries by law or by her access to legal advice and her ability
to seek redress from the courts.  In others, her status as a
witness or her evidence is accorded less respect or weight than
that of a man.  Such laws or customs limit the woman's right
effectively to pursue or retain her equal share of property and
diminish her standing as an independent, responsible and valued
member of her community.  When countries limit a woman's legal
capacity by their laws, or permit individuals or institutions to
do the same, they are denying women their rights to be equal with
men and restricting women's ability to provide for themselves and
their dependents.

9.   Domicile is a concept in common law countries referring to
the country in which a person intends to reside and to whose
jurisdiction she will submit.  Domicile is originally acquired by
a child through its parents but, in adulthood, denotes the
country in which a person normally resides and in which she
intends to reside permanently.  As in the case of nationality,
the examination of States parties' reports demonstrates that a
woman will not always be permitted at law to choose her own
domicile.  Domicile, like nationality, should be capable of
change at will by an adult woman regardless of her marital
status.  Any restrictions on a woman's right to choose a domicile
on the same basis as a man may limit her access to the courts in
the country in which she lives or prevent her from entering and
leaving a country freely and in her own right.

10.  Migrant women who live and work temporarily in another
country should be permitted the same rights as men to have their
spouses, partners and children join them.


                                  Article 16

         1.    States parties shall take all appropriate measures
     to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters
     relating to marriage and family relations and in particular
     shall ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women:

         (a)   The same right to enter into marriage;

         (b)   The same right freely to choose a spouse and to
     enter into marriage only with their free and full consent;

         (c)   The same rights and responsibilities during
marriage
     and at its dissolution;

         (d)   The same rights and responsibilities as parents,
     irrespective of their marital status, in matters relating to
     their children; in all cases the interests of the children
     shall be paramount;

         (e)   The same rights to decide freely and responsibly
on
     the number and spacing of their children and to have access
     to the information, education and means to enable them to
     exercise these rights;

         (f)   The same rights and responsibilities with regard
to
     guardianship, wardship, trusteeship and adoption of
     children, or similar institutions where these concepts exist
     in national legislation; in all cases the interests of the
     children shall be paramount;

         (g)   The same personal rights as husband and wife,
     including the right to choose a family name, a profession
     and an occupation;

         (h)   The same rights for both spouses in respect of the
     ownership, acquisition, management, administration,
     enjoyment and disposition of property, whether free of
     charge or for a valuable consideration.

         2.    The betrothal and the marriage of a child shall
have
     no legal effect, and all necessary action, including
     legislation, shall be taken to specify a minimum age for
     marriage and to make the registration of marriages in an
     official registry compulsory.

Comment

     Public and private life

11.  Historically, human activity in public and private life has
been viewed differently and regulated accordingly.  In all
societies women who have traditionally performed their roles in
the private or domestic sphere have long had those activities
treated as inferior.

12.  As such activities are invaluable for the survival of
society, there can be no justification for applying different and
discriminatory laws or customs to them.  Reports of States
parties disclose that there are still countries where de jure
equality does not exist.  Women are thereby prevented from having
equal access to resources and from enjoying equality of status in
the family and society.  Even where de jure equality exists, all
societies assign different roles, which are regarded as inferior,
to women.  In this way, principles of justice and equality
contained in particular in article 16 and also in articles 2, 5
and 24 of the Convention are being violated.

     Various forms of family

13.  The form and concept of the family can vary from State to
State, and even between regions within a State.  Whatever form it
takes, and whatever the legal system, religion, custom or
tradition within the country, the treatment of women in the
family both at law and in private must accord with the principles
of equality and justice for all people, as article 2 of the
Convention requires.

     Polygamous marriages

14.  States parties' reports also disclose that polygamy is
practised in a number of countries.  Polygamous marriage
contravenes a woman's right to equality with men, and can have
such serious emotional and financial consequences for her and her
dependents that such marriages ought to be discouraged and
prohibited.  The Committee notes with concern that some States
parties, whose constitutions guarantee equal rights, permit
polygamous marriage in accordance with personal or customary law.

This violates the constitutional rights of women, and breaches
the provisions of article 5 (a) of the Convention.


                  Article 16 (1) (a) and (b)

15.  While most countries report that national constitutions and
laws comply with the Convention, custom, tradition and failure to
enforce these laws in reality contravene the Convention.

16.  A woman's right to choose a spouse and enter freely into
marriage is central to her life and to her dignity and equality
as a human being.  An examination of States parties' reports
discloses that there are countries which, on the basis of custom,
religious beliefs or the ethnic origins of particular groups of
people, permit forced marriages or remarriages.  Other countries
allow a woman's marriage to be arranged for payment or preferment
and in others women's poverty forces them to marry foreign
nationals for financial security.  Subject to reasonable
restrictions based for example on a woman's youth or
consanguinity with her partner, a woman's right to choose when,
if, and whom she will marry must be protected and enforced at
law.


                      Article 16 (1) (c)

17.  An examination of States parties' reports discloses that
many countries in their legal systems provide for the rights and
responsibilities of married partners by relying on the
application of common law principles, religious or customary law,
rather than by complying with the principles contained in the
Convention.  These variations in law and practice relating to
marriage have wide-ranging consequences for women, invariably
restricting their rights to equal status and responsibility
within marriage.  Such limitations often result in the husband
being accorded the status of head of household and primary
decision maker and therefore contravene the provisions of the
Convention.

18.  Moreover, generally a de facto union is not given legal
protection at all.  Women living in such relationships should
have their equality of status with men both in family life and in
the sharing of income and assets protected by law.  Such women
should share equal rights and responsibilities with men for the
care and raising of dependent children or family members.


                  Article 16 (1) (d) and (f)

19.  As provided in article 5 (b), most States recognize the
shared responsibility of parents for the care, protection and
maintenance of children.  The principle that "the best interests
of the child shall be the paramount consideration", has been
included in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (General
Assembly resolution 44/25, annex) and seems now to be universally
accepted.  However, in practice, some countries do not observe
the principle of granting the parents of children equal status,
particularly when they are not married.  The children of such
unions do not always enjoy the same status as those born in
wedlock and, where the mothers are divorced or living apart, many
fathers fail to share the responsibility of care, protection and
maintenance of their children.

20.  The shared rights and responsibilities enunciated in the
Convention should be enforced at law and as appropriate through
legal concepts of guardianship, wardship, trusteeship and
adoption.  States parties should ensure that by their laws both
parents, regardless of their marital status and whether they live
with their children or not, share equal rights and
responsibilities for their children.


                      Article 16 (1) (e)

21.  The responsibilities that women have to bear and raise
children affect their right of access to education, employment
and other activities related to their personal development.  They
also impose inequitable burdens of work on women.  The number and
spacing of their children have a similar impact on women's lives
and also affect their physical and mental health, as well as that
of their children.  For these reasons, women are entitled to
decide on the number and spacing of their children.

22.  Some reports disclose coercive practices which have serious
consequences for women, such as forced pregnancies, abortions or
sterilization.  Decisions to have children or not, while
preferably made in consultation with spouse or partner, must not
nevertheless be limited by spouse, parent, partner or Government.

In order to make an informed decision about safe and reliable
contraceptive measures, women must have information about
contraceptive measures and their use, and guaranteed access to
sex education and family planning services, as provided in
article 10 (h) of the Convention.

23.  There is general agreement that where there are freely
available appropriate measures for the voluntary regulation of
fertility, the health, development and well-being of all members
of the family improves.  Moreover, such services improve the
general quality of life and health of the population, and the
voluntary regulation of population growth helps preserve the
environment and achieve sustainable economic and social
development.


                      Article 16 (1) (g)

24.  A stable family is one which is based on principles of
equity, justice and individual fulfilment for each member.  Each
partner must therefore have the right to choose a profession or
employment that is best suited to his or her abilities,
qualifications and aspirations, as provided in article 11 (a)
and (c) of the Convention.  Moreover, each partner should have
the right to choose his or her name, thereby preserving
individuality and identity in the community and distinguishing
that person from other members of society.  When by law or custom
a woman is obliged to change her name on marriage or at its
dissolution, she is denied these rights.


                      Article 16 (1) (h)

25.  The rights provided in this article overlap with and
complement those in article 15 (2) in which an obligation is
placed on States to give women equal rights to enter into and
conclude contracts and to administer property.

26.  Article 15 (1) guarantees women equality with men before the
law.  The right to own, manage, enjoy and dispose of property is
central to a woman's right to enjoy financial independence, and
in many countries will be critical to her ability to earn a
livelihood and to provide adequate housing and nutrition for
herself and for her family.

27.  In countries that are undergoing a programme of agrarian
reform or redistribution of land among groups of different ethnic
origins, the right of women, regardless of marital status, to
share such redistributed land on equal terms with men should be
carefully observed.

28.  In most countries, a significant proportion of the women are
single or divorced and many have the sole responsibility to
support a family.  Any discrimination in the division of property
that rests on the premise that the man alone is responsible for
the support of the women and children of his family and that he
can and will honourably discharge this responsibility is clearly
unrealistic.  Consequently, any law or custom that grants men a
right to a greater share of property at the end of a marriage or
de facto relationship, or on the death of a relative, is
discriminatory and will have a serious impact on a woman's
practical ability to divorce her husband, to support herself or
her family and to live in dignity as an independent person.

29.  All of these rights should be guaranteed regardless of a
woman's marital status.

Marital property

30.  There are countries that do not acknowledge that right of
women to own an equal share of the property with the husband
during a marriage or de facto relationship and when that marriage
or relationship ends.  Many countries recognize that right, but
the practical ability of women to exercise it may be limited by
legal precedent or custom.

31.  Even when these legal rights are vested in women, and the
courts enforce them, property owned by a woman during marriage or
on divorce may be managed by a man.  In many States, including
those where there is a community-property regime, there is no
legal requirement that a woman be consulted when property owned
by the parties during marriage or de facto relationship is sold
or otherwise disposed of.  This limits the woman's ability to
control disposition of the property or the income derived from
it.

32.  In some countries, on division of marital property, greater
emphasis is placed on financial contributions to property
acquired during a marriage, and other contributions, such as
raising children, caring for elderly relatives and discharging
household duties are diminished.  Often, such contributions of a
non-financial nature by the wife enable the husband to earn an
income and increase the assets.  Financial and non-financial
contributions should be accorded the same weight.

33.  In many countries, property accumulated during a de facto
relationship is not treated at law on the same basis as property
acquired during marriage.  Invariably, if the relationship ends,
the woman receives a significantly lower share than her partner. 
Property laws and customs that discriminate in this way against
married or unmarried women with or without children should be
revoked and discouraged.

Inheritance

34.  Reports of States parties should include comment on the
legal or customary provisions relating to inheritance laws as
they affect the status of women as provided in the Convention and
in Economic and Social Council resolution 884 D (XXXIV), in which
the Council recommended that States ensure that men and women in
the same degree of relationship to a deceased are entitled to
equal shares in the estate and to equal rank in the order of
succession.  That provision has not been generally implemented.

35.  There are many countries where the law and practice
concerning inheritance and property result in serious
discrimination against women.  As a result of this uneven
treatment, women may receive a smaller share of the husband's or
father's property at his death than would widowers and sons.  In
some instances, women are granted limited and controlled rights
and receive income only from the deceased's property.  Often
inheritance rights for widows do not reflect the principles of
equal ownership of property acquired during marriage.  Such
provisions contravene the Convention and should be abolished.


                        Article 16 (2)

36.  In the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action 2/ adopted
by the World Conference on Human Rights, held at Vienna from 14
to 25 June 1993, States are urged to repeal existing laws and
regulations and to remove customs and practices which
discriminate against and cause harm to the girl child. 
Article 16 (2) and the provisions of the Convention on the Rights
of the Child preclude States parties from permitting or giving
validity to a marriage between persons who have not attained
their majority.  In the context of the Convention on the Rights
of the Child, "a child means every human being below the age of
eighteen years unless, under the law applicable to the child,
majority is attained earlier".  Notwithstanding this definition,
and bearing in mind the provisions of the Vienna Declaration, the
Committee considers that the minimum age for marriage should be
18 years for both man and woman.  When men and women marry, they
assume important responsibilities.  Consequently, marriage should
not be permitted before they have attained full maturity and
capacity to act.  According to the World Health Organization,
when minors, particularly girls, marry and have children, their
health can be adversely affected and their education is impeded. 
As a result their economic autonomy is restricted.

37.  This not only affects women personally but also limits the
development of their skills and independence and reduces access
to employment, thereby detrimentally affecting their families and
communities.

38.  Some countries provide for different ages for marriage for
men and women.  As such provisions assume incorrectly that women
have a different rate of intellectual development from men, or
that their stage of physical and intellectual development at
marriage is immaterial, these provisions should be abolished.  In
other countries, the betrothal of girls or undertakings by family
members on their behalf is permitted.  Such measures contravene
not only the Convention, but also a woman's right freely to
choose her partner.

39.  States parties should also require the registration of all
marriages whether contracted civilly or according to custom or
religious law.  The State can thereby ensure compliance with the
Convention and establish equality between partners, a minimum age
for marriage, prohibition of bigamy and polygamy and the
protection of the rights of children.

Recommendations

     Violence against women

40.  In considering the place of women in family life, the
Committee wishes to stress that the provisions of general
recommendation 19 (eleventh session) 3/ concerning violence
against women have great significance for women's abilities to
enjoy rights and freedoms on an equal basis with men.  States
parties are urged to comply with that general recommendation to
ensure that, in both public and family life, women will be free
of the gender-based violence that so seriously impedes their
rights and freedoms as individuals.

     Reservations

41.  The Committee has noted with alarm the number of States
parties which have entered reservations to the whole or part of
article 16, especially when a reservation has also been entered
to article 2, claiming that compliance may conflict with a
commonly held vision of the family based, inter alia, on cultural
or religious beliefs or on the country's economic or political
status.

42.  Many of these countries hold a belief in the patriarchal
structure of a family which places a father, husband or son in a
favourable position.  In some countries where fundamentalist or
other extremist views or economic hardships have encouraged a
return to old values and traditions, women's place in the family
has deteriorated sharply.  In others, where it has been
recognized that a modern society depends for its economic advance
and for the general good of the community on involving all adults
equally, regardless of gender, these taboos and reactionary or
extremist ideas have progressively been discouraged.

43.  Consistent with articles 2, 3 and 24 in particular, the
Committee requires that all States parties gradually progress to
a stage where, by its resolute discouragement of notions of the
inequality of women in the home, each country will withdraw its
reservation, in particular to articles 9, 15 and 16 of the
Convention.

44.  States parties should resolutely discourage any notions of
inequality of women and men which are affirmed by laws, or by
religious or private law or by custom, and progress to the stage
where reservations, particularly to article 16, will be
withdrawn.

45.  The Committee noted, on the basis of its examination of
initial and subsequent periodic reports, that in some States
parties to the Convention that had ratified or acceded without
reservation, certain laws, especially those dealing with family,
do not actually conform to the provisions of the Convention.

46.  Their laws still contain many measures which discriminate
against women based on norms, customs and socio-cultural
prejudices.  These States, because of their specific situation
regarding these articles, make it difficult for the Committee to
evaluate and understand the status of women.

47.  The Committee, in particular on the basis of articles 1 and
2 of the Convention, requests that those States parties make the
necessary efforts to examine the de facto situation relating to
the issues and to introduce the required measures in their
national legislations still containing provisions discriminatory
to women.

     Reports

48.  Assisted by the comments in the present general
recommendation, in their reports States parties should:

     (a) Indicate the stage that has been reached in the
country's progress to removal of all reservations to the
Convention, in particular reservations to article 16;

     (b) Set out whether their laws comply with the principles of
articles 9, 15 and 16 and where, by reason of religious or
private law or custom, compliance with the law or with the
Convention is impeded.

     Legislation

49.  States parties should, where necessary to comply with the
Convention, in particular in order to comply with articles 9, 15
and 16, enact and enforce legislation.

     Encouraging compliance with the Convention

50.  Assisted by the comments in the present general
recommendation, and as required by articles 2, 3 and 24, States
parties should introduce measures directed at encouraging full
compliance with the principles of the Convention, particularly
where religious or private law or custom conflict with those
principles.


                        B.  Suggestions

     Suggestion 5.  Feasibility of preparing an optional protocol
                    to the Convention

     The Committee notes that the World Conference on Human
Rights recommended:

     "New procedures should also be adopted to strengthen
     implementation of the commitment to women's equality and the
     human rights of women.  The Commission on the Status of
     Women and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
     against Women should quickly examine the possibility of
     introducing the right of petition through the preparation of
     an optional protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of
     All Forms of Discrimination against Women." 4/

and on the basis of its discussion, it suggests:

     (1) That the Commission on the Status of Women request the
Secretary-General of the United Nations to convene an expert
group meeting to prepare a draft optional protocol to the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women providing for a complaints procedure.  The expert
group should be composed of 5 to 10 independent experts with a
knowledge of the different forms of civilization and the
principal legal systems and a knowledge of international law and
the experience of the other human rights treaty bodies, in the
preparation and operation of optimal protocols.

     (2) The expert group meeting should be convened during 1994.

Upon the nomination of the experts by the Secretary-General, the
secretariat of the Division for the Advancement of Women should
seek written suggestions from the independent experts as to the
elements which the optional protocol should comprise.  The
secretariat should, from those suggestions, compile a working
document, which should be circulated to the experts prior to
their meeting.

     (3) The Chairperson should designate one of the members to
participate in the preliminary exchange of suggestions and in the
compilation of the working document.  That member should also
participate in the expert group meeting.

     (4) The report on the expert group meeting should be
presented first to the Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women for its comment and then to the
Commission on the Status of Women for action.


       Suggestion 6.  International Conference on Population
                      and Development

     The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against
Women,

     Bearing in mind that the Charter of the United Nations
reaffirms faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and
worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and
women,

     Recalling that the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women states that the full and
complete development of a country, the welfare of the world and
the cause of peace require the maximum participation of women on
equal terms with men in all fields,

     Recalling also that the International Conference on
Population and Development, to be held at Cairo from 5 to
13 September 1994, is being held at a time when profound
political, economic, social and cultural changes are taking place
and when it is being recognized that the role of both men and
women is the central force in sustainable development, that women
constitute the majority of the world population and that the
interdependence of their status with economic growth, the
elimination of poverty, sustainable development and population
issues,

     Noting that in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of
Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights, held at
Vienna from 14 to 25 June 1993, it is stated that the human
rights of women and of the girl child are an inalienable,
integral and indivisible part of universal human rights and that
the full and equal participation of women in political, civil,
economic, social and cultural life, at the national, regional and
international levels, and the eradication of all forms of
discrimination on grounds of sex are priority objectives of the
international community, 5/

     1.  Reiterates the provisions of the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women bearing
in mind the great contribution of women to the welfare of the
family and to the development of society, so far not fully
recognized, the social significance of maternity and the role of
both parents in the family and in the upbringing of children;

     2.  Further reiterates that the role of women in procreation
should not be a basis for discrimination but that the upbringing
of children requires a sharing of responsibility between men and
women and society as a whole;

     3.  Reaffirms that women should have, on the basis of
equality, the same rights as men to decide freely and responsibly
on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to
complete information on alternative forms of safe family planning
methods and services, including education and means to enable
them to exercise these rights;

     4.  Notes that there is a vicious cycle of women's
illiteracy, poverty, high fertility rates and discrimination in
formal and informal employment, as well as an interrelation of
these issues with population and development issues, and that due
attention must therefore be given to this interdependence in any
population and development policies as well as to allowing women
equal participation in the relevant governmental and
non-governmental decision-making processes;

     5.  Reaffirms the objective of the International Conference
on Population and Development to raise the quality of life for
all people, notably through the guarantee of human rights, the
alleviation of poverty, the creation of employment in the formal
sector and protection and access to social benefits of women
working in the informal sector and the improvement of health,
education, nutrition and housing, and considers that, as women
are generally the poorest of the poor, eliminating social,
cultural, economic and political discrimination against women is
a prerequisite for attaining the human rights of women and for
enhancing the quality of life of the people, as well as reducing
poverty, promoting economic growth and achieving sound population
policies;

     6.  Recognizes that, in view of the increase in the number
of female-headed households who are among the poorest sectors of
the population, special measures should be carried out to provide
for the special needs of female-headed families and that due
attention should be paid to them in all aspects of population and
development policies;

     7.  Strongly emphasizes that one of the main objectives of
the Conference is to eliminate discrimination against the girl
child and increase public awareness of her value as a human
being, both before and after her birth; to eliminate the root
causes of preferences for sons; to strengthen the girl child's
self-image and self-esteem and improve the status of the girl
child, especially with regard to health, nutrition and education,
and to raise the minimum age of marriage of girls to 18;

     8.  Takes note of the economic contribution of women's
domestic work and other non-remunerated work, as well as the
product of their functions in the informal sector, and considers
that due attention should be paid to the recognition of the value
of that work in research and in calculating gross national
product, which forms the basis of development and population
policies and programmes, and to the necessity of eliminating all
discriminatory practices impeding women's work in those areas
when formulating development and population policies;

     9.  Recommends that, in the formulation of sustainable
development policies, particularly for poor rural and urban
areas, the needs and tasks of women, and their impact on natural
resources, should be recognized and that women should participate
in governmental and non-governmental decision-making processes on
these issues on equal terms with men;

     10. Notes that the severe economic situation facing many
nations, both developed and developing, as well as structural
adjustment programmes and the concomitant reduction in social
programmes, have serious implications for the people;

     11. Also notes that those implications occur particularly at
the grass-roots level, where women who comprise the majority
suffer disproportionately from the transition and adjustment
periods;

     12. Calls for appropriate measures to be carried out by
Governments and international organizations and financial
institutions to alleviate the burden imposed in the life of men
and women and their families in this respect.


                       C.  Other matters

              1.  Reservations to the Convention

1.   In view of its frequently expressed concern about
reservations to the Convention, and bearing in mind the
recommendation of the World Conference on Human Rights that
States be encouraged "to consider limiting the extent of any
reservations they lodge to international human rights
instruments, formulate any reservations as precisely and narrowly
as possible, ensure that none is incompatible with the object and
purpose of the relevant treaty and regularly review any
reservations with a view to withdrawing them," 6/ the Committee
decided to take further steps to address the issue.

2.   The Committee has on a number of occasions raised the issue
of reservations to the Convention.  It recognizes that the
Convention allows reservations so that a maximum number of States
can become parties.  However, article 28 of the Convention
provides, inter alia:  "A reservation incompatible with the
object and purpose of the present Convention shall not be
permitted".

3.   At its twelfth session, the Committee recalled that it had
raised the issue of reservations to the Convention at its
previous sessions and that at its eleventh session it had
recommended, inter alia, that, in connection with preparations
for the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, States parties
should raise the question of the validity and legal effect of
reservations to the Convention in the context of reservations to
other human rights treaties (general recommendation 20).  The
Committee subscribes to the recommendation of the Conference
quoted in paragraph 1 above.

4.   The Committee decides to bring again to the attention of the
States parties the seriousness with which the Committee considers
the problem of reservations and requests that this concern be
conveyed to the seventh meeting of States parties.

5.   The Committee decides to amend the guidelines for the
preparation of initial and subsequent periodic reports, to
include a section indicating how the Committee would like States
parties which have entered reservations to report on this.  The
text of the amendment would read as follows:

         Each State party that has entered substantive
     reservations to the Convention should include information on
     them in each of its periodic reports.

         In reporting on reservations, the State party should
     indicate why it considered the reservation to be necessary
     and whether reservations the State party may or may not have
     entered on obligations with regard to the same rights in
     other conventions are consistent with the reservations to
     the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
     Discrimination against Women, as well as the precise effect
     of the reservation in terms of national law and policy.  It
     should indicate the plans that it has to limit the effect of
     reservations and ultimately withdraw them and, whenever
     possible, specify a timetable for withdrawing them.

         States parties which have entered general reservations
     that do not refer to a specific article of the Convention or
     reservations to articles 2 and 3 should make a particular
     effort to report on the effect and interpretation of them. 
     The Committee considers these to be incompatible with the
     object and purpose of the present Convention.

6.   The Committee also requests that a special letter be sent by
the Secretary-General to those States parties that have entered
substantive reservations to the Convention drawing their
attention to the Committee's concern.

7.   The Committee recommends that the programme of advisory
services of the Centre for Human Rights and of the Division for
the Advancement of Women provide, on request, advice to States
parties on the withdrawal of reservations.

8.   The Committee requests the Secretariat to bring the
Committee's concern about reservations to the attention of the
Commission on the Status of Women and the Commission on Human
Rights, as well as to the other human rights treaty bodies.

9.   The Committee further requests that the Secretariat, in
preparing analyses of reports of individual States parties,
include in the analysis an indication of reservations made by the
State to other human rights conventions on the same human rights.

10.  The Committee decides, for those States parties that have
entered substantive reservations, to include in the concluding
observations it prepares following the review of their periodic
reports a section in which the Committee's views on the
reservations would be reflected.

11.  The Committee notes that a number of States parties which
consider reservations of other States parties to be incompatible
with the object and purpose of the Convention enter objections to
the reservations.  It encourages those States to enter into a
dialogue on a bilateral basis with the States to whose
reservations they object with a view to finding a solution.


 2.  Adequate meeting time to consider reports of States parties

12.  The backlog of reports pending consideration by the
Committee is now very large and is growing since the number of
States parties is increasing.  Moreover, if an effort is made to
encourage States with overdue reports to submit them, the size of
the backlog will increase further.  If States currently parties
to the Convention were to report on schedule, the Committee would
be expected to consider 30 reports per session.  There is now an
average of three years between the time a State party submits its
report and its consideration by the Committee.  This is itself a
disincentive to report and leads to the need for the State to
present additional information to update the report which, in
turn, increases the volume of documentation that must be
considered by the Committee.

13.  The limitation on the duration of sessions of the Committee
contained in the Convention has become a serious obstacle.  The
temporary extension of sessions to three weeks cannot be expected
to eliminate the backlog.

14.  The Committee therefore recommends that the States parties
undertake to amend, on an exceptional basis and with reference
only to the workings of the Committee, article 20 of the
Convention to allow the Committee to meet annually to consider
reports submitted in accordance with article 18.  It further
recommends that the General Assembly, pending the completion of
an amendment process, authorize the Committee to meet,
exceptionally, for two sessions of three weeks duration each
preceded by a pre-session working group starting in 1995 and in
the biennium 1996-1997.

15.  It requests the Secretariat to bring this recommendation to
the attention of the States parties at their seventh meeting in
February 1994.


                      3.  Overdue reports

16.  The Committee notes with alarm that 38 States parties have
not yet submitted initial reports.  It recalls its decision to
permit States parties whose reports are long overdue to combine
reports.  It requests the Secretariat to bring this matter to the
attention of the seventh meeting of States parties and, in
cooperation with relevant organizations of the United Nations
system, to provide advisory services, on request, to countries in
preparing their reports.


             II.  ORGANIZATIONAL AND OTHER MATTERS


             A.  States parties to the Convention

1.   On 4 February 1994, the closing date of the thirteenth
session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
against Women, there were 132 States parties to the Convention on
the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,
which was adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution
34/180 of 18 December 1979, and opened for signature,
ratification and accession in New York in March 1980.  In
accordance with article 27, the Convention entered into force on
3 September 1981.

2.   A list of States parties to the Convention is contained in
annex I to the present report.


                  B.  Opening of the session

3.   The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against
Women held its thirteenth session at United Nations Headquarters
from 17 January to 4 February 1994.  The Committee held 27
plenary meetings (233rd to 259th meetings) and its two working
groups each held 6 closed meetings.  A third informal working
group met four times.

4.   The session was opened by the Chairperson of the Committee,
Ivanka Corti, who had been elected at the twelfth session of the
Committee in January 1993.

5.   In her opening statement, the Secretary-General of the
Fourth World Conference on Women stated that the Committee was
considered one of the preparatory bodies for the Conference.  The
Conference, to be held in Beijing in 1995, was an opportunity for
the Committee to assess the implementation of the Convention.

6.   The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted by
the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, had underlined the
importance of women's rights as human rights, while at the same
time expressing concern that, although women had the same human
rights as men, they did not enjoy them as much as men did.  The
Declaration had also underlined the importance of the integration
and full participation of women, as a human right, in the
sustainable development process both as agents and beneficiaries,
and had emphasized that new procedures should be adopted to
strengthen implementation of the commitment to equality and human
rights as they related to women.  The Conference had asked both
the Commission on the Status of Women and the Committee on the
Elimination of Discrimination against Women to examine the
possibility of introducing the right of individual petition
through the preparation of an optional protocol to the Convention
and had asked the Committee to continue its review of those
reservations that ran contrary to the object and purpose of the
Convention or which were otherwise incompatible with
international treaty law.

7.   She said that Latin America and the Caribbean had become the
first region where all States Members of the United Nations were
parties to the Convention, and expressed the hope that other
regions would do likewise prior to the Conference.  It would be a
great affirmation of the world's commitment to the protection and
implementation of human rights as they related to women if, by
the time of the Conference, the Convention became the first human
rights instrument to achieve universal ratification without
reservations.

8.   The preparations for the Fourth World Conference on Women
meant that it would no longer be "business as usual" in
programmes dealing with the advancement of women.  As one of the
preparatory bodies for the Conference, the Committee could
contribute to its preparation by providing guidelines on how best
to ensure that the human rights of women could be enjoyed.


                 C.  Membership and attendance

9.   All the members of the Committee, with the exception of
Ryoko Akamatsu, attended the thirteenth session.  Kongit
Sinegiorgis attended the session from 26 January to 4 February
and Rose N. Ukeje from 20 January to 4 February 1994.  For the
membership of the Committee, see annex II.


                  D.  Adoption of the agenda

10.  The Committee considered the provisional agenda
(CEDAW/C/1994/1) at its 233rd meeting, on 17 January.  The agenda
as adopted was as follows:

     1.  Opening of the session.

     2.  Adoption of the agenda and organization of work.

     3.  Report of the Chairperson on the activities undertaken
     between the twelfth and the thirteenth sessions of the
     Committee.

     4.  Consideration of reports submitted by States parties
     under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All
     Forms of Discrimination against Women.

     5.  Implementation of article 21 of the Convention on the
     Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

     6.  Ways and means of expediting the work of the Committee
     on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

     7.  Contributions of the Committee on the Elimination of
     Discrimination against Women to international conferences.

     8.  Provisional agenda for the fourteenth session.

     9.  Adoption of the report of the Committee on the
     Elimination of Discrimination against Women on its
     thirteenth session.


          E.  Report of the pre-session working group

11.  The Committee had decided at its ninth session 7/ to convene
a pre-session working group for five days before each session to
prepare lists of questions relating to the second and subsequent
periodic reports that would be considered by the Committee at the
session.

12.  The Committee, wishing to reflect in those lists the ideas
and views of various members of the Committee, decided that they
should continue to submit to the Secretariat draft questions on
specific countries and articles of the Convention prior to the
meeting of the Working Group.

13.  Following the request of the Committee, the Secretariat
prepared an analysis of each State party's report based on the
information presented in the initial report and in subsequent
reports, and using supplementary statistical data from other
United Nations sources, in order to provide information in
respect of questions to which answers were still pending.  In
compliance with the request, the analyses also drew on other
reports about the country that were available, prepared by other
human rights treaty bodies or in accordance with conventions of
the specialized agencies of the United Nations system.  The
analyses also contained, where appropriate, information
specifically provided by the specialized agencies and extracts
from the statistics of the United Nations Children's Fund
(UNICEF).

14.  The Committee had proposed five members to form the
pre-session Working Group.  The members present were:  Carlota
Bustelo, Norma Monica Forde, Tatiana Nikolaeva and Ahoua
Ouedraogo.  The fifth member, Salma Khan, was not able to attend.

15.  The pre-session Working Group held 10 meetings, including 3
drafting sessions, at United Nations Headquarters, from 10 to
14 January 1994.  Norma Monica Forde was elected as Chairperson.

16.  According to the provisional agenda of the Committee
(CEDAW/C/1994/1), the Working Group had to prepare lists of
questions for seven countries:  Australia, Barbados, Colombia,
Ecuador, Japan, New Zealand and Senegal.

17.  For the preparation of the lists, the Working Group had
before it the reports of those seven countries; the general
guidelines regarding the form and contents of periodic reports
(CEDAW/C/7); the general recommendations adopted by the
Committee; and the draft lists of questions received from six
members of the Committee.  Further reference materials included
the declarations, reservations, objections and notifications of
the withdrawal of reservations relating to the Convention
(CEDAW/SP/1994/2); the analyses, prepared by the Secretariat, of
the second periodic reports of Australia, Ecuador, Japan, New
Zealand and Senegal; the combined second and third periodic
reports of Barbados and Colombia and the third periodic reports
of Ecuador and Japan, as well as information material received
from non-governmental organizations.

18.  In preparing the lists of questions, the pre-session Working
Group followed the suggestion of the Committee to concentrate on
a limited number of questions, to focus on analytical and
qualitative aspects rather than on specific questions and to
underline the achievements, remaining obstacles and matters in
respect of which further information should be provided.  The
Working Group endeavoured to include questions that reflected, as
far as possible, the Committee's more general concerns as they
applied to the report under consideration.

19.  As in previous years, the Working Group allocated to each of
its members the main responsibility for and coordination of the
preparation of a preliminary list of questions on one or two
countries.  Each draft was subsequently discussed, revised and
amended.

20.  The lists of questions drawn up by the Working Group are
contained in the report of the pre-session Working Group
(CEDAW/C/1994/CRP.2), which the Committee had before it.  The
Working Group, as authorized by the Committee, transmitted each
list directly to the State party concerned on 14 January 1994.
21.  The Working Group paid tribute to and recognized the value
of the work done by non-governmental organizations in providing
additional information material.  The Working Group commented on
the length of some reports and the problems related to the late
submission of additional or revised reports by some countries.


                   F.  Organization of work

22.  The Committee considered its organization of work
(CEDAW/C/1994/CRP.1) at its 233rd meeting.


         G.  Composition and organization of work of the
             working groups

23.  At its 233rd and 238th meetings, on 17 and 19 January, the
Committee agreed on the composition of its two standing Working
Groups:  Working Group I to consider and suggest ways and means
of expediting the work of the Committee and Working Group II to
consider ways and means of discharging its responsibilities under
article 21 of the Convention, in particular through its
consideration of articles 7 and 8.

24.  Working Group I was composed of the following members of the
Committee:  Emna Aouij, Dora Bravo Nu¤ez de Ramsey, Norma Monica
Forde, Liliana Gurdulich de Correa, Zagorka Ilic, Lin Shangzhen,
Pirkko Anneli M„kinen, Elsa Victoria Mu¤oz-G˘mez, Tatiana
Nikolaeva, Ahoua Ouedraogo, Hanna Beate Sch”pp-Schilling, Kongit
Sinegiorgis, Mervat Tallawy and Rose N. Ukeje.

25.  Working Group II was composed of the following members of
the Committee:  Charlotte Abaka, Gl Aykor, Carlota Bustelo
Garcˇa del Real, Silvia Rose Cartwright, Ivanka Corti, Evangelina
Garcˇa-Prince, Salma Khan and Teresita Quintos-Deles.

26.  At its 237th meeting, on 20 January, the Committee also
decided to organize Working Group III to deal with issues
concerning, among others, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of
Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights.  Working
Group III was composed of the following members of the Committee:

Silvia Rose Cartwright, Ivanka Corti, Norma Monica Forde,
Zagorka Ilic, Hanna Beate Sch”pp-Schilling, Kongit Sinegiorgis
and Mervat Tallawy.

Working Group I

27.  The Committee agreed on the following draft programme of
work for Working Group I:

     (a) Reservations to the Convention;

     (b) Adequate meeting time to consider reports of States
parties;

     (c) Overdue reports;

     (d) Secretariat servicing of the Committee;

     (e) Venue of the session;

     (f) Review of the rules of procedure;

     (g) Formulation of Committee comments on the reports of
States parties;

     (h) Organization of the fourteenth session of the Committee;

     (i) Reports to be considered at the fourteenth session;

     (j) Provisional agenda for the fourteenth session.

Working Group II

28.  The Committee agreed on the following draft programme of
work for Working Group II:

     (a) Analysis of articles 7 and 8 of the Convention;

     (b) Contribution of the Committee to the Fourth World
Conference on Women;

     (c) Contribution of the Committee to the World Summit for
Social Development.

Working Group III

29.  The Committee agreed on the following draft programme of
work for Working Group III:

     (a)  Relations with the Centre for Human Rights:

     (i)  Next meeting of the Human Rights Committee;

    (ii)  Appointment of the official rapporteur on violence;

   (iii)  Plan of action of the Centre for Human Rights;

    (iv)  Human rights education (reply to the Assistant
          Secretary-General for Human Rights);

     (v)  Issues to be dealt with at the next meeting of
          Chairpersons;

    (vi)  Improvement of cooperation between human rights
          committees and their secretariats;

     (b) Input (suggestions) to the International Conference on
Population and Development;

     (c) Feasibility of drafting an optional protocol.


   III.  REPORT OF THE CHAIRPERSON ON THE ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN
         BETWEEN THE TWELFTH AND THE THIRTEENTH SESSIONS
         OF THE COMMITTEE


30.  In her introductory statement, the Chairperson of the
Committee gave an overview of the activities undertaken during
the past 12 months and the results achieved.  In an effort to
increase the visibility of the Committee, she had participated,
in her capacity as chairperson, in the thirty-seventh session of
the Commission on the Status of Women, the World Conference on
Human Rights, the meetings of the Third Committee of the General
Assembly during its discussion of the agenda item entitled
"Advancement of women" and other international conferences and
events.  She had frequently been confronted with a regrettable
lack of knowledge about the Convention and the Committee.  The
limited financial and human resources of the secretariat were one
of the reasons why so few outreach activities could be undertaken
in the past.

31.  In her contacts with the specialized agencies, in particular
the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Population Fund
(UNFPA), UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), she had
received positive feedback and indications of possible
cooperation, for example, in the field of human rights education
and the treatment of the rights of the girl child.  She
emphasized the important activities undertaken by
non-governmental organizations active in women's rights and
suggested investigating ways to utilize their contributions more
actively.

32.  The World Conference on Human Rights held at Vienna
represented a milestone for the recognition of the human rights
of women.  She noted that suggestion 4 of the Committee had been
a useful tool in drawing up the resolution elaborated by the
Commission on the Status of Women for the Conference, and she
supported the efforts of non-governmental organizations in
amending the final document of the Conference.  The Vienna
Declaration and Programme of Action recognized the Convention on
the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women as
an important international instrument in the field of women's
rights.  It also put the Committee on an equal footing with other
human rights treaty bodies.  Concerning the plans being
elaborated by the Centre for Human Rights of the United Nations
Secretariat for the implementation of the Vienna Declaration, she
said that the Committee should react immediately and suggest
action on the areas relevant to its work.

33.  Concerning the working methods of the Committee, the
Chairperson suggested introducing a new procedure for the
examination of the reports of States parties, in particular for
the formulation of final observations, following procedures
adopted by other human rights treaty bodies.  She suggested that
the Committee consider entrusting an expert, or experts, to take
the lead in studying each report.  The Committee might consider
preparing questions on initial reports in the same way as it had
prepared questions for second and subsequent reports.

34.  With regard to reservations to the Convention, neither the
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action nor the
recommendations of the persons chairing human rights treaty
bodies had gone further than the previous proposals for
reconsideration and withdrawal of reservations by States parties.

However, the Committee had to look into the matter seriously and
give its own opinion and suggestions on that important issue
concerning the Convention.

35.  Delay in the submission by States parties of reports due
should be considered a violation of international obligations and
should not prevent the Committee from examining the situation in
a particular country and reaching final conclusions.  She pointed
out the need to prepare the Committee's contribution to the
International Conference on Population and Development and to the
World Summit for Social Development.  The Committee might also
wish to reflect on its input to the Fourth World Conference on
Women, in addition to the compendium already foreseen.  She
emphasized the need to give effective expression to the
recommendations concerning articles 9, 15 and 16 of the
Convention, and suggested that the agreed text might be edited to
make it more accessible, concise and flexible.



    IV.  CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
         UNDER ARTICLE 18 OF THE CONVENTION


                       A.  Introduction

36.  At its thirteenth session, the Committee considered the
reports submitted by 13 States parties under article 18 of the
Convention:  four initial reports, two combined 8/ initial and
second periodic reports, five second periodic reports, two
combined 8/ second and third periodic reports and two third
periodic reports.  The Committee also considered two reports
submitted on an exceptional basis.  The Committee decided, for
the first time, to prepare concluding comments on each report
considered but, owing to its tight schedule, it was not able to
prepare comments on all the reports.  For the status of the
submission of reports by States parties, see annex IV to the
present report.

37.  The Committee's consideration of the reports of the States
parties is summarized below, with a summary of the introductory
presentations by the representatives of the States parties, of
the observations made and the questions asked by the members of
the Committee, as well as of the replies given by the
representatives of the States parties present at the meetings. 
The summary records provide more detailed information on the
reports submitted by States parties.  According to rule 49 of the
rules of procedure of the Committee, when the report of a State
party is being examined, the representative of the State party
shall be present at the meeting of the Committee and shall
participate in the discussion and answer questions concerning the
report.


                 B.  Consideration of reports

                     1.  Initial reports*

     *   Including subsequent reports, if submitted, in those
cases where the initial report of the State party had not yet
been considered by the Committee.


                           Guatemala

38.  The Committee considered the combined initial and second
periodic reports of Guatemala (CEDAW/C/GUA/1-2 and Corr.1 and
Amend.1) at its 242nd and 246th meetings, on 24 and 26 January
(see CEDAW/C/SR.242 and 246).

39.  In introducing the report, the representative of the
Government said that unfortunately, owing to financial
constraints, the persons most qualified to present the report
could not come to address the meeting, but that all the
Committee's comments and recommendations would be analysed and
taken into consideration for the elaboration of future policies
and in the preparation of the subsequent report.  Gender-based
studies had been undertaken and certain aspects had undergone
changes owing to the successive changes in administration and
government policy.  She gave updated information concerning the
Government and demographic data.  On 5 June 1993, the state of
law had been restored and, with the nomination of the new
President, democracy had been reinstated.  According to the most
recent projections, women made up 49.5 per cent of the
population, of which 62 per cent lived in rural areas.  She
assured the members that the new President placed special
emphasis on the protection of human rights.

General observations

40.  Members welcomed the ratification of the Convention without
reservations and the well-structured, extensive and frank report
that had followed the Committee's guidelines and reflected the
Government's effort to integrate women into the life of the
nation.  It was noted that all sectors of society were
represented in the preparation of the report.  However, it was
felt that the report could have been more analytical and that it
lacked information on the de facto situation and on policies
carried out to enact related laws.  It was suggested that the
report did not clearly indicate whether progress had been made
since the ratification of the Convention or whether the
advancement of women had encountered many obstacles.  The report
was said to lack information on national programmes to implement
the policy of non-discrimination.

41.  Regret was expressed that no one from the body which had
prepared the report had been able to attend the meeting.  While
the report stated that women were not discriminated against in
the country, it was noted that the country was divided in terms
of class and race and that there was discrimination against
indigenous women.  Experts asked whether the National Office of
Women's Affairs was taking any measures to counteract that
phenomenon.  Members also drew attention to the fact that there
was no reference to the shortcomings in the Civil Code, which
contained provisions that were discriminatory to women, although
they had been objected to by non-governmental organizations.

42.  The Guatemalan delegation's answers to the questions put by
the Committee were provided by a person who, according to a
member of the Permanent Mission of Guatemala to the United
Nations, represented a non-governmental organization active in
the area of family matters.

43.  In replying to the observations of the Committee, the
representative of the Government emphasized the priority attached
to women's issues in the country and said that, owing to the
current austerity plan, it was difficult to send Government
representatives from the country to international meetings.  The
socio-economic and political context in which the Convention was
implemented had to be taken into account in order to determine
whether national laws and their application were appropriate and
whether or not they should be considered discriminatory to women.

She said that an appeal had been made to the Constitutional Court
regarding the unconstitutionality of certain provisions contained
in the Civil Code.  She read out the judgement that had been
consequently handed down, in which the Constitutional Court said
that the Constitution protected the person and the family,
guaranteed freedom, the development of the human being, liberty,
equal rights and equal opportunities and responsibilities for
women and men and stipulated the protection of motherhood.  The
judgement rejected the claim of unconstitutionality and declared
fully justified the status, circumstances, functions and roles of
men and women, whose discriminatory nature gave rise to the
application.  Upon ratification, an international treaty such as
the Convention automatically became part of the Constitution and
made it mandatory for the State to adopt only legal measures that
were not discriminatory towards either sex.  According to that
ruling, none of the legal provisions contained in the Civil Code
was unconstitutional, and therefore contrary to the principle of
non-discrimination.

44.  The members of the Committee indicated that the reading of
the judgement and the views expressed by the representative of
the Government increased their concern at the discrimination
institutionalized in law and given expression in values and
mores.  In their view, it was not only a matter of a flawed
report; the existing situation, in which the fundamental human
rights of Guatemalan women were being violated, must be dealt
with more decisively, on the basis of an updated approach in
keeping with the international commitments of the Government of
Guatemala.

45.  Members pointed out that no information was given in the
report about any family-planning policy or about steps taken to
upgrade the health of women and children.  It was also not clear
from the report whether the machinery to implement policies to
promote the status of women had been upgraded.

46.  Members noted the significant responsibilities of women in
Guatemala, including those for health, hygiene and family
nutrition, but that women were not given the same importance as
men in outside work and in politics.

47.  It was observed that political violence conditioned people
to tolerate violence in general, which had an effect on attitudes
towards violence against women.  Political violence had to stop
so that women could once again enjoy harmony and find their
rightful place in society.  The representative explained that the
Government was currently trying to consolidate peace in order to
ensure that women could enjoy well-balanced development free from
violence.

48.  Members expressed alarm at the ruling of the Constitutional
Court, especially in a country where the content of an
international treaty became part of domestic law, once the treaty
had been ratified.  They said that if the country wished to
implement the Convention, it ought to amend some of its laws,
particularly the provisions regarding family law and gender
stereotypes.  The presentation of the report showed that the
Government did not attach much importance to women's issues and
the replies given in the report only increased the Committee's
concerns about the discriminatory nature of the Civil Code. 
There was incompatibility between the obligations undertaken by
ratifying the Convention and the actual legal situation as well
as its interpretation by the Constitutional Court.  Members noted
that this situation was completely unacceptable and suggested
that the Government should seek assistance from the United
Nations in correcting its legislation and in preparing its
subsequent report.

Questions related to specific articles

     Article 5

49.  With reference to the traditional role of women in society,
members expressed the need for the Government to extend more
educational efforts to women.  They asked which measures the
Government or non-governmental organizations had taken to promote
the implementation of article 5 not only in respect of changing
the laws, but also in respect of doing away with socio-cultural
stereotypes vis-…-vis women.  The representative said that, in
the opinion of some elements of society, the role of women was
considered to be inferior to that of men, whereas in reality that
was not the case.  Education programmes were currently under way
to teach men to acknowledge the participation of women in society
and to share the responsibility for educating the children.

50.  Members also asked whether any specific measures had been
carried out in rural areas.  When members requested more detailed
information on the issue of violence, the representative said
that education campaigns were currently being carried out to
eradicate violence against women and that the subsequent report
would contain information on the results of those campaigns and
statistical data.

     Article 6

51.  Considering that Guatemalan society appeared to view
prostitution with indifference and tended to blame prostitution
on the women themselves without taking into consideration the
social and economic environment, such an attitude entailed the
risk of exploitation by men.  Society should consider the reasons
why women were in that situation.  Members requested statistical
data related to prostitution, including information on the age
bracket and the social strata of the women involved, and asked
whether health, education and rehabilitation services had been
set up for those women.

52.  The representative was convinced that those evils were
caused by lack of adequate education and said that the aim of the
Government was to find training and new working opportunities for
those women.  Non-governmental organizations had elaborated
specific training programmes.

     Article 7

53.  Satisfaction was expressed that illiterate women were no
longer discriminated against in their voting rights.  Members
requested statistical data on the number of women who
participated in elections and on the political inclinations of
women and asked whether women in rural areas were restricted in
exercising their voting rights.

     Article 10

54.  Members asked what measures had been taken to revise school
books or train educators with a view to eliminating
discriminatory concepts and what had been done to reduce female
illiteracy.  The representative said that the concept of
complementarity and gender equality would be promoted through
education and that the subsequent report would contain detailed
information on the measures taken in that respect.

55.  Members inquired whether the gender-specific schools that
had been mentioned in the report still existed both in urban and
in rural areas and whether economic factors had not led to a
coeducational school system.  The representative explained that
parents had the right to choose the form of education that they
preferred for their children.  There was no discrimination
involved.

56.  Bearing in mind the cultural diversity of the country, with
some 23 different languages spoken, members asked whether the
educational programmes took those cultures into account.

57.  Further data were requested on the gender distribution in
the various fields of study.

     Article 11

58.  As the country had ratified Convention 100 of the
International Labour Organization (ILO), members would welcome
assurances that its provisions were also being implemented and
requested more information on the matter.

59.  While women working in the formal sector were covered by the
social security system, the majority of women worked in the
informal sector and in domestic service and lacked social
security coverage.  It was suggested that relevant policies
should be modelled on those of other countries where women
working in the informal sector were incorporated into the social
security system.  Regarding the law governing the supply of
child-care services for enterprises with more than 30 workers, it
was said that the number should not be limited to female workers;
otherwise, employers would not hire women so as not to have to
comply with the obligations.

60.  Members required further clarification on the reasons for
the wage discrimination against women and asked whether women
were mobilizing themselves to defend their rights under the
Convention.  Members also asked whether the differences in wages
between women and men were equally large in the formal and the
informal sectors, whether women working in the informal sector
were entitled to maternity leave and pensions and could join
trade unions and what programmes had been established to improve
the situation of women in the informal sector.

61.  According to the report, fines for firing a woman for
becoming pregnant were so low that employers simply paid the fine
and fired the woman.  It was hoped that future reports would
address that situation.  Members asked whether women's work in
the informal sector was reflected in national economic statistics
and what the working conditions of women in the garment
industries were.

62.  The representative said that women could organize themselves
freely.  The fact that there were not many groups was a result of
cultural factors and showed the satisfaction that women felt with
their society.

     Article 12

63.  Members inquired about the Government's family-planning
policy and asked whether the programmes were geared only towards
rural women or also directed towards women in urban areas and
indigenous women.

64.  The representative said that the family-planning policy was
given wide publicity and was open to anybody.  Every small
community had family-planning services.  Indigenous communities
had equal access, but they considered the practices harmful to
their traditions and habits.  They also tended to object to using
contraceptives because they thought that their use was a birth
control method specifically targeted at them to exterminate their
culture and people.  The representative explained that family
planning had negative effects on the population.  Women had been
strongly discriminated against in that all of the preventive
methods had been directed only against them.  Indigenous women
were not given information about the effects of contraceptives on
their bodies and sometimes the donation of food was linked to the
use of contraceptives.  Birth control led to the breakdown of the
society and the family.  It also had a negative effect on youth
and increased the number of households headed by single women.

65.  The representative stated that her country was composed of
many ethnic groups and was characterized by a sense of
solidarity, family support and understanding and that,
consequently, it would be desirable if economic support for
population control were directed towards education programmes,
which would improve living standards and lead to a more balanced
growth of the population.

66.  As abortion was a punishable offence, members asked what the
sentences were.

     Article 14

67.  Members expressed concern at the unequal distribution of
land in rural areas and inquired about the existence of any
indentured conditions under which women worked, whether rural
women had access to child and health care and whether they could
own land and have access to credit.

68.  Members commented that in Guatemala sexist notions, such as
the "natural" role of women in the context of procreation, were
still being reinforced.  If such sexist attitudes prevailed, they
would have adverse effects on the future of girls who would
choose only traditional feminine careers.  Members inquired about
consciousness-raising campaigns that should enhance the social
and economic role of women rather than their role in the family. 
The representative stated that the notions of the role of women
in the family should not be changed.  A misunderstanding of
equality would not benefit any society.  It was more important to
encourage the idea of the complementarity of men and women.

     Article 16

69.  Commenting on the minimum age for marriage, which was 14 for
girls and 16 for boys, experts said that such a provision
encouraged child marriages and should be abolished with a view to
setting the same legal age for both partners.  In her reply, the
representative quoted the judgement made by the Constitutional
Court according to which civil rights were acquired with the
attainment of majority.  Entrance into marriage required that the
couple had reached majority.  The different age requirements for
boys and girls were based on physiological and biological factors
and on the interests of society.  Consequently, the difference in
minimum age was not considered to be unconstitutional.

70.  Regarding the concern expressed by members about the family
law, which was discriminatory to women as it contained a rigid
description of the roles of women and men, thus reinforcing
existing stereotypes, the representative stated that the
legislature sought to protect the family, as it was the
foundation of the State.

71.  Members expressed the opinion that the legal provision
according to which the husband remained the head of the family
and a woman needed the husband's permission to take up outside
activities was contrary to the provisions of the Convention and
extended the patriarchal system.  It was a source of basic
discrimination against women and, although the Constitution
provided for the right to work, the "husband's law" seemed to be
superior to the basic law.  Likewise, the family law spoke only
of the obligation of women to look after the children and take
care of the household, without also mentioning the husbands.

72.  In reply the representative referred to the ruling of the
Constitutional Court which said that men and women had equal
family responsibilities in protecting the children.  The law that
gave the husband the right to represent his spouse in no way
harmed the wife, especially as the role of head of the family
could be assumed by the wife if the husband was unable to do so
because he had either abandoned the household or been sentenced
to imprisonment.  The administration of property was carried out
by common agreement between the spouses.  The representative said
that the provisions according to which the husband had to provide
assistance to the wife and the wife had the right and duty to
care for minor children were in no way discriminatory; they were
only meant to protect the wife.  Neither of the two spouses could
avoid their responsibilities towards their children.  Women were
not prohibited from taking on outside activities as long as such
jobs did not prevent them from taking care of their minor
children and the household and were not contrary to the purpose
of marriage and the obligations inherent in maternity.

73.  When members asked whether women had taken court action to
claim their rights, whether any amendment of the law was planned
and what the reaction of women's groups to that law was, the
representative said that no claims had ever been entered to
oppose the husband as the representative of the family.

74.  The representative said that it was necessary for women to
educate their sons to respect gender equality and that the
responsibility for educating the children was shared.

75.  In reply to the comment by the members that the criminal
code was discriminatory as it penalized women more heavily than
men for committing adultery, the representative said that the
Government was currently trying to amend the discriminatory
provisions of the code.

Concluding comments of the Committee

     Positive aspects

76.  The Committee commended the Government of Guatemala for
having ratified the Convention without reservations, and they
expressed great interest in the initiatives undertaken to bring
about legal changes with a view to achieving equality of
Guatemalan men and women in the context of efforts to restore
peace.

     Principal subjects of concern

77.  The Committee indicated that the Government's failure to
cooperate in funding travel for the person in Guatemala
responsible for matters relating to women showed that it attached
little importance to the subject; such situations probably did
not arise in connection with Guatemala's obligations under other
human rights treaties.

78.  In their comments the Committee members mostly indicated
that despite the efforts made there was a clearly discriminatory
situation in Guatemala in which extremely stereotyped social,
economic, political and cultural roles were assigned to men and
women; that situation resulted in subordination of Guatemalan
women in virtually all the areas and at all the levels covered by
the articles of the Convention.  Information was requested with
respect to the application filed by the Procurator's Office in
Guatemala, on grounds of unconstitutionality, for rescission of a
number of articles of the Civil Code.

79.  Almost all the members said that Guatemalan legislation,
particularly the Civil Code, must be brought into line with the
Convention, and that as a matter of priority it was necessary to
focus on the provisions of article 16; the Code contained highly
discriminatory provisions that restricted or violated the
fundamental human rights of Guatemalan women, which the State was
under an obligation to protect as a result of its accession to
the Convention and other human rights instruments safeguarding
the rights in question.  The members voiced similar concerns with
regard to the Criminal Code.

80.  The Committee expressed concern at the discrepancies that
existed to the detriment of women with regard to education and
employment, remuneration and involvement in economic activity;
they also expressed concern about what was being done to prevent
and punish violence against women, and about ways of dealing with
prostitution.

81.  In short, the members of the Committee commented that women
did not appear to be a priority for the Government, that there
was far-reaching legal discrimination, and that there was no
information on initiatives to combat discrimination resulting
from highly stereotyped cultural patterns or on the actual
situation of women among indigenous ethnic groups.  In general,
they regarded the report as inadequate in the light of the
recommendations made by the Committee in that connection.  They
expressed the view that the very wording of the report was
sometimes discriminatory; that showed that the Government needed
to review and adjust its approach so as to improve the situation
of Guatemalan women.

     Suggestions and recommendations

82.  The Committee indicated that the following steps should be
taken to improve the presentation of future reports:

     (a) Reports should give a more detailed analysis of actual
situations and provide figures and indicators; they should be
less descriptive and focus less on regulatory matters;

     (b) Reports should provide an analysis of all articles of
the Convention and demonstrate what changes had taken place in
the implementation of laws and programmes;

     (c) The analysis should cover rural-urban and ethnic
differences, which are a matter of great importance in Guatemala.

83.  As a matter of urgency, the Government of Guatemala must
bring its initiatives into line with the Convention.  It must
make a special effort to ensure that judges and other individuals
involved in the interpretation and implementation of Guatemalan
legislation, including legislators themselves, are familiar with
the Convention, which is an integral part of Guatemala's
legislation, with a view to bringing the provisions of the
Constitution concerning equality, as well as legislation,
judgements and programme initiatives, into line with the
Convention and other international instruments safeguarding the
human rights of women.

84.  The Committee wished to know more about the status and
capacities of national machinery.

85.  As a matter of priority, Guatemala must make the most urgent
legal changes so as to guarantee equality, particularly with
regard to article 16 of the Convention.

86.  The Committee therefore requested the Government of
Guatemala urgently to take all necessary measures and adopt
policies to improve the situation of women in Guatemala in
compliance with the Convention and to report on those measures in
its subsequent report.

87.  It was suggested that the Guatemalan Government could
request technical support for the preparation of its next report.




                            Guyana

88.  The Committee considered the initial report of Guyana
(CEDAW/C/5/Add.63) at its 235th and 239th meetings, on 18 and 20
January (see CEDAW/C/SR.235 and 239).

89.  In introducing the report, the representative of Guyana
emphasized that the global economic crisis of the 1980s and the
concomitant recession had hit her country hard as it was one of
the most vulnerable.  Forty per cent of the population in the
countries of Latin America and the Caribbean were living under
conditions of poverty, unable to satisfy basic needs.  Owing to
their vulnerable position in society, women were more harshly
affected by the socio-economic crisis.  The fact that poverty
affected women more than men was a common phenomenon in the
region.

90.  As a result of the economic problems, commencing with the
oil crisis in the 1970s, the "cooperative socialism" that had
been the official policy of the country had undergone a critical
period, which had led to a continuous breakdown of the basic
infrastructure.  Growing unemployment and low wages had led to
increased internal migration and emigration of men. 
Female-headed households had increased from 24.4 per cent in 1980
to 29.5 per cent in 1992.  The percentage of permanent female
emigrants had also increased in the last years, resulting in a
higher number of male-headed single-parent households.  The
influx of women into the labour force had brought with it the
most profound changes in the labour market.

91.  Guyana had been rated as one of the poorest countries in the
Western hemisphere.  The widespread impoverishment of the
majority of Guyanese had brought with it a continuous decline in
per capita production and real wages while prices of basic
commodities were rising; a severe reduction in the quality of the
educational system; hunger, malnutrition, homelessness and an
increasing number of street children; inadequate housing and a
decline in the public health services.  As a result of such
neglect of the development of human resources, the last few years
had witnessed a drastic decrease in life expectancy and a rise in
infant mortality.

92.  Structural adjustment programmes, introduced in response to
the economic problems, had brought about new forms of stress,
which added to the crisis created by prior mismanagement.  Severe
shortages in the basic food supply had had an impact on women who
were forced to queue for long hours to purchase basic
commodities.  Cuts in public expenditure had brought about a
decline in social services, particularly health and education, as
well as in infrastructure, including transportation, water supply
and electricity.  Women, as primary household managers and income
earners, were particularly affected.

General observations

93.  Members of the Committee welcomed the very candid report,
which had been presented with frankness by a high-level political
representative.  They recalled that Guyana had demonstrated a
long commitment to the Convention and was among the first Member
States to sign and ratify the Convention without reservation.  It
had also been the first country of the region to present a
candidate for membership of the Committee.

94.  Members of the Committee welcomed the political will to
implement the Convention, but were aware of the cultural, social
and economic constraints to its implementation.  Asked whether
all the provisions of the Convention were fully implemented in
the legislation of the country, the representative explained that
certain articles of the Convention were dealt with in statutes,
which were enforceable in the courts.  There was no tardiness on
the part of the Government in reducing discrimination against
women, since the 1980 Constitution already contained provisions
with respect to equality for women.  In 1983 the Children Born
out of Wedlock Act was adopted, which removed any discrimination
against children born out of wedlock.  In 1990, the Equal Rights
Act was adopted by Parliament, giving women the right to seek
redress for discriminatory practices on the basis of sex.  The
implementation of the Convention had improved the status of women
generally, raised consciousness about the issue in women's
organizations and in male-dominated institutions, and focused
attention on the remaining obstacles.

95.  Members were interested to learn whether the Convention
could be invoked in the event of the violation of women's rights,
and what was the relationship between national legislation and
the Convention.  The representative replied that under the law
women in Guyana were given a significant degree of protection. 
Women's access to the courts was afforded by way of the
constitutional and municipal law provisions.

96.  Concerning a question about the time-frame of the programme
for the advancement of women, the representative replied that a
national policy statement on women existed, but that several
ongoing programmes for the integration of women in development
could not be fully implemented because of economic constraints.

97.  Members noted that the report emphasized elimination of de
jure discrimination, but that more information was needed on the
de facto situation of women.  In particular, more statistical
data should be provided.  They invited the Government, when
preparing subsequent reports, to refer to existing norms and
facts and to interpret changes that had taken place.  That would
avoid any contradictions that might appear in the present report.

The representative said that her Government was fully aware of
the deficiencies in the collection of data and statistics and was
searching for assistance from international agencies to remedy
the situation.

98.  Asked whether non-governmental organizations had been
consulted when preparing the report, the representative stressed
that the Women's Affairs Bureau, as the national machinery, was
in direct liaison with women's non-governmental organizations,
and had been largely responsible for the preparation of the
report.

99.  Members of the Committee welcomed the clear description of
the negative impact of structural adjustment programmes on women,
which illustrated how political and economic change would affect
women negatively, if human resource development was not
considered.  Members asked for further information on actions
taken by the Government to mitigate the negative impact of such
programmes on women and children.  The representative mentioned
that, under the Social Impact Amelioration Programme, periodic
payments were made to elderly women and pregnant and lactating
mothers, for a limited period of time, to cushion the effects of
the withdrawal of government subsidies of basic goods.  Guyana
received assistance from a number of United Nations programmes
and specialized agencies and other donors.  Seventeen health-care
projects had been carried out.  However, significant delays in
the implementation of projects were experienced, and the
Government's capacity to absorb further badly needed assistance
was limited by its inability to provide administrative and
financial counterparts.

100.  Members praised the active role women in Guyana had played
in the struggle for independence, which should guarantee them the
right to enjoy fundamental rights without conditions.  Asked why
the basic rights in the Constitution were linked not only to
respect for the rights and freedoms of others, but also to
respect for the public interest, the representative said that
this did not lead to abuse and injustice since the courts, as
guardians of the rights of individuals under the Constitution,
could be approached by any aggrieved party seeking redress.

Questions related to specific articles

      Article 2

101.  Given the existence of different ethnic and indigenous
groups in Guyana, members wanted to know if they had preserved
their cultural roots, because culture could be used as a unifying
force in development.  More information was required on
traditional customs and religious traditions, and the way they
affected women and undermined the provisions of the Convention. 
The representative replied that the largest ethnic communities
were the East Indians (49.5 per cent) and the Africans (35.6 per
cent); the indigenous population of Amerindians made up 6.8
per cent of the population.  As a result of the divide-and-rule
practice of colonialism, the two major racial groups were divided
in the late 1950s and again in the 1960s.  Amerindians had
originally had their own culture, but the process of
socialization had altered some sections of the indigenous people,
who had become involved in national life in the field of
education, health and training.  Under the Constitution, all
citizens had the right to practise their customs and religion. 
Some religious norms were used to keep women down, not giving
them the right to chose their husbands and not allowing them into
male-dominated religious positions.  However, the fundamental
problem of male domination over women was inherent to all racial
groups.

      Article 3

102.  Members of the Committee appreciated the appointment of a
minister for the advancement of women and requested further
information on the mandate of the Minister, the limits imposed on
her work and the existence of focal points in the various other
ministries.  The representative replied that the Ministry of
Labour, Human Services, Social Security and Housing had a Senior
Minister in charge of Labour and Housing and a Junior Minister
responsible for Human Services and Social Security, which
included women's affairs as one of 11 areas of responsibility. 
No limits were imposed on the work of the Minister.  With regard
to the national machinery for the advancement of women, the
Minister was collaborating on a weekly basis with the
administrators of the Women's Affairs Bureau.

      Article 4

103.  It was asked which temporary measures had been taken to
accelerate de facto equality between men and women.  Members also
inquired about existing programmes to increase the number of
women in decision-making positions at all levels.

104.  The representative replied that the Women's Affairs Bureau
was engaged in project monitoring and the implementation of
projects directly targeting women, in particular in the
acquisition of skills and education, training in small business
management and health.

      Article 5

105.  Assuming a high incidence of violence against women as in
any society, members asked for information on the extent of
violence in all its forms, the measures taken by the Government
to eliminate violence, police intervention and court procedures. 
The representative replied that violence occurred at all levels
of society and that about 48 per cent of women had been
physically assaulted in 1993.  Only recently had women started to
report assaults committed against them by their spouses or
common-law partners.  While arresting the perpetrators, male
police very often displayed reluctance to institute charges and
considered the assaults a purely domestic matter.  Women's
organizations had therefore called for female investigators. 
Refuges and shelters for abused women, as well as a hotline, had
been established.  A draft Domestic Violence Bill was to be
placed before Parliament, following the format of similar bills
in other Caribbean countries.  The Government and non-
governmental organizations were planning an education programme
to sensitize young people about other forms of conflict
resolution, self-esteem and respect for females.

      Article 6

106.  Members sought more information on prostitution and related
activities and wanted to know whether laws and specific
programmes had had an impact on reducing the number of
prostitutes.  The representative stated that the law penalized
any male person for knowingly living, wholly or partly, on the
earnings of prostitution or soliciting for an immoral purpose. 
To prevent the increase of prostitution linked to the urban
migration of young women, efforts were being made to raise the
living standards in rural areas and to encourage young women
there to undertake income-generating activities.

      Article 7

107.  Noting that the report gave figures on the percentage of
women in certain high-level positions, members asked further
information on the number of women in middle-level management
positions, and on women's participation in non-governmental
organizations, political parties and labour unions.  The
representative replied that women constituted a small but growing
pool of middle- and lower-level managers and that their
participation had risen from 14.9 per cent in 1985 to 25.4
per cent in 1993.  However, women's representation at the
executive level had decreased sharply, from 25.5 per cent to
12.4 per cent, during the same period.  Only in the low-paying
service sector and the teaching professions did women play a
significant role in decision-making.  Women were active in the
trade unions, in both the private and the public sector, holding
a few high positions in management and the executive branches. 
Exclusively female trade union organizations did not exist.

108.  She stated that women were a clear minority at the higher
echelons of public and political life and were grossly
underrepresented in top positions.  Female participation in the
parliamentary assembly had increased significantly, from 14
per cent in 1980 to 22 per cent in 1985, but decreased to 15.7
per cent in 1993 with the change of Government.  The imbalance in
male-female representation in Parliament was also reflected in
the Government, where only two women had been appointed, one as
Health Minister and the other as Minister for Labour, Human
Services, Social Security and Housing.  However, in other
decision-making positions in the Government, the situation had
improved with an increase in the number of permanent secretaries
and other high-level positions, from 21.4 per cent in 1987 to
33.3 per cent in 1993.  At the regional level, the percentage of
female mayors had declined from 40 per cent in 1980 to 20
per cent in 1986 and 16.7 per cent in 1993.

109.  With regard to women's participation in political parties,
she recalled women's historical involvement in political life,
especially in the work of parties and during elections.  The
major problem was that only a few women could attain leadership
roles in their parties owing to male competition, lack of
assertiveness and their additional burden of child-rearing.

      Article 8

110.  Members acknowledged the frankness of the part of the
report
under discussion, but asked for additional explanation about the
obstacles that prevented women from participating in
decision-making and whether there was actual equality of
opportunity for women in access to power in public life.  The
representative replied that the stereotypical attitudes of women
and men inhibited women's access to decision-making positions. 
As more women entered professional life, it was to be hoped that
that trend would change.

      Article 10

111.  Asked for further data on school drop-out rates for girls,
the representative stated that only 18.9 per cent of women
dropped out at the tertiary level, compared to 81.2 per cent for
men.  No data were available for drop-out rates at the primary
and secondary levels but they would be supplied in the next
report.  Drop-outs were given a second chance to pursue higher
studies.  In response to the question whether the programmes
mentioned in the report were aimed at stereotypical vocational
skills, she stated that programmes were open to both sexes, but
the women opted for traditionally female-oriented programmes of
study.

      Article 11

112.  More information was sought on equal access to training,
job
segregation, women's employment in health, education and the
industrial sector and their contribution to agriculture.

113.  The representative said that women had equal access to
education and training.  Training was an integral part of women's
involvement in work.  The gender-specific division of labour was
linked to the traditional definition of women's economic roles,
the majority of women being employed in the clerical, sales and
service sectors.  A low percentage of women found employment in
the agricultural sector, where women's involvement in household
subsistence farming and poultry rearing for additional family
income was not taken into account.

114.  A high proportion of economically inactive females was
involved in domestic duties, but the figure had declined owing to
the changing role of women, who needed to supplement family
income.

115.  Members wished to know if women had equal opportunity with
men in obtaining full-time jobs.  The representative noted that
although women had equal opportunity with men, they were burdened
by child-rearing activities traditionally considered a female
responsibility.  The lack of child-care facilities affected
women's participation in the labour force negatively, in
particular if they could not rely on grandparents or elderly
relatives.  The Government and non-governmental organizations
were providing some day care for children.

116.  In reply to the question about equal remuneration for men
and women, the representative quoted the 1990 Equal Rights Act,
which provided, inter alia, that women and men should be paid
equal remuneration for the same work or work of the same nature. 
Although in general women were paid the same as men, in some
private sector organizations women with similar qualifications
and performing the same tasks were still paid less.

      Article 12

117.  Members required further information on programmes to
combat
the AIDS/HIV pandemic and on existing facilities for infected
women.  The representative stressed that the increase in HIV
infection among women far exceeded that of men, although fewer
women carried the virus than men.  The Government had launched
education programmes to combat the spread of AIDS among young
people, encouraging the use and acceptance of condoms. 
Discussions on removing taboos associated with sexual behaviour
had taken place.  She also reported on efforts being made to end
the stigmatization of AIDS victims.

\199  Referring to the severe problem of anaemia, a very
incapacitating illness for women, members wanted to know if
female malnutrition resulted from the traditional diet, lack of
variety of foods or poverty.  Given the decrease in life
expectancy, members asked for the common causes of female
mortality.  The representative stated that high-risk pregnancies,
lack of trained medical attendants, malnutrition and abortion
were some of the contributing factors.  A 50 per cent decrease in
government spending on health services had had an impact on the
86 per cent of the population considered to be living under the
poverty line, and on women in particular.

119.  Concerning family planning, members requested information
on
the existence of a national family planning programme, on access
to special maternity services and on the availability, use and
general acceptance of contraceptives.  The representative
informed the Committee that family planning advice and
counselling was conducted at 166 clinics across the country and
included the provision of various forms of contraceptives,
prenatal and postnatal services, immunizations, pap smears,
pregnancy tests, infertility and fertility counselling and
treatment.  Women, in general, accepted family planning very
well.  A responsible parenthood organization was conducting
educational programmes for young people.  The representative also
said there was no government policy on family planning owing to
the demographic trends of high mortality and emigration in
Guyana.

120.  On the incidence of abortion, the representative stated
that
the number of illegal abortions was high as abortion was often
used as a form of contraception by women having no access to
other family planning methods.  The highest number of abortions
occurred in the 24-29-year age group and among East Indian women,
followed by Black women.  There was an ongoing debate on the
decriminalization of abortion as proposed in a bill tabled in
Parliament.

      Article 14

121.  Members of the Committee welcomed the policy of
decentralization and wished to obtain further information on the
involvement of women at the district level.  The representative
replied that women were generally involved in all sectors of
rural life.  After the 1992 elections, there had been a
resurgence of community development groups, in which women played
an important role.

      Article 16

122.  With regard to reform of the family law, members expressed
the opinion that a more comprehensive approach should be
preferred to a segmented process of amendment.  Harmonization
with the rest of the Caribbean countries should be given special
attention.  The representative agreed and added that the
establishment of a family court had been called for by women's
organizations over the past decade.  She also informed the
Committee about the Married Persons Property Amendment Act and
the Family Dependants Provision Act adopted in 1990, which
changed the laws relating to the division of the property of
spouses upon the dissolution of marriage or the break-up of a
common-law relationship.  In reply to a question on the equal
division of marital property in case of divorce, she stated that
the Married Persons Property Amendment Act made provisions for
the services of the wife in the home to be quantified in
assessing her contribution to the acquisition of marital
property.

123.  More information on female-headed households was asked for,
in particular on the incidence in different ethnic groups, on
their cultural acceptance and government programmes for providing
assistance.  The representative regretted that no data on female-
headed households were available, but promised that the second
periodic report would supply that information.  Although the
incidence of female-headed families was widespread, it was
highest among the Afro-Guyanese population.

124.  Specific information was sought on the Equal Rights Act
that
enabled courts to define discrimination and on any instances when
the law had been applied.  The representative informed the
Committee that the Act did not define discrimination and had
never been considered in the courts owing to its relatively
recent passage.  No cases alleging discrimination had been
brought up so far.

125.  The Committee deferred its concluding comments on the
report
of Guyana until its fourteenth session.



                    Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

126.  The Committee considered the initial report of the Libyan
Arab Jamahiriya (CEDAW/C/LIB/1 and Add.1) at its 237th and 240th
meetings, on 19 and 21 January (see CEDAW/C/SR.237 and 240).

127.  In introducing the report, the representative of the
Government of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya apologized for the fact
that the Assistant Secretary of the General People's Congress,
who was a woman, was not able to attend and personally have a
dialogue with the members of the Committee.  He gave an overview
of the structure of the report and highlighted its main points. 
He said that in his country there were no laws that were in any
way discriminatory against women.  Libyan legislation contained
the principle of equality of women and men.  The Shariah equally
emphasized the importance of women in society.

128.  He mentioned the modified school curricula that ensured the
elimination of stereotypes and said that women received the same
education as men and were encouraged to enter any kind of
occupation.  Prostitution was prohibited and there were no
obstacles to the participation of women in political and public
life.  Women had the same rights as men to participate in
professional associations, and the General Union of Women's
Associations had been created for the promotion of women.  The
percentage of women in education was increasing and women were
sometimes provided with better facilities than men.  Maternity
had no effect on seniority, social allowances and the job
situation.  However, women had not yet reached the same positions
as men at high levels.

129.  Women were considered as the cornerstone of the society. 
They were equal to men before the law, they had equal rights with
regard to the custody of their children and they were the
partners of men in civil, cultural and social life.  Women could
write their own wills, independent of men, and had the right to
choose their husbands.  Women had made big strides in the last 25
years, considering the conditions they had previously experienced
in that region and, as they had penetrated all spheres of life,
the country had laid a firm basis for equality.

General observations

130.  Members of the Committee commended the accession of the
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to the Convention.  While thanking the
representative for having appeared before the Committee, they
indicated concern that Libyan women could not be present
themselves to talk about their experiences.  General and serious
concern was expressed about the reservation that had been entered
at the time of accession and about the fact that the reservation
was not at all touched upon in the report.  Members asked whether
the Government had not taken into consideration the objections
that had been raised by many countries with a view to
reconsidering the issue.  Bearing in mind that the Shariah had
given equality to women, as mentioned in the report, it did not
seem clear why the reservation was still maintained, particularly
as it constrained the Government's ability to comply with article
2 of the Convention.  Members felt that the interpretation of the
Koran had to be reviewed in the light of the provisions of the
Convention and in the light of the current social environment. 
It was not possible to speak of equal rights of women and yet to
maintain gender differentiation and sexual stereotypes, such as
insisting on the role of women as housekeepers.

131.  In replying to the concerns of the members, the
representative of the State party explained that the Islamic
religion was designed to emancipate men and women from all forms
of slavery by prohibiting injustice, making the promotion of
women a precondition for the road to paradise and calling for
equality among all human beings.  Any gender difference, if
considered objectively, did not constitute discrimination based
on sex.  Reservations were entered by Islamic countries in order
to avoid embarrassment in view of the literal meaning of legal
texts.  He assured the Committee that its concerns would be
conveyed to the competent authorities.

132.  In additional comments, members observed that they were
still unclear about the reasons for the country's maintenance of
its reservation to the Convention.  They said that the
reservation was very much related to the question of
interpretation of the Shariah.  They felt that the Shariah was
very supportive of women's equality, rights and dignity. 
However, it had come into force 1,500 years ago and was not
immutable.  The Shariah itself gave equality to women, but the
problem that had to be overcome was that of interpretation. 
Religions should evolve over time, but the evolution or the
ijtihad, the interpretation of the Shariah, had come to a
standstill three centuries ago.  The thinking about some
religious roles had not evolved from that time and it was not
proper to apply a standard that had applied several centuries ago
to the present world.  In some countries the Shariah had been
interpreted in a more progressive way, as a result of the
political will of the Government.  The Koran permitted the
ijtihad for the interpretation of the Islamic religion. 
Therefore, efforts should be made to proceed to an interpretation
of the Shariah that was permissible and did not block the
advancement of women.  The Government was urged to take a leading
role in its interpretation of the Shariah as a model for other
Islamic countries.  Reservations that were incompatible with the
goals of the Convention were not acceptable.

133.  Although members commended the Government for the timely
submission of its report, they criticized the fact that certain
articles of the Convention had not been dealt with separately and
lacked detailed information, that the report appeared to be more
theoretical and did not contain information on the de facto
situation of women and that it contained technical errors and
contradictions. One of those errors pertained to table 2 and was
explained by the representative as a typographical error in the
translated version (it should read 1984 and not 1974).  Members
of the Committee pointed out the scarcity of statistical data, in
particular regarding the issues of violence against women,
migrant women, women migrating to urban areas and the drop-out
rate for female school attendants.

134.  While the law relating to disabled persons was praised,
further comments  on its legal provisions were requested.  It was
asked which new laws had been adopted since the country's
accession to the Convention and which laws gave priority to
women.

135.  Members said that the implementation of an
anti-discrimination policy required that policies be coherent
even though they touched upon religious and ideological issues. 
True gender equality did not allow for varying interpretations of
obligations under international legal norms depending on internal
religious rules, traditions and customs.  Clarification was
requested for the concept of "women's natural tasks", as referred
to in the report.

136.  With regard to the request for further information on the
Great Green Document on Human Rights (A/44/331, annex), the
representative referred to paragraph 21 thereof, which called for
equality between women and men.

137.  Members noted with satisfaction the many positive
developments on the road to achieving equality between women and
men, such as the admission of women into the judiciary, the entry
of women into the armed forces, the creation of a centre for
women's studies, the fixing of the same minimum age at marriage
for women and men, the amendment of school books, the placement
of restrictions on polygamy, the publicity given to the
Convention in the media, the setting up of a department of
women's affairs and the support given to women's non-governmental
organizations.  However, the image of women in the media needed
to be changed.

138.  The representative explained that the main tasks of the
Assistant Secretary of the General People's Congress were the
collection of data and documentation and the evaluation and
analysis of issues relating to women; the elaboration of plans to
integrate women into all social, cultural, economic and political
spheres of life; the removal of existing obstacles; the
coordination and dissemination of information regarding the
achievements of women and the promotion of women's access to
international and national political forums.  Additional
coordination offices had been established to assist in raising
the awareness and consciousness of women.

139.  Members of the Committee sympathized with women and men in
the country because of their sufferings as a result of Security
Council resolution 748 (1992) concerning the aerial embargo, and
said that such sanctions always had a strong impact on the status
of women and children.

Questions related to specific articles

      Article 2

140.  The representative said that the principle of gender
equality was clearly spelled out in the Constitution and in the
Great Green Document on Human Rights.  Libyan legislation
protected the rights of all citizens, regardless of gender,
particularly in the fields of education, health, and social,
cultural, professional and political life, and set out
corresponding measures to guarantee those rights.

141.  Replying to questions related to what kind of recourse
action was available to women who had been discriminated against,
he stated that the Supreme Court had stressed the principle of
equality as a fundamental human right and that all citizens had
the right to resort to the courts in the event of any violation
of that fundamental right.  He pointed out that any laws that
discriminated against women had been abolished and that penal law
did not contain any discriminatory provisions.

      Article 3

142.  The representative explained that the Government had
adopted
many executive and administrative measures to safeguard women's
exercise of their rights and freedoms in the same way as for men.

Women enjoyed their natural rights in professional associations
and syndicates and could assume their natural roles in society.

      Article 4

143.  Members felt that the Government had taken some special
measures although they were not reflected as such in the report. 
Members were doubtful whether the meaning of article 4 had been
properly understood.  They expressed the hope that the subsequent
report would take those observations into consideration.  Members
asked how the new Department of Women's Affairs in the
secretariat of the General People's Congress cooperated with
non-governmental organizations and whether the department was
considering taking temporary special measures.

144.  Replying to those questions, the representative said that
special measures had been taken at the executive level in giving
women the right to take posts in the judiciary, to participate in
female basic people's congresses and other conferences and in
creating a military academy for girls.

      Article 5

145.  Although members commended the prohibition of violence
against women, they asked what measures were established for
preventing such violence and for protecting the victims, and
whether women were allowed to leave their husbands in the event
of violent acts.  The representative stated that, according to
the law, violence against women within marriage was prohibited. 
In cases of acts of marital violence, women could seek separation
in court and unmarried women who became victims of violence could
also resort to the courts.  No statistical data were available,
but violence against women did not constitute a dangerous
phenomenon in the country.

146.  Regarding questions concerning female circumcision, the
representative stated that the practice of female circumcision
did not exist in the country.

147.  Referring to traditional attitudes, members queried the
concept of stereotypes in the country.  Although the report
stated that stereotypes had been eliminated in textbooks, it
suggested that the concept was maintained with regard to women's
roles in society.  When asked which customs jeopardized the
advancement of women and what measures had been taken to remove
such negative traditional attitudes, the representative said that
women's concerns were taken into consideration in all development
plans, such as in the development of school curricula favourable
to women.  Women's efforts to acquire knowledge and enter into
judicial and diplomatic posts, as well as to pursue trades,
undertake vocational training and travel outside the country were
manifestations of changes in the attitudes of Libyan society.

      Article 6

148.  With reference to the general recommendations of the
Committee regarding the issues of violence against women,
HIV/AIDS and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence
against Women, members requested more detailed information on the
implementation of their provisions.

149.  Considering that prostitution was a widespread phenomenon,
members sought more information on the de facto situation and the
exploitation of women by way of prostitution, and asked for
relevant statistical data.  Concerning law 70 of 1973, it was
asked whether the sanction under article 407 applied to the
prostitute or to the client, what the criteria were for an
"indecent act" under article 408, whether male prostitutes were
put under the same sanctions as female prostitutes and what the
sanctions for offences under articles 415 and 416 were.

150.  The representative replied that since traffic in women and
forced prostitution were punishable crimes, no policy measures
regarding prostitution existed.

151.  In additional observations, members requested clarification
of the rights of prostitutes who were also women and, as such,
should be covered by the Convention.

152.  Members inquired why sanctions against prostitution were
linked to those against adultery.

153.  The representative explained there was no discrimination in
the punishment for adultery, whether committed by men or women.

154.  Addressing questions regarding artificial insemination the
representative apologized for the mistake of including the issue
under article 6 and said that artificial insemination was
permissible only between husband and wife and that it required
the consent of both.

      Article 7

155.  Clarification regarding the political organization of the
country was sought, and members asked for detailed statistical
indicators in subsequent reports in order to illustrate the
progress made.

156.  Members inquired whether women's organizations were set up
by the Government or at their own initiative, and whether women
had the right to vote.  They felt that what was stated in the
report under article 7 reflected the patriarchal structure of
Libyan society and its discriminatory spirit, in that decisions
regarding women's issues were taken in special female bodies.
Furthermore, they inquired about the relationship between the
People's General Congress and the female basic people's
congresses, and asked whether the female congresses had
decision-making power over national issues and, if so, which
ones.  Members also asked which posts were exclusively reserved
for women, because such measures could also be discriminatory
against women.

157.  The representative explained that the incumbents of the
various political posts mentioned in the report were elected, not
nominated.  Women were admitted not only to the female basic
people's congresses, but also to other forums.  It was difficult
to quantify women's participation in political life, but there
were special programmes for raising political awareness among
women.

158.  Regarding the statement in the report that "no political
concentration camps" existed in the country, the representative
said that the correct translation should read "no female
political prisoners exist in the country, at the time of writing
this report".

159.  In additional observations, members expressed concern about
the fact that women could participate equally with men in times
of war and carry weapons but that, once the conflict was over,
their political rights were overlooked.

      Article 9

160.  In reply to the question whether women were made aware of
their rights under the law concerning nationality, the
representative said that all laws were published in the official
gazette and could be consulted by any citizen.

      Article 10

161.  Regarding comments made on the gap in enrolment figures
between boys and girls in secondary education and regarding
questions about the reasons for that phenomenon, the
representative said that it would be necessary to update relevant
statistics and to investigate the reasons.  No information was
given about programmes for girls who dropped out of school.

162.  Members expressed concern about certain stereotypical
attitudes in school education.  They asked for clarification of
family-life education and whether education was geared to girls
and young women in such a way that they could take advantage of
their rights.  The representative said that coeducation existed.

      Article 11

163.  Members requested data on all occupations, broken down by
sex, and on female unemployment.  They wanted to know in which
branches of activity women were in the majority and whether as
many women were employed in the private sector as in the public
sector.

164.  Commenting on the provision that employers with a workforce
of over 50 women were required to provide child-care facilities,
members said that in effect it prevented the opening of
child-care facilities because only a few enterprises had more
than 50 working women.

165.  Regarding inquiries about the professions that were deemed
dangerous to women and the request for explanations concerning
the prohibition of night work for women, the representative said
that the list of dangerous professions was not available and that
the policy had been adopted not to discriminate against women,
but to protect them.

      Article 12

166.  Questions under this article referred to the greater number
of men than women living in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and
whether that was the result of the higher mortality rate of
women; the issue of teenage pregnancies in the light of the
health risks involved and their consequences for women's
advancement; the position of disabled women and the reasons for
the rule that the husband's approval was necessary in cases of
family planning.

167.  Members noted that the large number of nurses confirmed
that
women mostly took up traditional feminine careers and they
requested statistics on the incidence of HIV/AIDS and information
on policies and measures to prevent that disease.

      Article 14

168.  Members asked what unpaid agricultural work was.
      Article 16

169.  Members sought clarification for the contradictory
statements in the report referring to custody and tutelage after
divorce and inquired whether the Government intended to remove
such discriminatory practices as the passing of custody of the
children to the father after divorce, the loss of all the woman's
rights and the obligation to pay compensation in case of divorce
by the wife.  Clarification was also requested for the provision
under which a woman had the right to choose her husband and enter
into marriage after consulting her legal guardian.

170.  Regarding questions about marriages between close relatives
and their percentages, the representative said that marriage to
the mother, sister, niece and aunt was banned.  However, other
marriages between close relatives were permitted.

171.  Considering that it was stated in the report that husband
and wife had equal rights but different responsibilities, members
asked whether such a provision, as well as the provisions
regarding dowry, diminished the exercise of equal rights for
women.

172.  Concerning the "limited framework" regarding polygamy, the
representative explained that Libyan legislation preferred
monogamy and that polygamy was the exception to the rule and on
the decrease.  Marriage to a second wife was possible only upon
written permission by the first wife or by the courts and,
furthermore, only if the husband's health and financial situation
allowed it.  Regarding the reaction of women to the practice of
polygamy the representative said that they had the choice of
objecting to it or accepting it.  Members questioned whether any
woman would agree to such an arrangement except under the threat
of divorce or other forms of coercion.

173.  Regarding the adoption of children, the representative
explained that it was not legitimate in Islam, because Islamic
law did not permit giving a person a name other than that of the
father.  Care of a child was acceptable without changing its
name.

174.  He explained that the provision under which female children
inherited half of what male children inherited was not
discriminatory to women, since women acquired that part of the
inheritance without commitments, whereas men had to take over all
the concomitant obligations.  Therefore, the Shariah should not
be interpreted as discriminatory.  The members consequently felt
that there was no need to enter a reservation, because, with that
interpretation, women were treated equally with men.

175.  In the course of additional observations members expressed
concern about the issues of inheritance and adoption.

Concluding comments of the Committee

      Introduction

176.  The Committee congratulated the State party on the
information contained in the report and the additional details
provided to it orally.  The Committee noted with satisfaction
that the report had been submitted within the prescribed time-
limit and that, in general, it respected the guidelines for
presentation of reports.  The Committee appreciated the
cooperation shown by the representative of the State party, as
well as the representative's willingness to answer the many
questions raised by its members.  However, the Committee
regretted that the report provided no information on the de facto
application of the Convention, or on obstacles and difficulties
impeding its implementation.

      Positive aspects

177.  The Committee noted with interest the progressive de jure
measures adopted by the State party to promote the integration of
women into all areas of development, particularly education and
the armed forces.

178.  The Committee appreciated the political will to improve the
status of women demonstrated by the State party, as well as its
determination to persist in efforts to speed up such improvement.

      Principal subjects of concern

179.  The Committee was concerned by the State party's
declaration
of a general reservation on ratifying the Convention and
considered it to be incompatible with the Convention's purpose
and objective.

180.  The Committee noted with concern a contradiction in the
State party's report.  While the State party was on the one hand
introducing revolutionary measures for the emancipation of women,
it was on the other hand emphasizing their role as mothers and
housewives, thus reinforcing what was already stiff cultural
resistance to substantial change.

181.  The Committee regretted the lack of any specific
information
in the State party's report on the implementation of articles 2
and 5 of the Convention.

182.  The Committee also noted a scarcity of information on the
particular problems of women in rural areas and the important
role they played in the family economy.

      Suggestions and recommendations

183.  The Committee recommended that the State party take all the
necessary measures to reconsider the general reservation entered
on its ratification of the Convention.

184.  The Committee recommended that, in its next report, the
State party follow the order of articles as set out in the
Convention, so as to provide all the information required for
their application in practice.  It should also provide
information on the Committee's recommendations, in particular on
violence against women, as well as statistics on women's
participation in all spheres.  The State party should take all
appropriate legislative or other measures and introduce all the
reforms required to bring its national laws into line with the
spirit and the provisions of the Convention.  It should in
particular ensure that social and cultural prejudices did not
raise new obstacles to women's development, especially in rural
areas.

185.  The Committee also recommended that the State party
strengthen existing mechanisms to advance the status of women,
with a view eventually to eliminating all forms of
discrimination.


                          Madagascar

186.  The Committee considered the initial report of Madagascar
(CEDAW/C/5/Add.65/Rev.2) at its 236th and 237th meetings, on 18
and 19 January (see CEDAW/C/SR.236 and 237).

187.  In introducing the report, the representative of the State
party pointed out that the report suffered from certain gaps and
outdated information.  She noted that there was a general lack of
statistical data and that the last national census had been taken
in 1975.  She provided information about recent measures taken to
improve the situation of women, including amendments to laws and
activities undertaken by the Directorate for Women's and
Children's Affairs of the Ministry of Population, working in
conjunction with non-governmental organizations such as the
8th of March Association.  She stated that the new Constitution
guaranteed complete equality for women and that a process of
democratization had been in progress since 1991.

188.  The country's economy had suffered as a result of
structural
adjustment programmes, so that workers were the lowest paid in
the world.

189.  Her country had participated in an African Regional
Preparatory Meeting for the Fourth World Conference on Women and
a national workshop had been organized in September 1992, which
was being followed up by regional workshops within the country.

190.  Traditions and customs in the country were important and in
certain cases constituted obstacles to women's achievement of
equality, while in other cases they favoured women.

191.  She noted that the report did not provide information on
articles 1, 2 and 3 because it was considered that the articles
were phrased too generally for specific comment.

General observations

192.  Members of the Committee expressed concern that the report
lacked statistics that could indicate the de facto situation of
women and noted that it lacked details on many points.  In
response, the representative of the Government noted that the
next report would contain more statistics and would go into
greater detail about issues.  In many respects the country had
lacked sufficient administrative infrastructure to provide much
information.

193.  Members of the Committee stressed their concern about the
effects of structural adjustment programmes on women's
advancement.

194.  Referring to the question of traditions and customs, it was
also pointed out that traditions were deeply rooted; however,
modernization did not mean abandoning them but adapting them. 
Women were not just a vulnerable group but half of the population
and that fact had to be taken into account when talking about
progress.

195.  The question was asked whether there had been any benefit
to
the country's having ratified the Convention.  In response, the
representative noted that ratification had resulted in article 6
of the new Constitution, which ensured that there would be
equality between men and women, and a special preambular
provision in the Constitution related to the Convention.  That
meant that, under the positive law doctrine in force in the
country, the Convention was incorporated into all laws.  In a
follow-up comment, members noted that the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was not
specifically mentioned in the Constitution, in contrast to other
human rights instruments.  It was observed that the Convention
could help in improving the situation of women, particularly
through the implementation of article 4.

196.  In response to a question about the extent to which
non-governmental organizations were involved in preparing the
report, it was stated that an effort would be made to consult
with such organizations in preparing the next report.


Questions related to specific articles

      Article 2

197.  Having noted that no report had been made on article 2,
members of the Committee stressed the particular importance of
the article, which contained the entire normative infrastructure
of the Convention and established the basis for the Convention's
implementation.  It was noted that the report reflected a
patriarchal influence that would have to be addressed step by
step to update the role of women, in order to raise their status
in the country.  In that respect there was a need for changes and
new orientation.

198.  In reply, the representative informed the Committee that
the
Government had thought there was no need to provide details as
they would have emerged naturally from the development of the
following articles.  She stated that the information would be
included in the next report.  She also noted that there was a
constitutional prohibition against discrimination based on sex
and that there was a provision for appeals to the Constitutional
Court.

      Article 4

199.  The representative noted that no special measures had been
taken.  Members expressed some concern about that matter,
referring especially to the fact that, in its report on article
8, the Government had indicated that there was no prohibition
with regard to public service.  That was insufficient and a more
proper reply would be to take positive measures.  There was a
tendency to see only de jure matters, whereas de facto change was
as important.  It was noted that in fact it seemed that some
special measures had been taken.

200.  In reply, it was noted that the workshop in 1992 mentioned
above had recommended 50 per cent participation by women in
decision-making and that, in 1993, the 8th of March Association
had called for a 25 per cent quota for women in the National
Assembly, although that had not yet been achieved.

      Article 5

201.  In assessing the implementation of the article, the
representative noted that it was difficult to specify whether
changes in attitudes had occurred.  There was a project under the
Ministry of Population with UNFPA funding that was concerned with
family-based education and income-generation by women, which
included telling women about their rights.  She also noted the
important role of non-governmental organizations, particularly
women journalists and the Association of Women Jurists.

202.  It was asked whether the Government had a policy to
eliminate discrimination in the labour force and whether there
was a plan.

203.  In reply, the representative noted the centres that had
been
established to be used for education and training, which sought
to mobilize women for action.  The Government had two programmes
on the radio to provide education on family law.

      Article 6

204.  The representative noted that the problem of prostitution
was found in the informal sector and was related to poverty.  It
was also related to rural-urban migration and urban growth. 
While it was illegal, laws were difficult to enforce because of
an inability to recruit additional police.

205.  The attention of the Government was drawn to the
Committee's
general recommendation 19 on violence against women, and
information was requested on whether women and women prostitutes
had the same rights to protection against violence as other women
and access to health services and HIV/AIDS programmes. In reply,
the representative stated that prostitution was generally
disapproved of but that the society was flexible in condemning
women because of the existing poverty and the need to survive. 
Violence was considered a breach of the law whether it involved
prostitutes or other women, but had degrees of seriousness that
were penalized appropriately, ranging from fines to imprisonment.

      Article 7

206.  The representative stated that women enjoyed equal rights
with men with regard to voting and holding office.  There were 7
women deputies out of 138 in the National Assembly, although only
one female member of the Government, the State Secretary for
Higher Education, was a woman.  The President of the Appeals
Courts was a woman, as well as one of six university rectors, and
women were found at other levels of the government
administration, including the Office of the Controller, which was
headed by a woman.  In August 1993, a campaign had begun to put
women at the head of electoral lists for the next elections in
1994.

207.  More details were requested in the next report on the issue
of women and decision-making as well as information about the
causes for their limited participation in that field.

      Article 8

208.  The representative noted that there was no prohibition
against women representing the country at international levels,
but no women had been appointed ambassador since independence.

209.  Commenting on that matter, members of the Committee raised
questions about the actual situation and the measures taken to
bring the equality in law into practice.

      Article 9

210.  Regarding the question of nationality, the representative
said that equality was not a problem.

211.  Referring to the exceptional circumstances in which the
nationality of a Malagasy mother could determine the nationality
of her legitimate children, the question was asked what would be
the situation of a child who had to wait until she or he was of
age to claim the mother`s nationality if the parents divorced. 
It was asked whether she or he was still prevented from receiving
the mother`s nationality.

      Article 10

212.  The representative stated that equality of access to
education was stressed.  She noted that in the provinces female
enrolment was higher than male and that, in general, the success
level was higher for girls than for boys.  The situation had been
jeopardized by the acute economic crisis because, when individual
choices had to be made to send only some children to school, boys
would be given preference.

      Article 11

213.  The representative indicated that laws guaranteed equal
rights in employment in both the public and the private sectors. 
In 1993 a growing number of women had begun working in factories,
especially in the export-processing zone and in clothing
manufacturing.  There had been some harassment of women reported
in the export-processing zone, as well as threats by companies. 
The salaries paid were at the lowest levels in the world.

214.  Differences were noted between the benefits provided in the
public and in the private sector with regard to maternity leave
and the reasons for that were sought.  In reply the
representative noted that the differences were due to the nature
of the employer.  It was easier to have the Government comply
than the private sector, although the attitudes that led to the
differences should be deplored.

      Article 12

215.  The representative indicated that there was also equality
between men and women in health issues but an increase in
maternal mortality had been noted in recent years.

216.  Members of the Committee were concerned by the situation of
rural women and their access to health, and questioned the method
used for family planning and the high level of women's mortality.

The representative stated that both men and women enjoyed the
same rights concerning health.  Nevertheless, two factors
affected women's health:  insufficient medical assistance and
family planning.  Those factors had thus determined the
objectives of the national policy on population.

217.  In answering a question whether there were special
programmes for women's health, the representative stated that
there were some programmes, such as that relating to breast
cancer, and that HIV/AIDS was not a major problem in the country.

In response to a question on female circumcision, she said that
it was not practised.

218.  The Committee requested an assessment of the results of the
implementation of health policies in effect and how they
influenced young people, the use of contraceptives by women and
the involvement of non-governmental organizations in those
programmes.  The Committee also expressed interest in legal
literacy to enable women to defend their own rights.

      Article 13

219.  The representative stated that women had guaranteed equal
rights to assistance provided to the family and facilities for
credit as well as for their participation in cultural and sports
activities.

      Article 14

220.  The representative stated that women were guaranteed a
right
to participate equally in agricultural activities.

221.  Taking into account the fact that the majority of the
population lived in rural areas, information was requested on
measures that had been taken in respect of agrarian reform,
irrigation, credit systems and other agricultural inputs.  The
representative stated that women in the rural areas could
participate fully in organizations aimed at their advancement and
that they could own land.

222.  In reply to a question raised in connection with the
establishment of a bank for dealing with credit in the rural
areas, the representative stated that it was a major concern in
the country.  However, the bank that would deal with that issue
had not been established.  There was a project for women which
had set up a savings bank in mid-1993; no assessment had been
made as yet.

      Article 15

223.  The representative informed the Committee that there was no
discrimination against women in the justice system and they
enjoyed legal provisions on equal terms with men.  Women could
appear in court and represent themselves, represent others,
become members of the jury, have general access to legal
recourse, execute a will and be witnesses without interference
from their husbands.  However, in certain regions there was a
custom according to which women could not inherit, although that
was not supported by law.  They could inherit only if a will had
been executed.

      Article 16

224.  The representative provided additional information, stating
that married women could retain their maiden names even in the
context of their traditions.  With respect to any apparent
differences between men and women, when adultery was committed by
a wife it was considered a major offence, while in the case of
the husband it was regarded as a simple offence with minor
penalties.  She expressed disapproval in that regard, and
indicated that women were working together to tackle that point
in the National Assembly.  In order for women to enjoy peace,
equality and development, they needed to win their rights.

225.  Questions were raised about the situation of married women,
including equality in the choice of domicile, and the
implementation of laws that placed women in a disadvantaged
position with respect to men.  Other issues raised along the same
lines concerned unregistered common law unions and other
traditional practices that affected the dignity of the woman, for
example, when the husbands had to pay compensation in cases of
conflict and temporary separation; the difference in legal age
for marriage between boys and girls; the provision of the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, by which a 14-year-old was
a child, and the provision of the national law granting the right
to marry to a 14-year-old girl; polygamy, which, although
forbidden by law, was increasing; inheritance rights and property
rights.

226.  In response to the questions, the representative explained
that some practices and traditions were favourable to women, who
did not object to them.  Examples included being allowed to
retain their maiden names and to receive gifts in the course of
solving marital conflicts.

227.  According to the representative, in the view of the women
of
the country, the compensation that was provided by the husband to
the wife was not considered as a price but as a penalty.  It was
also seen as a way of apologizing, which the women liked very
much.  In addition it was also seen as a compensation for abuses
by the husband.

228.  She explained that polygamy was beyond the control of the
law as the problem lay in the gap existing between the law and
its enforcement.  Many people lived at the margin of the law and,
given the inadequate number of police, people could easily
violate the law with impunity.

229.  In providing an explanation in connection with spousal
inheritance rights, she said that, in the absence of a will, the
surviving spouse was relegated to the eighth place among the
heirs by virtue of a custom of retaining the property within a
family and thus giving preference to children in terms of
inheritance.

230.  With regard to the property acquired during the marriage,
she provided additional information to the effect that, when one
of the spouses died, the community property came to an end and,
in accordance with the law, the property acquired during marriage
was divided into two if no will had been made. Customary practice
supported the principle that property acquired before the
marriage remained the property of the family.  There had been
changes in the new law with respect to domicile, according to
which the decision had to be taken jointly by the spouses. 
Another change indicated concerned the pension for the widow of
an official, who was now allowed to continue receiving the
pension of the late husband.  Those points were indicated as part
of the progress made with respect to equality of women.

231.  The differences between boys and girls in the allowable age
for marriage had been based on fecundity.  It was noted that the
practice was also contrary to the Convention on the Rights of the
Child.

Concluding comments of the Committee

      Positive aspects

232.  The Committee commended the presentation of the report by
the distinguished representative, and members expressed their
gratitude that, in spite of the numerous difficulties facing the
country, it has been possible for the country to submit the
report.

      Principal subjects of concern

233.  The Committee expressed its concern about the long delay in
the submission of the initial report.  The report was found not
to elaborate on many of the articles.  It failed to report
sufficiently on several essential articles of the Convention,
such as articles 1, 2 and 3.  That was serious because article 2
was considered the heart of the Convention.

234.  The Committee expected that serious omission to be
rectified
in the next report, even although, during the dialogue with the
representative, an attempt was made to report on article 2.

235.  Education and training were considered the springboard to
development.  In giving females education and training, care must
be taken not to concentrate on traditional female occupations to
avoid stereotyping and also to give them the opportunity of
having better-paid occupations.

236.  As a matter of priority, obstacles to female employment
needed to be identified and addressed by the Government.  That
would help change the false conception of women's capabilities
and their role in the field of employment.



      Suggestions and recommendations

237.  To allow the Committee to have a clear picture of the
status
of women in Madagascar, it was important that subsequent reports
include gender-segregated statistics.

238.  Since the report did not comment on article 2, and
information was given elsewhere on legal systems aimed at
equality between men and women, the next report should give clear
information on that, and on the de facto situation of women.

239.  Generally not much had been done to enhance the status of
women.  Traditional sex roles were deeply embedded in the culture
and were generally to the disadvantage of women.  The workload on
rural women was very heavy.  The Government should use article 4
of the Convention to accelerate the advancement of women in
Madagascar.

240.  The two unequal laws on adultery should be abolished. 
Those
laws were very discriminatory.  The law on inheritance also
needed urgent review to ensure that a woman's right to inherit
was equal to that of a man.

241.  The widespread practice of customary marriage might put
women and children into a vulnerable situation and the next
report should indicate how legal provisions were applied in
situations to safeguard the rights of the wife and children.

242.  The Government of Madagascar needed to improve the health
services in general and particularly for women because improved
health status of women invariably improved the overall
development of any country.

243.  The next report should indicate what effective measures
were
being taken by the Government to counter the alarming situation
in women's health.  It should also provide more information on
violence against women, especially on women engaged in
prostitution, and their health status.

244.  The health situation in Madagascar was deteriorating
despite
the fact that free health services were available to all.  A
rising child and maternal mortality rate and declining life
expectancy was totally unacceptable if any meaningful benefit was
to be derived from the ratification of the Convention.  A very
high death rate of women due to abortion was also a matter of
great concern.



                         Netherlands

245.  The Committee considered the initial report of the
Netherlands (CEDAW/C/NET/1 and Add.1-3) at its 234th and 239th
meetings, on 17 and 20 January (see CEDAW/C/SR.234 and 239).

246.  In introducing the report of the Netherlands, which
consisted of three parts, one concerning the European territory
and two others concerning the autonomous islands of the
Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, the representative of the
Government stressed that the Convention was considered to be an
integral part of the internationally recognized human rights
instruments that formed part of the Netherlands legal and
political order.  The Convention was valued not only as the
international legal basis for the national programme of legal
reforms, but also as a source of reference for the development of
policies and programmes for women's equality.  She outlined
important revisions of and additions to existing legislation as a
result of the ratification of the Convention.

247.  In referring to the country's emancipation policy, she said
that the coordination and integration of the policy in all
ministries and departments was hampered by the fragmented
structure of administrative and political decision-making, which
constituted an obstacle to the effectiveness of the national
machinery.  Efforts to redress that problem included the use of
the Department for the Coordination of Emancipation Policy as a
centre of expertise on policy-making in matters of equality.  She
said that part of the emancipation-support policy was the
provision of financial support to non-governmental organizations
for their activities in this field.

248.  She stated further that under the law of the Netherlands a
Convention to which the country had become a State party
automatically became part of the Netherlands legal order, and
that national laws and regulations which were contrary to the
Convention's provisions lost their validity.  In the course of
her explanation of the ratification process, she mentioned the
adoption, in the very near future, of a general equal treatment
act.  The Government was instructed to report to Parliament on
the implementation of the Convention four years after its entry
into force and every subsequent four years.  She cited, as an
example of the functioning of the Government's emancipation
support policy, the preparation for the Committee of a "shadow
report" by non-governmental organizations, which counterbalanced
the official report because it accurately reflected the
relationship between the Government and private voluntary
organizations, and an additional advisory report by the external
advisory body belonging to the national machinery.

249.  The representative of the Netherlands Antilles said that
the
Convention not only contributed to identifying some existing
deficiencies in the infrastructure with regard to the
implementation of some of its provisions, but it also showed
constraints in the field of reporting in general, for instance
with regard to the collection of statistical information.  She
emphasized the relationship between economic activities and their
effect on the status of women and confirmed her Government's
intention never to let the economic status of the country justify
non-compliance with the provisions of the Convention.  She said
that the pace of the Convention's implementation could be
affected by different factors in the community.

250.  She reported on a decrease in the unemployment rate among
women in recent years and a recent decision to apply the
principle of equal pay for equal work to all civil servants. 
Consciousness-raising programmes on gender issues had been
carried out.  She also highlighted the role of the Bureau for
Women's Affairs as the coordinating body of the national
machinery in the field of women and development and said that one
of the priority areas of its agenda was violence against women.

251.  The representative of Aruba pointed out that the entry into
force of the Convention had given a new impetus to the rights of
the female population.  The rapid economic development in the
last five years had caused a sharp increase in the participation
of women in the local labour force.  While the proportion of
women in the labour market increased to over 50 per cent in 1993,
the corresponding changes in labour conditions and in the social
field, which were necessary to facilitate the combination of
professional work and family tasks, were still lagging behind. 
The Government of Aruba was, therefore, studying the possibility
of part-time work and an increase in the number of day-care
facilities.

252.  The representative said that the predominant influence of
economic factors on important areas of the society explained why
it was that women were not particularly active in women's rights
movements.  However, they were pioneers in providing information
about HIV/AIDS and were very active in providing information on,
and preventing, child abuse.  The Aruban Human Rights Committee,
which was formally installed in 1993, dealt with reporting
obligations and was authorized to advise the Government on human
rights issues and to raise consciousness among the population
about the existence of human rights in a society where there was
no network of non-governmental organizations.  The Committee had
also introduced human rights education in the general school
curricula.  The Convention had been translated into Papiamento
and presented in a simplified version to the public.

General observations

253.  Members of the Committee commended the extensive, very
detailed report, which adhered to the general guidelines and also
contained ample statistics and graphs, and its presentation to
the Committee.  They welcomed the fact that the Convention had
led to revisions of and additions to existing legislation and
that it had been ratified without reservations.  They noted that
human rights education was included in school curricula and that
the Convention had been translated into the native language of
Aruba.  Members were favourably impressed by the fact that, one
year before presenting each subsequent report to the Committee,
the Government would have to report to Parliament, and they
commended the concern that was shown about the issue of sexual
preference.  Members noted that the Government gave support to
women's groups.  In reaction to the members' concern as to why
non-governmental organizations had not been consulted in the
course of the report's preparation, the representative explained
that much value was attached to the distribution of power and the
spread of responsibilities in the country.  Since
non-governmental organizations were independent, they were
responsible only towards their respective constituencies; they
could criticize, question or judge governmental policies, but
were never responsible for them.  The critical input of
non-governmental organizations was sometimes a challenge to
government policy, but was never an integral part of it; in that
way those organizations did not lose their independence.

254.  Members made specific reference to the "shadow report"
prepared by non-governmental organizations and were interested in
the Government's reaction to some of the issues addressed in it. 
The representative said that it was not necessary to discuss all
the issues raised in the shadow report, since many of the same
issues would be addressed under the different articles of the
Convention.

255.  In reaction to the observation that the report should have
been more result-oriented and should have given a more in-depth
analysis of both the status of women and the policy approach
taken by the Government, the representative explained that that
was partly the result of the fact that contributions to the
report came from different parts of the Administration and that
it proved difficult to follow the Committee's guidelines without
losing sight of the country's policy priorities.  Committee
members felt that the many efforts undertaken were not matched by
an equal number of positive results.

256.  Whereas some members commented on the fragmented nature of
the national machinery, others said that its structure
highlighted the political will of the Government to introduce the
policy of women's rights into the mainstream.  The representative
replied that, in her country, national machinery meant a complex
of various institutions responsible for dealing with different
aspects of the advancement of women.  The main political
responsibility for the emancipation policy rested with the State
Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment and, at the
administrative level, its core was the Department for the
Coordination of Emancipation Policy.  The Emancipation Council
and the Equal Opportunities Commission also belonged to the broad
national machinery.  In addition, the role played by other
ministries and departments, local and regional authorities, trade
unions and non-governmental organizations was also highlighted. 
In follow-up remarks, members asked whether the transfer of
responsibility on women's issues to the regional and municipal
levels posed a danger, and requested information on this in
subsequent reports.

257.  When members stated that women's issues should also be
included in the mainstream of the activities of all of the
government departments in the Netherlands Antilles, the
representative said that the national machinery had started to
function in 1989 and had been restructured under the competence
of the Minister for General Affairs, who was currently the Prime
Minister.  In 1992, the Government had organized a workshop on
human rights and the reporting procedures for participants from
different social strata, during which the Convention was also
dealt with.  It was important for the national machinery to
receive information on gender bias from all interested parties in
order to tackle the areas of concern in a structural way.  Data
were currently gathered in an insufficiently uniform way and the
conduct of research in the five islands that comprised the
Netherlands Antilles faced practical difficulties, related to the
decentralization in several policy fields and the specific needs
and characteristics of the different islands.  Recognizing the
need for population studies, the Bureau for Women's Affairs was
working on an integral draft policy plan for women and
development.

258.  The representative of Aruba reported that in 1986 the
Government had appointed a "focal point" for women's affairs at
the Directorate of Social Affairs.  Despite numerous efforts,
that had not yet led to the development of an integral and
interdepartmental emancipation policy.

259.  Members expressed their hope that the island countries
would
be kept informed about the presentation of their reports to the
Committee and about the Committee's reactions.

Questions related to specific articles

      Article 2

260.  In reply to questions about what was meant in the report by
"the working of the Constitution on equal treatment in horizontal
relationships", the representative of the European territory said
that "horizontal relationships" referred to relationships between
citizens, as opposed to the "vertical relationship" between
citizens and the State.  One of the main aims of the
anti-discrimination legislation was to determine in which cases
citizens were obliged to respect the fundamental rights of their
fellow citizens and in which they might follow their own
convictions.

261.  Commending the measures taken to combat the problem of
violence against women, members asked which measures had proved
to be the most successful and requested information on the amount
of money spent on those measures.  The representative explained
that the various instruments that had been used in that respect
were changes in legislation, research and care and assistance to
victims.  The prevention of sexual violence was a policy
priority.  In 1993, approximately $40 million was spent on
various policy measures, such as shelters, information and
innovative projects and the supporting structure.  The
responsibility in all such matters lay with various ministries.

262.  Replying to the question how many women had made use of the
possibility of filing recourse action in cases of discrimination,
the representative said that, since its revision in 1989, the
Equal Opportunities Act had been used in some 40 to 50 court
cases and over 500 cases had been dealt with by the Equal
Opportunities Commission.  Referring to the new guidelines for
public prosecution concerning cases of discrimination, of
September 1993, the representative stated that they would be
reviewed after the entry into force of the General Equal
Opportunities Act.

263.  More information was requested on the follow-up policy
document on sexual violence against women and girls.  The members
of the Committee made positive comments on the Government's
interpretation of equal access of women to jobs in the military.

      Article 3

264.  In reply to the members' requests for copies of the social
atlas on the situation of women, the representative said that it
was available only in Dutch.
265.  When asked who was responsible for financing support
centres
at the national, regional and provincial levels and whether a
coordinating body for the various levels would be set up, as well
as whether the Government intended to institutionalize the
funding for women's centres, the representative explained that
each case was different.  Some ministries subsidized certain
projects on a permanent basis, whereas other organizations and
national support centres were funded for limited periods.  Often
after the initial period an evaluation was conducted and it was
decided on a case-by-case basis whether the subsidy should be
prolonged and which party should take the responsibility.  The
overall responsibility for the emancipation support policy
resided with the State Secretary for Emancipation Policy.

266.  Regarding the summary of the position of women based on
most
recent statistics, referred to in paragraph 323 of the report,
the representative said that it was unfortunately not available
in time for the session and would be sent to the members of the
Committee immediately after publication.

267.  Reacting to the disappointment expressed by members at the
abolition of the Cabinet Committee for Emancipation Policy in
1991, the representative explained that that was the result of a
process of political and administrative reform.

268.  Members asked how it was possible that the Queen could be
President of the Council of State, which was the highest advisory
body in the country, serving her in fact with advice.

      Article 4

269.  Regarding a request for further information on the targets
set and the timetables provided for temporary special measures,
the representative stated that the goal of government policy was
to impose positive action or preferential treatment by law only
as a measure of last resort.  Although the Government had set
targets to increase the number of women in almost every sphere of
the civil service, no sanctions were applied if targets were not
met.

      Article 5

270.  Members welcomed the reports from non-governmental
organizations on article 5 and requested clarification of the
policy for equal rights of lesbian women.  The representative
postponed presenting an overview of related government policies
and programmes to the second periodic report.

      Article 6

271.  It was asked whether, within the Bureau for Women's
Affairs,
there were special departments to deal with the abuse of women
and children.  The representative of Aruba stated that the issue
remained a sensitive area of concern.  According to data obtained
from the Police Department, offences related to the sexual abuse
of women and children constituted a considerable part of their
workload and the figures were increasing.  A private organization
had been set up to help children who were victimized by such
crimes and adults could seek legal redress or obtain help at the
Bureau of Family Difficulties.

272.  Doubts were expressed as to whether voluntary prostitution
could be considered an entirely personal matter and a profession.

Confronted with the issue of the forced prostitution of immigrant
women, the representative of the European territory of the
Netherlands replied that traffic in women was considered a
problem of forced prostitution and that persons who were
illegally in the Netherlands and had been forced into
prostitution would be granted a residence permit for the period
of time covering any investigation into their situation and the
court session.

273.  Regarding the HIV/AIDS situation in the Netherlands, it was
reported that the Government had been formulating a policy on
HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic, a policy which was
being implemented at national, regional and municipal levels, in
close cooperation between the competent health ministry and
interested groups.  Its key aims were prevention of the further
spread of HIV, care, research and prevention of discrimination
against infected persons, including AIDS-information campaigns
for prostitutes.

274.  Regarding a question about the reasons for the increase in
sexual violence, the representative said its increase was not
influenced by the fact that pornography was not prohibited.  It
was even possible that the availability of pornography for adults
had had a restraining influence on the incidence of violence
against women.

      Article 7

275.  The Committee commended the way in which the report of the
Netherlands mentioned the dates of introduction of male suffrage
and universal suffrage, when the vote was conceded to women. 
They expressed surprise at the scarce references in the report to
policies of the European Union that promoted equality of
opportunities between women and men.  Members asked what the
reactions of the Government and non-governmental organizations
were to positive measures, including legislation to include a
larger number of women in electoral lists, and they requested
further clarification on the electoral system and on the
possibility of modifying lists of candidates in order to
introduce more women.  The representative explained that one of
the main aims of the emancipation policy was to try to increase
the number of women in politics and public administration.  As
the candidates were put forward by the autonomous political
parties, and the Government had no influence in that sphere, it
could only exercise indirect influence through measures such as
the provision of grants to political parties for activities aimed
at increasing the number of women in politics or the setting-up
of special working groups dealing with the issue.  The political
parties themselves decided on the names and the order of
candidates on the list and it depended on the importance given by
the individual parties to women in politics as to whether women
were elected.

276.  Regarding the size of grants given to political parties,
the
representative said that an amount of about $2.7 million per year
was given by the Government to political parties for training,
education and related activities, but only if the activities were
related to matters of importance to the functioning of the
democracy, and only if a party was in financial difficulty.

277.  In response to the request for an analysis of the progress
made and the obstacles encountered in securing parity democracy,
the representative explained that, regarding the composition of
elected bodies, parity between women and men was not an objective
to be achieved by the Government and that parity democracy was
rejected as conflicting with the basic principles of democracy
itself.

278.  In answer to a question about the target figure for female
Queen's Commissioners, the representative said that new Queen's
Commissioners were appointed by the Cabinet, according to the
relative strength of the political parties in the Second Chamber
of Parliament, from among "the veterans" from the field of public
administration, only a few of whom were women.

279.  Regarding the number of women in administrative and
political positions in provincial and municipal governments, the
representative said that detailed figures would be provided to
the Committee in a brochure.

280.  Further questions were posed as to whether the marked
decline in the membership of most political parties was the same
for women and for men and whether women's membership in
non-governmental organizations had increased.  Considering that
some parties mandated that their members belong to a particular
church, it was asked whether there was a danger of religious
fanaticism.

281.  Regarding the number of women deputies in the Parliament of
the Netherlands Antilles, their representative stated that
currently 13 per cent of the members of Parliament were women,
and 30 per cent of the ministerial and junior ministerial posts
were occupied by women.

      Article 8

282.  Asked about government policies to increase the number of
women in the diplomatic service, the representative of the
Netherlands explained that policy measures were geared towards
the recruitment and promotion of women and that preferential
treatment was applied in cases where candidates had equal
qualifications.  In the case of couples with both partners in the
diplomatic service, a number of arrangements had proved to be
satisfactory to all parties concerned.

      Article 10

283.  Members inquired whether programmes demonstrated that a
lack
of education was an obstacle to gender equality.

      Article 11

284.  Regarding the employment rate of women, which until
recently
was relatively low in the Netherlands, it was said that it could
be explained by historical, economic and social development, but
that thus far social scientists had not been able to give a
generally accepted answer.

285.  As to the question whether the increased number of women in
part-time employment was a manifestation of direct or indirect
discrimination against women, the representative said that that
was not the case.  Most women sought part-time jobs themselves in
order to achieve a better balance in their lives between their
various duties, and men too were looking for part-time work.

286.  Regarding questions concerning the number of working hours
that qualified a job as part-time and the percentage of women
working in double part-time work, the representative stated that,
in general, that qualification was applied to jobs with less than
38 to 40 hours per week and that no statistics were available on
the number of women working in double part-time jobs.

287.  Considering that women were highly concentrated in a
limited
number of occupations, in spite of having the same educational
level as men, several measures were being taken to redress the
situation, such as awareness campaigns through teaching materials
and the media.

288.  The representative said that the requests for more
information on pay differences between women and men and pay for
work of equal value would be answered and supplemented by
statistics in the second periodic report.  Group action was
possible in cases of unequal pay, and that was one of the main
reasons for having introduced group action.  Data on female
agricultural workers would also be supplied in the subsequent
report.

289.  Members inquired whether sanctions existed in the event
that
the public employment services did not meet the set targets. 
Regarding women working in the private sector, the organizations
and enterprises concerned carried out affirmative action for
which they could receive government grants.

290.  Asked about the volume of paid work at home, the
representative said that official statistics differed a great
deal from one set of statistics to another and that legislation
to improve the situation of those doing paid work at home was in
preparation.

291.  Regarding questions about the position of women enrolled in
private social insurance schemes, the representative said that
any related problems should soon disappear in view of the
forthcoming implementation of relevant legislation.

292.  In response to questions about the former and the current
taxation situation for women, and concern expressed by members
about the negative effect of the so-called breadwinner's benefit
in the system of personal income tax on women's participation in
the labour market, the representative stated that the major tax
reform in the 1980s removed de jure differential treatment of
women and men.  A person's decision to enter the labour market
was influenced by various considerations.  It was, therefore, not
certain whether the system really functioned as a disincentive
for all women to enter the labour market.

293.  Members asked whether the Government provided child-care
facilities to single and unmarried mothers, whether affirmative
action was undertaken aimed at employing more women in managerial
positions and what the social security situation and unemployment
benefits of women as compared with men were.  Members commented
that the labour market schemes and targets for unemployed women
were not obligatory enough for officials.

294.  Regarding the question whether women who suffered
discrimination at work could refer in court to article 11 of the
Convention, the representative replied that it was possible only
in litigation against the State, but not against a private
employer or another citizen.

295.  When asked whether the Government of Aruba was planning to
eliminate the provision according to which dismissal on the
grounds of pregnancy was legal, the representative of Aruba
stated that in the instance of female government employees no
cases of dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy had ever been
presented.  In the private sector, dismissal required special
previous approval and pregnancy was not considered to be
sufficient reason to grant such permission.  As the Civil Code
prohibited dismissal in cases of sickness, pregnancy was
considered to be included under "sickness".

      Article 12

296.  In reaction to the comment by members that the report was
not detailed enough on the question of health, the representative
of the Netherlands said that in 1994 a study would be conducted
on the access of women to health services.

297.  Replying to a question about the availability of special
programmes for women who were already infected with HIV/AIDS, the
representative said that while all government programmes were
accessible to both women and men, the Government subsidized a
"Women and AIDS" office and self-help groups were trying to get
women out of their isolation.  Although tourism was one of the
main industries in Aruba, the prevalence of AIDS infection was
relatively low.  The National AIDS Commission offered care and
counselling, as well as control measures, including health
education.  Specific information and guidance was also provided
to prostitutes.

298.  Following a request for further information on drug
addiction among women and related programmes, the representative
of the Netherlands explained that the central objective of the
drug policy was to reduce, as much as possible, the risks that
drug abuse presented to the users, their environment and society.

A pragmatic approach to the problem proved to be more effective
and statistics showed that generally one woman was addicted for
every three men.

299.  Asked about the Government's position on euthanasia, the
representative stated that she did not think it proper to link
euthanasia with women's issues.

300.  Referring to the question whether there was legislation
regarding artificial insemination and whether it was based on
ethical or on scientific principles, the representative replied
that artificial insemination was not regulated by law.  However,
hospitals had their codes of conduct and an individual physician
with a different view on the matter could refer a woman to a
colleague to undertake the procedure.  It was important that
women applying for that procedure not be refused on the basis of
their marital status, sexual preference or lifestyle.  Pregnancy
at an advanced age was currently not covered by law.

301.  Members of the Committee requested clarification about the
abortion policy in the country.  It was explained that the reason
for the five-day waiting period was to safeguard responsible
decision-making and to give the women the chance of reconsidering
if they wished to.  Abortion could be carried out only by a
physician in a hospital or clinic with a permit and was allowed
only in a medically or socially untenable situation in which it
was deemed necessary.

      Article 16

302.  Turning to the question whether any reform was under way
regarding the order of names of married couples, the
representative reported on a bill on equality between men and
women in choosing family names that was currently being
considered by Parliament.

303.  Regarding the question whether cases of rape within
marriage
had been dealt with in court since the entry into force of the
new legislation in 1991, the representative replied that there
had been some cases, most of them situations in which the spouses
were divorced de facto, but not de jure.   Replying to a related
question, she said that, before that law was adopted, a
replacement of the words "through force" by "against the will"
had not been considered, since it would have given a chance to
question the victim about her attitudes.

304.  Regarding the high number of divorces in the Netherlands
Antilles, the social, cultural, economic and political reasons
for that phenomenon and the question whether it was not also
influenced by the low minimum age of marriage for women, the
representative replied that currently the Civil Code was
undergoing an integral revision.  In spite of the low minimum age
of marriage, women generally entered into marriage at the age of
18 or above.  Experience showed that reasons for divorce were
short periods of marriage, especially if the wife was
self-supporting, domestic violence against women, unfaithfulness
of the husband and the general empowerment of women.

305.  Responding to an additional question relating to
international technical cooperation, the representative stated
that development cooperation relating to the women in development
policy had to operate within the overall development policy,
which might force the Government to take a more selective
approach.

Concluding comments of the Committee

      Introduction

306.  The Committee commended the State party for not entering
any
reservations and for undertaking such conscientious efforts in
legislation as well as other measures, first before ratifying the
Convention, and secondly for its implementation.

307.  It also applauded the State party for presenting such an
extensive report, including a general description of the country
and statistics on the situation of women.  It wished, however,
for a more in-depth analysis and a more result-oriented
description of legal and other policy measures in subsequent
reports, including more comparative data, as well as information
on the financial cost of the projects described.

308.  It noted with satisfaction that the answers given by the
State party to the questions posed by the Committee filled many
of the lacunae and even further improved an already excellent
presentation.

      Positive aspects

309.  The Committee commended the State party's efforts to
establish a comprehensive national machinery as well as the
requirement for each future report on the Convention to be
submitted to Parliament before being presented to the Committee.

310.  It noted with appreciation the extensive research, policy
and support measures taken by the State party that explored the
causes of and combated the various forms of violence against
women.

311.  It also commended the financial support given to women's
initiatives and women's organizations by the Government as well
as its willingness to listen to their concerns and demands.  The
Committee also applauded the fact that the State party
implemented the Convention by developing policies and other
measures to eliminate discrimination based on sexual preference.

312.  It noted with satisfaction that the Netherlands Antilles
and
Aruba actively implemented the Convention despite economic
difficulties, including publicizing its content in general and in
the schools.

      Principal subjects of concern

313.  The Committee voiced concern whether the mainstreaming of
the State party's national machinery impacted on its
effectiveness.  In this respect it also noted with concern that
the transfer of equality policies and measures from the central
to the provincial and municipal levels might result in a loss of
political will and financial support.

314.  Another concern was raised by the character of an
emancipation policy that gave only limited financial support to
women's projects rather than institutionalized support.

315.  The Committee also expressed concern on the thinness of the
State party's reporting on article 11 compared to the reporting
on other articles and wondered whether this reflected
insufficient attention by the Government to women's employment
issues.

      Suggestions and recommendations

316.  The Committee suggested that in the second report more
information should be given on the national machinery of the
Netherlands Antilles and the Netherlands Aruba.  It recommended
the inclusion of more information on the legal and other policy
measures to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of women's
sexual preference as well as on the results, including data, of
the efforts of provincial and municipal governments regarding
policies and other measures for women.

317.  It suggested that more result-oriented policies regarding
women's employment, including affirmative action, pay issues and
child care, were to be pursued and to be reported upon.


                            Zambia

318.  The Committee considered the combined initial and second
periodic reports of Zambia (CEDAW/C/ZAM/1-2) at its 241st and
246th meetings, on 24 and 26 January (see CEDAW/C/SR.241 and
246).

319.  In introducing the report, the representative of Zambia
emphasized that her country was undergoing serious and
far-reaching changes in the political and economic fields.  After
18 years of one-party participatory democracy, Zambia had 
reverted back to the multiparty system in 1991.  While the
women's league of the ruling party had been the sole custodian of
women's interests before, each party had now a women's programme.

The Government had assumed responsibility for the advancement of
women by establishing a women's affairs desk in all government
ministries and a Women-in-Development Unit in the Department of
Planning and Development Cooperation.

320.  Zambia had changed from socialist central planning to a
free-market economy.  Vigorous efforts had been made in the past
two years to transform the country's economy.  Structural
adjustment programmes, first introduced in 1987 and reinvigorated
in 1991, had had far-reaching consequences.  The reports
reflected the impact of those measures on women and programmes
related to women in development.  Structural adjustment
programmes had led to the neglect of social development and
brought with them diminishing opportunities for women.  Suggested
cutbacks in the civil service, the greatest employer of women,
would affect women and reduce their already limited job
opportunities.  Infant mortality and malnutrition was increasing
because mothers could not provide the needed maize, the basic
commodity, after subsidies had been cut and prices increased.

321.  The representative explained how historical and cultural
factors had impeded the advancement of women.  Zambia was male-
dominated in all walks of society, from the formal employment
sector to the basic family unit.  Stereotyped education and lack
of investment in girls' education was one of the main reasons for
the continuing male dominance.  In 1994, families were still not
prepared to invest in the education of their daughters as they
would for a son.  In the early days of colonialism, preference
had been given to male education whereas girls' education was
stopped at junior standard secondary school.  That situation was
changing only at a very slow pace.

322.  Zambia had subscribed to the goals of equality, development
and peace set for the United Nations Decade for Women and built
up activities to change grass-root realities.  The Convention had
been ratified in February 1985 without reservations. 
Non-governmental organizations had become involved and manifested
themselves in different lobby groups, for example, among
professional women and in the Christian community, where they
were caring for disadvantaged women.

323.  The Government had made a series of constitutional and
legal
amendments since 1991.  Article 23 of the new Constitution
redefined discrimination as widely as possible and included for
the first time discrimination on grounds of sex.  The previous
Constitution, of 1964, did not prohibit that kind of
discrimination and had been broadly accepted since it was a
general view that women needed protection.

324.  Regarding temporary special measures as contained in
article
4 of the Convention, she reported on action taken by the
Government to accelerate equality of men and women.  Girls were
encouraged to take up technical subjects such as science and
mathematics.  To increase the level of girls' education, the cut-
off points for girls to qualify for secondary education had been
lowered and a quota of 20 per cent for girls had been introduced
in science colleges.  Working women's access to loans had been
facilitated, since the consent of the husband was no longer
required.

325.  The new Government was moving towards uniting customary and
statutory law, which would positively affect the status of women.

So far customary law had a large bearing on the determination of
the issues of marriage and inheritance.

326.  Referring to article 7 of the Convention, she confirmed
that
women in her country had always played an active role in
politics.  They were the majority of voters, but their
representation in Government was low.  Only nine of the 160
members of parliament were women, the Cabinet had only two women
and there were few women ambassadors.  Since the educational
system had been discriminatory against women, women could not
fill that gap through political involvement only.  The present
re-examination of the educational system would have a tremendous
impact on women.

327.  Women's issues could not be the centre of attention at a
time when the survival of the country as a whole was at stake. 
The Government had made an effort to consider the situation of
women by institutionalizing the offices for the advancement of
women, but for the next five years that topic would not come to
the centre of the stage, owing in large part to the
reconstruction of the economy.

General observations

328.  Members of the Committee thanked the representative of
Zambia for her clear and frank introduction to the report and the
efforts deployed in the preparation of the report, in particular
the addendum, which had been compiled in accordance with
suggested reporting procedure and guidelines.  Members recalled
that they had appealed at previous sessions to States parties to
send representatives involved in the preparation of the report to
present it to the Committee.  Members regretted that the
presentation of the report had had to be delayed because the
distinguished representative of Zambia had not actually had the
opportunity of even reading through the report.  They found that
state of affairs rather unfortunate.  It was important that
States parties paid great attention to the reporting and
presentation requirements of the Convention.  They felt that the
representative of a State party delegated to present a report
must be conversant with its contents.  Members commended the
Government of Zambia for its commitment to the advancement of
women and its ratification of the Convention as early as 1985
without reservations.  They took note of the difficulties the
Government had experienced while trying to translate that
commitment into practical steps.

329.  Members expressed their concern about the devastating
effects of structural adjustment programmes on women and the
relegation of women's issues to the backstage as experienced in
Zambia.  That was a worldwide phenomenon, and it was recommended
that the Committee draw the attention of the international
community to the issue.  The contradiction that existed between
article 13 of the Convention, dealing with the elimination of
discrimination against women in areas of economic and social
life, and the negative impact of structural adjustment programmes
on women needed to be highlighted by the Committee.  Zambia was
forced to breach article 13 and to a lesser extent article 11 of
the Convention because of the economic measures imposed. 
However, the development of a country depended on the integration
of women in development since women accounted for half of the
population.  Cutting back on women's programmes in times of
crisis sounded like an easy excuse from a patriarchal system.  In
periods of radical reform, it was essential that women be
involved in public life and decision-making on important matters
such as finances and economic measures.

330.  Members requested further information on Committee
recommendations 14 and 19.  The representative replied that there
was no tradition of female circumcision in any part of the
country.  There were only customs related to the personal hygiene
of girls when they reached puberty.  Violence against women was
widespread and even traditionally accepted as a way of
disciplining a wife.  Under the Zambian Penal Code, violence
against women was a crime and treated as an assault.  The
Government had been encouraging prosecutions of offenders.  Since
most women were economically dependent on their husbands and
afraid to lose their matrimonial home, they were very reluctant
to prosecute their aggressors.  Some women did not admit that
they had been abused and considered battering as a sign of man's
affection.

331.  More information was sought on the fact that Zambian law
recognized equality between men and women with regard to legal
capacity.  The representative stated that men and women had the
same legal status as persons under the law.  The only outstanding
legislation that was discriminatory concerned citizenship for the
foreign spouse of a Zambian woman.  That provision of the law was
meant to prevent "marriages of convenience" but was being
reconsidered.

332.  Members commended the establishment of women's affairs
desks
in all government ministries as a good example of mainstreaming
women's issues and asked whether the Women-in-Development Unit
had really fulfilled its objective.  The representative replied
that the Unit in the Department of Planning and Development
Cooperation, formerly the National Commission for Development
Planning, was coordinating women's development and women's rights
issues.  It gathered information and material and made input into
development plans and budgetary provisions.

333.  Members acknowledged the work accomplished by the Women's
League, which had been linked to the previous ruling power. 
Referring to the establishment of new non-governmental
organizations and their important role in society, they wanted to
know what impact those organizations had on the Women's League
and the Women-in-Development Unit.  The representative stated
that, during the one-party participatory democracy,
non-governmental organizations operated parallel to the Women's
League, which was the political wing of the then ruling party. 
Women's issues were treated differently by the non-governmental
organizations, which played a supplementary role vis-…-vis the
Women-in-Development Unit since they had a wider sphere of
influence.

334.  Questioned about the role of non-governmental organizations
in changing stereotypes in education and communication, the
representative replied that their educational and political
activities, both on television and on radio, were very important.

They also worked with the National Curriculum Development
Department of the Ministry of Education on the revision of the
curriculum and educational material.

335.  Recalling the considerable time that had passed since
Zambia's independence and its ratification of the Convention,
members expressed concern about the slow pace in promoting the
status of women.  They asked whether the measures taken in
education and legal reform were not adequate or if the force of
customs and the impact of economic reforms prevented progress. 
The representative considered a combination of different factors
as being the main reason.  Although some customary beliefs and
practices prevented the advancement of women, education had a
positive impact on women's self-confidence and on their families,
who acknowledged the benefits of girls' education.  With the
advent of structural adjustment programmes the pace was slowing
down temporally, but the legal ground for equality had been
prepared.

336.  Members wanted to know if there were inherent traditional
social factors that prevented women from enjoying their rights
fully, in particular the right to employment.  The representative
explained that basic education and some basic trade skills were
the first condition for finding gainful employment in Zambia. 
Most women in Zambia would be in employment before their
marriage, but suspended their professional life once they had to
take care of children and a household of their own.  Support
systems for care did not exist, nor did a concept of sharing
household chores.  Day-care centres were a new and expensive
phenomenon in the urban areas.  Women therefore had no other
possibility than to sacrifice their career progression for caring
responsibilities.

337.  Members regretted the lack of statistical data, which
should
be given more space in subsequent reports.  The representative
said that an effort would be made to provide more data and
detailed information on women's living conditions in Zambia in
the third periodic report.

Questions related to specific articles

      Article 2

338.  Members asked for further information on the reform of the
Constitution of 1991 and whether it still contained provisions
that allowed discrimination against women.  They wanted to
receive information on a constitutional committee set up by the
President to undertake a harmonization of the Constitution.  The
representative stated that, in the Constitution of Zambia Act,
1991, the only outstanding issue regarding discrimination was the
provision relating to citizenship of foreign men married to
Zambian women, which was currently under revision.  The Act
addressed the issues of discrimination against women since an
offending article 23 of the previous Constitution had been
amended and given wider definition.  The Constitutional Committee
was reviewing the Constitution with a view to securing final
approval for the amended Constitution.  Asked about measures
taken to remove all customary laws, the representative stated
that the Constitution prohibited the practice and enforcement of
customary laws that were repugnant to natural justice.  However,
customary law was part of the way of life in Zambia and not
codified.  There was no ground for removing customary law that
was tradition and did no harm.  Asked about the situation of
widows and their children, the representative said that the
question of custody was not an issue in her country since it was
generally the widow who took care of her children.  Only if she
was not able to do so owing to illness or economic hardship would
the extended family take charge.  If a women lost custody of her
children, she could make a petition to the high court. 
Traditionally, widows had always been well protected, but there
had been an upsurge of ill-treatment of widows, especially in the
urban areas, linked to the advent of the money economy and new-
found materialism.

      Article 3

339.  Members stated that the report did not deal with all
appropriate measures taken to ensure the full development and
advancement of women as required under the article.  Hope was
expressed that the subsequent report would cover those questions
accordingly.  More details were required on the budget of the
national machinery and its structure.  Members asked for a
description of the objective situation of women, in particular
persisting traditional customs that affected women negatively. 
The representative said that those questions would be
appropriately addressed in the subsequent report.

      Article 4

340.  Members welcomed the inclusion of a chapter on women in
development in the fourth national development plan (1989-1993)
and asked for the results achieved as well as information on the
coordination of women's activities in the different areas.

341.  They wanted more information on temporary special measures,
including the lowering of cut-off points for girls to qualify for
secondary education and the introduction of a quota system for
girls in science colleges.  They wanted to hear about the reasons
for lowering grading and if the society accepted that measure. 
The representative informed the Committee that girls and boys had
the same curricula, the same examinations and the same teachers. 
Ninety per cent of the schools were coeducational.  Affirmative
action was a means to enable more girls to have access to higher
education, since girls were a minority from the first day in
school and even more so at the end of the seven-year primary
education cycle, when more girls had dropped out.  That did not
imply that girl's educational achievements were bad.  The measure
had been generally well accepted, although some felt that women
should compete on an equal footing with men.

      Article 5

342.  Members wanted to know which measures had been taken to
change the practice of dowry and bride price and whether progress
was achieved in the rural areas.  The representative stated that
the payment of a bride price, which had always been a token, was
widespread practice and very well accepted.  No substantial
change in the practice was reported from the rural areas.

343.  Asked whether women could obtain divorce, the
representative
replied that divorce procedures were different for marriages
contracted under the Marriage Act, which had to be dissolved in
the High Court of Zambia, and customary marriages, which could be
dissolved in local courts.  Regarding a question on the
activities of the Women-in-Development Unit and non-governmental
organizations to combat violence against women, the
representative stated that violence against women was a high-
profile topic dealt with in seminars, television and radio
interviews and theatrical performances.

      Article 6

344.  Members found it discriminatory that in the case of
prostitution, which was an illegal activity, only women were
taken to police stations and not their male customers.  They
expressed the view that considering prostitution illegal and
arresting prostitutes did not resolve the problem, but rather
exacerbated it.  They referred to the pick-up of prostitutes in
streets and asked whether women had the opportunity to prove
their innocence after being arrested.  The representative noted
that trafficking in women was not a problem in Zambia, but that
prostitution existed.  A woman arrested for prostitution must be
charged and prosecuted in a court of law, where she had an
opportunity to prove her innocence or to sign the admission-of-
guilt form.

      Article 10

345.  Members expressed their concern about the high illiteracy
rate among women.  The representative replied that Zambia had one
of the best functional literacy programmes, which were community-
based in the rural and the urban areas.  Various women's
activities were used for those programmes, which taught women how
to unite.  Questioned about the main reasons for the high
drop-out rates of girls from school after the first level, the
reply was that large family sizes made it economically difficult
for parents to send all their children to school.  Preference was
given to the education of sons, who were expected to become the
breadwinners of the extended family.  Little value was attached
to the education of girls, who were traditionally prepared for
their future role as good wife and good mother.

      Article 11

346.  Members observed that the heavy involvement of women in the
informal sector was a predominant feature in developing
countries.  Those women were often harassed by police and law
enforcement for their activities.  The informal sector had an
illegal connotation, although women in the informal sector 
contributed to the economy and paid taxes.  Women in the informal
sector should start to organize and negotiate with the Ministry
of Labour.  The international community should look at women's
activities in the informal sector.  Stating that employment and
the economic sector were most important for the status of women,
members asked if the Government was taking measures to provide
jobs for women.  In her reply, the representative referred to the
Constitution of Zambia, which recognized the right to work, to
free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of
work and to protection against unemployment.  The Government was
committed to providing jobs for women, but the structural
adjustment programmes had brought with it a contraction of the
labour market, which should be only temporary.  Asked if there
was a professional orientation for the jobs that were available
for women on the job market, she said that women were not
oriented towards certain professions or fields, but free to
pursue a career of their choice depending on their
qualifications.

      Article 12

347.  Members asked for more information on women's reproductive
rights and the use of contraception.  The representative replied
that women traditionally had no control over their reproductive
rights and could not refuse to have children.  The basis of a
marriage in a traditional setting was to have children.  The use
of contraceptives was widespread.  In reply to the question
whether abortion was allowed, she said that, under the
Termination of a Pregnancy Act, an abortion could be performed on
medical grounds only, if there was a threat to the life of the
mother or the foetus and on recommendation of three medical
practitioners.  Members also wanted to know if there was a
population policy to lower the birth rate.  The representative
said that the Government was intervening to lower the birth rate
through the provision of family planning services and free
contraceptives.  Population trends indicated that Zambia's
population could double in the next 20 years if the growth rate
of 3.2 per cent per annum was maintained.  Members sought an
explanation for the demographic imbalance in the population, with
60 per cent of the population being female.  The representative
said that it could not really be explained, but was due to the
high female birth rate and high male death rate.  Life expectancy
for females was 55 years while it was 53 years for men.  There
was no out-migration of men that left women on their own. 
Internal migration from rural to urban areas had involved the
most productive groups, mainly the young, better educated and
enterprising elements, and had had negative effects on both the
rural and the urban areas.

348.  The mortal diseases affecting women were malaria, disorders
of pregnancy, delivery complications, disease of the
genitro-urinary system, accidents and injuries, respiratory
diseases and AIDS-related complications.

349.  Concerning maternity leave for employed women and family
benefits for women, the representative stated that women were
entitled to three months of paid maternity leave after two years
of service and at intervals of two years according to the
Employment Act.  That was considered a good family planning
policy since it allowed for spacing of children.

      Article 14

350.  Members stated that the situation of rural women was very
critical and  required information on the hardship of rural
women, the constraints on their time and the success and failure
of development programmes.

      Article 15

351.  The Committee asked for more information on the financing,
staffing and  functions of the women's affairs subcommittee.

      Article 16

352.  Members sought more information on the number of
female-headed households, their economic situation, their
concentration in rural and/or urban areas and their strategies
for survival.  The representative said that she was unable to
provide replies to the questions under articles 14, 15 and 16. 
Responses would be incorporated in the third periodic report.

Concluding observation

353.  In her concluding remarks, the representative stressed that
women in Zambia had not benefited as much as men from the
services and opportunities of the country although the
constitutional statutes did not discriminate against women. 
Equal opportunities meant also equal sharing of responsibilities
between women and men, both inside and outside their homes, but
women's workload in the household was disproportionately larger. 
She stated that structural adjustment programmes had fallen
heavily on women.  However in the restructuring process and the
new liberal environment, measures were being taken that would
enable women to attain a quality of life that would be equal to
that of men.

354.  Members commended the Government of Zambia for its effort
to
eliminate de jure discrimination while harmonizing the
Constitution and to institutionalize the national machinery for
the advancement of women.  The Committee thanked the
representative of Zambia for her knowledgeable presentation and
the competent way in which she had replied to the questions. 
Members looked forward to receiving the outstanding information
in the third periodic report.  The Committee also encouraged the
representative to comply with the guidelines for the
establishment of reports in the preparation of the next report.

355.  With regard to customary law, the Committee stated that
customary practice and customary law had different meanings in
the various cultures but needed to be examined as to their impact
on women.  If they affected the status of women negatively, as
did forced marriage or circumcision, then they needed to be
eliminated.  There was no question of rejecting all customary
practices and  traditions.  Countries went through a transitional
period when they had to decide which practices to keep or to
eliminate; it was important to have the choice.  The Committee
encouraged the Government to identify cultural practices that
might have stemmed from pre-colonial times under each article of
the Convention.  That would help the country and the Committee
better to understand how customary practice affected women. 
Members also invited the representative to consider how other
countries of the region had tackled customary practice and law.

Concluding comments of the Committee

      Introduction

356.  The Committee noted with satisfaction that Zambia had
entered no reservations.  The amendment to the initial report
adhered to the reporting procedures better than the initial
report, even though the report did not contain separate
information on articles 1 to 3 of the Convention.

357.  Both documents gave clear information on laws and policy
measures relating to the implementation of the Convention, though
more concrete data on the actual situation of women as well as on
the difficulties affecting the implementation were desired in the
subsequent report.

358.  The Committee noted that the Government of Zambia was
currently experiencing difficulties in implementing the
Convention, owing to the impact of structural adjustment
programmes.  The Committee noted with great concern that that
adjustment negatively affected many aspects of women's lives.

      Positive aspects

359.  The Committee expressed its appreciation of the fact that
some legal measures had been put in place to eliminate
discrimination against women.  It also appreciated the fact that
after the enactment of the 1991 Constitution, a constitutional
review committee which included women's non-governmental
organizations had been put in place to further review all
discriminatory laws and practices.


360.  It expressed its appreciation for the establishment of
women's desks in all ministries, the extensive educational
efforts concerning women and the emergence of new women's
organizations.

      Principal subjects of concern

361.  The Committee was very concerned about the persistence of
traditional sex roles, which were deeply embedded in the cultural
life of the Zambians and which generally seemed to impede
equality.  Great concern was also expressed regarding the
violation of women's rights in general, particularly the rights
of those women under customary marriage laws.

362.  The Committee also noted with concern the lack of women's
access to formal employment and the difficulties encountered by
women working in the informal sector in general and from
governmental officials.

363.  The Committee was also concerned about acts of violence
against women in their private sphere.  It also noted the high
fertility rate and its negative impact on the status of women in
addition to the difficulty caused by the current adjustment
programmes.

      Suggestions and recommendations

364.  The Committee suggested that the Government of Zambia study
the possibility of codifying the customary laws so that those
found to be in violation of the Convention could be reformed or
abolished.  It recommended that the customary marriage law be
reformed so that customary marriages were registered, in order to
give women married under that law equal rights and benefits with
men.

365.  The Committee also recommended that in future reports a
much
more detailed description be given of the customs and traditions
affecting women's rights in all areas of the Convention in a
positive or negative way.  It suggested further review of
existing legislation and expected in the subsequent report to be
informed about the practical results of the constitutional review
committee and their implementation.

366.  It recommended that, although structural adjustment
programmes posed difficulties to the State party, women's issues
should remain at centre stage even in times of economic distress.

The Committee therefore recommended that women have access to
budgetary and policy decision-making positions to mitigate some
of the negative effects of the structural adjustment on women's
lives.

367.  The Committee urged the State party, women's
non-governmental organizations and all concerned to engage in a
nationwide awareness campaign to change the attitudes of men and
women in order to achieve de facto equality in all spheres of
life.  The Committee also wished to be informed in subsequent
reports about the situation of women in female-headed households.

368.  It was the wish of the Committee that Zambia's next report
provide all the information with the necessary sex-segregated
statistics in accordance with the articles of the Convention and
in closer compliance with the guidelines for submitting reports
to the Committee.

             2.  Second and third periodic reports

369.  Following the procedure adopted by the Committee at its
ninth session 7/ for the consideration of second and subsequent
periodic reports, issues that should be discussed with the
representatives of States parties submitting a second periodic
report were identified in advance by a pre-session working group.

                          Australia

370.  The Committee considered the second periodic report of
Australia (CEDAW/C/AUL/2) at its 251st meeting, on 31 January
(see CEDAW/C/SR.251).

371.  In her introductory statement, the representative of
Australia recalled her Government's commitment to eliminating
discrimination against women and referred to the means used to
promote the status of women.  Upon ratification of the Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
in 1983, the Sex Discrimination Act was passed in 1984 and the
Affirmative Action (Equal Employment Opportunity for Women) Act
in 1986.  Several legislative amendments had been made since
then, strengthening the sex discrimination and sexual harassment
provisions.  The representative stressed that her country's
federal system of government required a cooperative approach
between the Federal Government and the governments of the States
and Territories to implement the Convention.  The New National
Agenda for Women, released in 1993 by the Federal Government,
reflected many articles of the Convention and was a guideline to
the year 2000.

372.  The second periodic report followed the tradition of
frankness about what remained to be done to implement the
Convention.  As part of a programme to raise awareness on equal
rights, the report had been widely distributed throughout the
country.  Government policy advice mechanisms on the status of
women had been reviewed and several new consultative mechanisms
established.

373.  Women's representation in public life remained one of the
areas of concern, since only 14.5 per cent of the members of
Australia's parliament were women.  The reasons for women's
absence in decision-making and strategies to influence the
political agenda would be discussed in a paper on women and
government in Australia and New Zealand.  Women's
underrepresentation in the judiciary was addressed by the Federal
Attorney-General in a report on the process of judicial
appointments.

374.  Violence against women, as a violation of women's human
rights and a form of discrimination, was another area of national
concern and a policy priority for the Office of the Status of
Women.  The National Strategy on Violence against Women provided
a framework for concerted action at all levels of government.  A
national education programme on violence against women had been
launched recently.

375.  The third area of concern was the situation of particularly
disadvantaged groups, including indigenous women, migrant women,
all women of non-English- speaking background and women with
disabilities.  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women were
the most disadvantaged people in Australian society, with high
infant mortality rates, low life expectancy, high unemployment
figures and high incidence of domestic violence and homicide. 
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) had
been established as the premier body responsible for Federal
Government programmes.  The ATSIC board members were elected by
and from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  The
Office of Indigenous Women within ATSIC coordinated the Women's
Initiative Programme.  A national Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Consultative Women's Council was being considered.  A
comprehensive women's health policy was in preparation.  The
representative stated that further programmes would be developed
to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples move out of
situations of dependence.  The most significant development was
the introduction on 24 December 1993, of the Native Title Act,
which would establish tribunal and court processes for
determining claims to native title.

376.  The representative stated that Australia, being a member of
the Commission on the Status of Women during the period leading
to the Fourth World Conference on Women, felt responsibility to
participate actively in international mechanisms and to promote
the equality of women, in partnership between States, as
reflected also in the international development work of the
country.  Australia was focusing on the protection of women's
rights within mainstream human rights forums to avoid
marginalization of women's human rights.

General observations

377.  Members of the Committee acknowledged the quality of the
report, which complied with the general guidelines.  A great deal
of information had been made available in a self-critical manner.

They thanked the representative for the extensive and very
informative replies and commended the Government of Australia for
the specific action taken to improve the status of women and its
commitment to the implementation of the Convention.  Special
reference was made to the contribution of Australia to the World
Conference on Human Rights and its efforts to treat the human
rights of women on the same basis as all human rights.

378.  Members especially welcomed the fact that women's unpaid
work in the family was taken into consideration and integrated
into the national accounts.

379.  Members inquired about a change in government policy with
regard to the reservation under article 11, paragraph 1 (c), in
connection with combat duties, and paragraph 2 (b), on maternity
leave.  The representative replied that the ban on women serving
in combat roles had been lifted, with a small number of
exclusions related to violence.  Women in the Australian Defence
Force could now serve in the navy, army and air force.  As a
result of the revised employment policy, Australia would adjust
its reservation to the Convention.  With regard to the second
reservation, maternity leave with pay was provided for all women
employed by the Commonwealth Government, subject to a 12-month
qualifying period, for 9 to 12 weeks depending on the State or
Territory.  Unpaid maternity leave had become available to
Australian women employees since 1979 and had been inserted in
all major Federal awards and the majority of State awards. 
During the International Year of the Family, paid maternity leave
would become one of the major issues for public debate.  The
Government was now taking steps to introduce universal parental
leave.

380.  Following this report on gradual progress achieved, members
expressed their hope that the Government would be able to report
on the removal of the reservations in the next periodic report.

General questions

381.  Acknowledging Australia's ambitious programmes to raise
community awareness of the problem of violence against women, the
question was raised whether the incidence of such violence had
decreased.  The representative replied that there were a number
of barriers to collecting comprehensive data.  Much violence
against women was not reported, particularly domestic violence. 
However, a greater community awareness of the criminality of
violence against women has brought with it an increase in
reporting.  The Office of the Status of Women would establish a
national coordinated data collection network with standardized
statistical collection methods.



382.  Asked about the impact of programmes to eliminate violence
in the Aboriginal community, the representative stated that a
national family violence intervention programme was being
implemented by ATSIC using a community development approach.  A
national men's conference to discuss specific issues of family
violence was held in 1993.

383.  Members requested information on section 37 of the Sex
Discrimination Act and asked whether that legal provision was
applied for acts in conflict with Australian legislation or with
the provisions of the Convention.  The representative replied
that such acts were only exempt by force of section 37 of the Sex
Discrimination Act but were not exempt from criminal sanctions
under other legislation.  For example, genital mutilation would
be treated as a breach of State assault laws and polygamy would
be illegal under the Marriage Act.

384.  The Committee welcomed the positive legislative measures,
strategies and programmes for providing assistance to women that
made it possible to have official legal rights on an equal basis
with men.  Asked why the Government still had not provided
constitutional guarantees for equality of the sexes which would
enrich the basic law of the States, the representative replied
that it would require a constitutional amendment by referendum to
entrench the right of equality of the sexes in the Australian
Constitution.  There had been ongoing debate since 1988 on which
rights and freedoms should be explicitly guaranteed in Australian
law.  While approaching Australia's centenary of federation in
2001, interests in constitutional change had been renewed, and a
conference on the issue of women and the Constitution would be
organized in 1994.

Questions related to specific articles

      Articles 1, 2 and 3

385.  The Committee asked for an organizational chart to better
understand the relationships between the women's organizations
that were noted to have the common purpose of promoting the
status of women.  The representative replied that a distinction
needed to be drawn between Government administrative and policy
bodies and advisory bodies to the Government.  The Office of the
Status of Women was a Division within the Federal Government's
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.  The National
Women's Consultative Council, operating with federal funds and
serviced by the Office was a means of communication between the
Government and the members of national women's organizations. 
The Australian Council of Women was an advisory body to the
Government on key issues for the Fourth World Conference on
Women.  The Federal Government set up the Human Rights and Equal
Opportunity Commission as a statutory body to administer four
acts, including the Sex Discrimination Act 1984.

386.  On the question whether the Minister Assisting the Prime
Minister for the Status of Women was a Cabinet member, the
representative replied affirmatively and said that this had been
achieved in a Ministerial reshuffle in December 1993.

      Article 4

387.  Members requested information on a study group on
Aboriginal
women and its authority and resources to ensure equality for
indigenous women.  The representative replied that she was unable
to ascertain which study group was referred to.  She noted that
the Office of Indigenous Women within ATSIC was the body
responsible for Federal Government programmes for Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander women.  Since 1992, annual national
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women's conferences had
been held to enable representatives of indigenous women to
identify important issues and provide advice to ATSIC.

388.  Asked what her Government had done to increase the status
of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and whether they
would be treated on equal terms if land was returned to the
indigenous population, the representative confirmed that the high
court decision in Mabo and Others v. the State of Queensland was
the most significant judicial act that paved the way for the
Native Title Act 1993, which represented a political shift in the
treatment of indigenous Australians, although its full impact
could not yet be grasped fully.  An Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Social Justice Commissioner had been appointed to
monitor and assess the human rights of the Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander peoples, in particular women.  Women's equal
rights should be a major concern when it came to redistribution
of land.  She agreed that many services provided for indigenous
women in the past had failed because traditional values had not
been taken into account in the design and implementation of
programmes, but efforts were being made to remedy that situation,
in particular in the health sector.

      Article 5

389.  Having been informed that maternity leave was widespread in
the public sector, the Committee wanted to know what action had
been taken to enable women to continue work in the private
sector, where most left their jobs after giving birth.  The
representative made clear that the inclusion of maternity,
adoption and parental leave in federal awards had been supported
by the Government.  Asked whether legislation relating to
paternity leave was being considered, she reported that
significant progress had been made on that issue, since
industrial relations legislation guaranteed 12 months unpaid
parental leave, which could be shared between men and women.

390.  The Committee had difficulty in fully understanding the
reservation on maternity leave.  The representative said that
there was considerable discussion going on in her country on the
issue.  Women's participation in wage labour had increased
significantly in the last 15 years.  The resistance to paid
maternity leave came from many sides; there was no consensus on
the issue even among women's organizations and trade unions.  The
universal social security system existing in the country
cushioned cuts in income levels and was an incentive for part-
time work.  Moreover, there had been no strong pressure or demand
for facilities to feed babies in the workplace.

391.  Commenting on violence against women, the experts asked how
many women had taken refuge in shelters.  The representative said
that a national census on a single night in May 1992 had found
4,700 adults and children using the Support Accommodation
Assistance Program (SAAP) as a result of family violence. 
Eighty-five per cent of women applied for Government benefits or
pensions after taking refuge.  An accurate figure on women
obtaining protection orders could not be given owing to a lack of
consistency in data collection by the States and Territories.  In
1991, there were 603 applications for Domestic Violence Orders in
the Australian Capital Territory, 90 per cent made by women
against men.  Asked how women's organizations helped victims of
rape within marriage and of domestic violence, the representative
said that rape crisis centres, domestic violence crisis services
and women's health centres provided information on legal, health,
financial and crisis accommodation matters and referred women to
appropriate services.

392.  The Committee wanted to know how the Government viewed the
problem of violence against women and if any attempts were being
made to solve it.  The representative stressed that the
commitment of the Government was evidenced by its considerable
support to women and children victims of violence and its efforts
to change the law and behaviour of perpetrators.  The New
National Agenda defined strategies to eliminate violence against
women which included further legislative reform.  The Government
provided considerable funding for various measures to eliminate
violence, in particular for community education campaigns, the
provision of shelter and income support to women escaping
violence.  An emphasis was put on the role of men in all aspects
of violence and the re-education of aggressors.  A clear message
was being sent out that violence was not acceptable behaviour.

393.  Replying to a question on the legal concept of the family
in
Australian society and measures taken to strengthen it, the
representative first stated that the family, as an entity, had no
legal status or legally enforceable rights or duties.  The Family
Law Act concerned itself with the rights, duties and
responsibilities of the individuals who belonged to families of
particular kinds.  The law implicitly recognized the existence of
certain kinds of family.  Australia's federal system did not
provide a comprehensive code for family relationships, but
recognized people's responsibilities for their relationships.  In
order to promote greater support, harmony and quality of life for
all families, the Government had introduced a package of family
payments.  Efforts had been made to provide quality child care.

      Article 7

394.  Members of the Committee expressed their regret that the
report lacked an analysis of the obstacles to the achievement of
equality for women in positions of political leadership, and
asked for more information on the reasons for the disparity in
figures between different institutions.  The representative
explained that women tended to be particularly underrepresented
in high-level posts in science and technology owing to entrenched
values regarding women's entry into non-traditional areas.  Her
Government targeted women in public life as one of three
priorities for improving the status of women and, therefore, was
committed to 50 per cent representation of women on Government
boards by the year 2001.  A register of women and a monitoring
system had been established.  Women's underrepresentation in
public life resulted from entrenched social attitudes,
parliamentary practices which conflicted with family
responsibilities, lack of women in leadership positions and
factionalism in the pre-selection processes in major political
parties.

395.  In reply to a question on the level of women's
representation in local and national government, the
representative said that there were higher levels of female
participation in local governments and relatively low levels in
national
government.  This might be due to the structure of major
political parties in Australia and their dominance by men.  Large
distances inside the country were another obstacle to women's
involvement in leading positions, since many women were not
prepared to move to the Federal centre of government.  She also
noted that the Commonwealth State Ministers on the Status of
Women were undertaking research on the issue.

      Article 10

396.  In reply to a question on action to raise female enrolment
at the university level, the representative recalled that the
number of women in higher education had grown steadily, reaching
more than 50 per cent.  More women than men had enrolled since
1987.  However, women were still underrepresented in certain
areas of study, and concentrated in arts, humanities, social
sciences and education.  The Government had published a plan for
equity in higher education entitled "A Fair Chance for All",
which set the goal of increasing women's share of engineering
enrolments to 15 per cent and in other non-traditional courses to
40 per cent by 1995.

397.  Members of the Committee requested further information on
the education of Aboriginal women, their enrolment at university
and their entry into the professions.  The representative replied
that the enrolment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
in higher education had increased by 192 per cent in the past
five years, with women now representing 61 per cent of the total
number of students.  The rate of completion of courses remained
of concern, although no detailed figures were available.

      Article 11

398.  The Committee was interested in the outcome of an
initiative
to review the restructuring of earnings.  The representative
confirmed her Government's strong support of a continued review
of award wage relativities based on comparisons of skills and
responsibilities.  The ratio of female to male average weekly
ordinary time earnings for a full-time adult was 83.2 per cent in
1992.  A survey on workplace bargaining found that more male
employees benefited from workplace-negotiated wage agreements. 
Reforms to the Industrial Relations Act 1988 were undertaken in
consultation with women's organizations to ensure that the
industrial reforms would protect women's interests.  Certified
agreements would continue to exist between employees, unions and
employers, but flexible agreements might be made directly between
employers and employees.  Agreements were required to ensure "no
disadvantage" in the terms and conditions of employment for the
employees.  To that end, a number of additional safeguards had
been included.

399.  Asked whether the authorities planned to propose
legislation
to ensure equal remuneration for work of equal value with a view
to raising women's incomes, the representative stated that the
Government had ensured that provision under the Industrial
Relations Reform Act 1993.  Efforts were made to remove
discriminatory elements in wage-fixing arrangements.

400.  In view of the fact that the majority of women in Australia
were working part time and assuming all family obligations,
members took note of their economic disadvantage and inherent
obstacles for career advancement and participation in public
activities.  Further clarification on the status of part-time
workers, particularly their pension and social security rights,
was needed.  The representative confirmed that Australia had seen
an increase of female part-time employment by 60 per cent
compared to a growth in female full-time employment of
approximately 25 per cent.  Part-time workers tended to be
employed more frequently on a casual basis than on a permanent
part-time basis, which would give them continuity of employment
and the possibility, generally, of accruing benefits.  The
Government welcomed the extension of permanent part-time
employment and indicated that casual work should generally be
restricted to short-term, irregular or seasonal work.  The
representative gave detailed information on pension and social
security rights of part-time workers, in particular unemployment
payments, job research and newstart allowances, family payments,
pension payments and superannuation which would significantly
increase coverage of part-time and casual employees.           
Asked
what
was considered part-time work, the representative said that it
was employment of less than 30 hours a week.

401.  The Committee noted that 44 per cent of working mothers had
children under 4 years of age, 60 per cent had children under 14
years of age and 49 per cent were single mothers.  They asked
whether the 1989-1991 programme for the refurbishment and
construction of centres had solved the problem of child care. 
The representative stated that the Government had implemented
growth strategies to expand the number of funded child-care
places, so that 74 per cent of the demand for formal work-related
care for children below school age and 51 per cent for school-age
children was met in 1992-1993.

402.  Asked about women's employment in mines, the representative
replied that there was resistance from the trade unions to
allowing women to go underground and to enter an exclusively
male-dominated profession.

      Article 12

403.  Asked whether the nationally organized cervical screening
programme had been implemented, the representative confirmed that
all Health Ministers had adopted an organized approach to
detection and management of cervical pre-cancers that included a
national cervical screening policy based on a two-year interval,
an age range of 18 to 70 years and the establishment of cervical
cytology registries.  In addition, a television campaign to raise
awareness among women on the need for regular testing had been
launched in 1993.
404.  On a question related to family planning and freely
available contraceptive advice for young women without parental
consent, the representative said that young women had free access
to advice on sexual and reproductive health in clinics funded
under the Family Planning Programme.

405.  The Committee wanted to know if abortion was available to
young women on the same basis as adult women.  The answer was
that although equal service was ensured in theory, pregnant minor
women were disadvantaged in their access to abortion services,
since they did not have their own Medicare card and lacked
support and money for transportation and consultation of
specialists.

406.  The Committee asked whether the Government planned to
harmonize its family-planning, contraception and abortion
policies.  The representative stated that abortion laws were the
responsibility of State and Territory governments, whereas the
Family Planning Programme was a Commonwealth initiative.  A
harmonization took place in the sense that the Family Planning
Programme was a means to prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce
demand for abortions.

407.  On a question about the decrease of maternal and child
mortality rates among the Aboriginal population, the
representative stressed that the health of Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander peoples had significantly improved in the past
two decades.  However, the burdens of disease continued to be
comparatively high as did levels of child mortality.  The
proportion of maternal deaths had not decreased yet.  There was a
great need for an indigenous women's health policy to complement
the National Aboriginal Health Strategy, the major initiative in
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.  Asked about legal
or social barriers to artificial insemination and the public's
response, in particular women's response to that process, the
representative replied that the direct regulation of artificial
insemination was a matter for State and Territory governments. 
The Commonwealth Government subsidized artificial insemination
through the national health insurance scheme.  There was evidence
that the majority of the population accepted artificial
insemination as part of wider reproductive technologies but was
concerned about the confidentiality of information, ethnic
cultural values and the rights of the child.  Women were
particularly concerned about the cost and emotional stress
involved.

      Article 15

408.  The Committee commented on a recent controversy about
gender
bias in the courts that had resulted in a referral to the
Australian Law Reform Commission.  It asked whether the
Government would introduce legislation or encourage law societies
and the judiciary to adopt and implement the final recommendation
of the Commission.  The representative stated that her Government
had taken action to address the issue of gender bias in the legal
system.  The Attorney-General had acknowledged that the process
of judicial appointments should comprise suitably qualified women
as well as other underrepresented groups.  The Federal Government
recognized the importance of judicial education.  Gender bias
awareness programmes for magistrates and judges had been
developed.

      Article 16

409.  The Committee wanted to know how the Government intended to
enact and enforce legislation designed to comply with the
Convention and to protect women if marriages contracted according
to customary law conflicted with the Convention.  The
representative said that Aboriginal customary marriages did not
comply with the provision of the Marriage Act 1961 and therefore
were not recognized as valid marriages, but could be accepted as
de facto heterosexual relationships in some State jurisdictions. 
The Australian Law Reform Commission recommended that Aboriginal
customary marriages should be recognized for specific purposes,
such as social security law, and for giving legitimate status to
the children of such marriages.  There were no plans to legislate
with respect to Aboriginal customary marriage.

410.  The Committee noted that the Australian Law Reform
Commission had made certain recommendations concerning marriage
practices, such as polygamous marriages, which might comply with
religious or customary law but be in conflict with the principles
of the Convention.  Asked whether there were plans to legislate
and enforce domestic law which would protect women from
traditions that endangered their health and caused them and their
children hardship, the representative stated that marriage,
according to the law in Australia, was the union of man and woman
voluntarily entered into for life and a contract of valid
polygamous marriage was not possible according to the law.   A de
facto polygamous marriage contracted outside Australia would be
recognized only if valid according to the common law rules of
private international law.  Any religious or customary marriage
which did not comply with the Marriage Act's provisions was not
valid.

411.  On a question with regard to de facto relationships and the
legal action taken to solve the problem of custody and
guardianship of children, inheritance, maintenance and allocation
of household property, the representative said that the effect of
a de facto relationship was governed by State and Territory
legislatures and courts, except in relation to children of such
relationships.  Jurisdiction therefore varied on the issue of
share in the intestate estate of a deceased de facto partner. 
Guardianship, custody and maintenance of children was a matter
for the Family Court or the Federal Child Support Agency.

412.  The Committee deferred its concluding comments on the
report
of Australia until its fourteenth session.


                           Barbados

413.  The Committee considered the combined second and third
periodic reports of Barbados (CEDAW/C/BAR/2-3) at its 245th
meeting, on 26 January (see CEDAW/C/SR.245).

414.  In introducing the report, the representative of the
Government noted that the country had suffered from the global
economic crisis, which had led to a decline in the gross domestic
product and to the introduction of stabilization and structural
adjustment measures that were beginning to have an effect.  The
measures had not been painless and women had been
disproportionately affected by them, including through an
increased unemployment rate which was higher than that for men.

415.  Educational opportunities were now largely equal and girls
were generally more successful than boys.  There had also been
significant improvement in law reform, particularly in the area
of family legislation, including domestic violence and sexual
offences.  The national machinery, the Bureau of Women's Affairs,
had been supported by the reinstitution of the National Advisory
Council on Women and a project to strengthen the Bureau further
had been approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

General observations

416.  In response to a question about the reaction of the public
in general, and especially men, to the economic and social
progress achieved by women, the representative stated that the
general public appeared comfortable with the changes, although
some men and some women traditionalists had experienced
difficulty in accepting changes.  A variety of strategies had
been pursued to raise the level of consciousness of men and women
regarding changes, including use of the mass media, community
organizations and the normative effect of judicial decisions. 
The evidence from divorce statistics, which were declining,
suggested that there was increasing, rather than decreasing,
harmony.

417.  To the question whether there had been a negative reaction
by men, the representative replied that some negative reaction
had been expected, but an effort had been made to have those
reactions expressed in various forums.  It was noted that
Barbadian society was affected by a number of influences,
including an African heritage, United Kingdom colonial rule and
proximity to the United States through transnational media.  One
example of change was the rapid introduction of coeducation,
which had provoked a reaction among some men who preferred
single-sex schools.

418.  Replying to a question on consultation with
non-governmental
organizations in the preparation of the report and publicity
given the Convention and the reports, the representative referred
to the extensive use of media programmes on gender issues in
which references to the Convention had been frequent.  Asked for
further details on consultation with non-governmental
organizations, the representative replied that women's
organizations and other non-governmental organizations had all
been invited by the Bureau of Women's Affairs to provide input to
the report in their areas of competence, and that input formed
the basis of the report.  In addition the media were involved in
advertising the report, which was circulated in the media, and
its content discussed publicly.  Its content was also included in
the gender training programme for the leadership of the women's
organizations.

Questions related to specific articles

      Article 2

419.  Responding to a question on the extent to which the
Constitution had been amended as a result of ratification of the
Convention to ensure a constitutional provision for equality and
the steps being taken to eliminate elements of discrimination,
the representative noted that under the country's judicial
system, treaties had to be implemented through enactment of
municipal legislation.  That was why an effort had been made at
law reform, which had removed most legal obstacles to equality,
and 10 major amended statutes were cited.  The Constitution
itself provided for equal treatment of all citizens without
discrimination.  Legislation was still required in the area of
violence, sexual offences, citizenship and disparities among
public officers.

420.  To a question on the implementation of the programme on
women in the 1988-1989 development plan, the representative
replied that the plan envisaged a national policy on women,
including greater participation in decision-making, health and
employment, work on areas requiring further legislative changes,
training and technical assistance through the Bureau of Women's
Affairs, programmes to facilitate inter-agency cooperation and
studies.  A new plan covering the period 1993-2000 had been
prepared, emphasizing strengthening of the Bureau, women's
organizations and other policy-making agencies.

      Article 5

421.  In response to a series of questions about actions to deal
with domestic violence, including, in particular, the Domestic
Violence Protection Orders Act of 1992, the representative noted
that the legislation was based on protection orders and covered
both legal and de facto unions.  The Sexual Offences Act of 1992
updated legislation dealing with rape and other sexual offences. 
The interpretation and decisions of the courts had clearly
indicated that the legislation should protect against violence. 
A media programme for public education and other measures,
including training for police and counselling for families
affected by violence, were to be implemented.

422.  Another question related to whether the inclusion of women
in the national plan had had any effect in reducing stereotypes. 
The representative replied that activities included obtaining
data for reports to the Committee and the Organization of
American States, as well as research on the impact of structural
adjustment programmes on women, especially on single-headed
households.  Gender training and women's studies were part of the
university curriculum and school texts had been reviewed to
eliminate gender bias.

      Article 6

423.  In reference to issues raised during the consideration of
the initial report, the question was asked whether the Government
had taken measures to curb prostitution as a major vector in the
spread of HIV/AIDS and whether programmes had been established to
rehabilitate prostitutes.  The representative replied that
trafficking in women was illegal and covered by the Sexual
Offences Act.  There was also an effort to curb prostitution to
deal with HIV/AIDS through public education, mass media and
training of medical personnel.

424.  Additional questions were asked as to whether prostitution
was related to the tourism industry and whether it was increasing
or decreasing.  In reply, the representative stated that
prostitution was not an organized phenomenon and was rather a
form of self-employment and for that reason was hard to quantify.

There was no evidence that it was linked to the tourism industry
as was the case in some countries.

      Article 7

425.  A question was posed regarding the limited number of women
in decision-making positions, especially given the fact that in
several age groups women outnumbered men.  The representative
stated that there were no legal barriers to women's
participation, women participated actively in campaigning and
voting and there were a number of women in high positions,
including the post of Governor-General.  However, in the most
recent election, only one woman had been elected to the House of
Assembly, although six currently served in the Senate, where
members were appointed.

426.  In response to other questions on government measures to
encourage women's participation, it was stated that there was a
contradiction between the number of women's candidacies and the
electorate, which had a female voting majority.  All candidates
received the same kind of government support.  The IDB project
would provide for workshops to do consciousness-raising in all
sectors and at all levels of the Government and the private
sector.

427.  Replying to the question whether the policy of having equal
numbers of men and women on several boards would be applied to
other boards, the representative stated that women were still a
minority on most boards and, although there had been some
improvement, it was not as significant as might be hoped.  There
was no quota system in place and the composition of boards was
related to technical knowledge, although the government policy
now placed emphasis on equity.  The Bureau of Women's Affairs was
preparing a directory of resource persons in specific fields
which it hoped would be used to help to equalize the situation.

428.  With regard to the relationships between women's
organizations affiliated with the Bureau of Women's Affairs and
the Bureau itself, it was stated that the Bureau was the national
machinery for women and had a mandate to involve all women's
organizations.  The representative noted that many social
development initiatives came from women's organizations, which
were recognized by the Government and some of which received
subventions.

      Article 8

429.  In response to a question on the measures being taken to
enhance the representation of women in international
organizations and at the international level, the representative
stated that there had been some improvement and that Barbadian
women had been active in a number of international forums.  The
appointment of women to senior civil service positions meant that
there would be greater representation by women at international
conferences and other activities.

      Article 9

430.  Regarding action taken to amend the law on citizenship to
permit spouses of Barbadian women to obtain citizenship, the
representative stated that the law was already being addressed
and that it would also deal with the transmission of citizenship
by a married woman to her child.

      Article 10

431.  The question was asked whether the Government intended to
implement a policy to ensure women equal access to vocational
training in areas where men predominated and to encourage girls
to enter non-traditional professions.  The representative replied
that vocational training and instruction were equally available
to women and men and that guidance counsellors were seeking to
encourage girls to enter non-traditional fields.  That was
reflected in the fact that more women were entering those fields
in the labour force.

432.  Asked about the social science subjects included in the
curricula of schools, the training of teaching staff and the
participation of women in pedagogical and research activities,
the representative stated that social science subjects were
included in the curricula at all levels and that the majority of
participants in teacher training were women.

433.  Responding to the question whether the subject of human
rights had been introduced into the curriculum and at what
levels, the representative stated that human rights was a
component of the family life education syllabus and was offered
as a separate subject at the university level.

434.  Concerning the educational measures taken to encourage non-
traditional education, the representative noted the work of women
in development units within the Bureau of Women's Affairs in the
development of gender training, which had had a significant
impact; boys were also receiving that training.  There had been a
six-month radio call-in programme for public education on
violence against women, and there had been similar discussions on
means and measures taken by the Government on structural
adjustment programmes with a view to providing retraining
programmes to develop women's productive skills and enable them
to participate in income-generating activities.

      Article 11

435.  The question was raised whether there was a guaranteed
minimum wage and an unemployment allowance adequate to ensure
maintenance of a family's living standard, and how the provisions
of the ILO Conventions on equal pay for work of equal value were
being implemented and monitored.  The representative stated that
the principle of equal pay had been implemented, there were
guaranteed minimum wages for shop assistants and domestic
employees and unemployment benefits were available.

436.  Additional questions were asked on the measures taken to
implement the ILO Conventions by legislation and whether there
had been any equal pay cases filed.  In reply, the representative
noted that implementation required specific legislation, some of
which had been adopted, but that details would be provided in the
next report.

437.  As to why more women were jobless than men and what
measures
had been taken to address that phenomenon, the representative
stated that it was a result of the changing world economic
environment and structural adjustment programmes, which had
affected areas where women predominated.  The Government had
taken a number of steps to address the situation, including
retraining and measures to stimulate economic productivity in
both export and local areas.


438.  Questions were asked about participation of women in trade
unions, especially in terms of women's membership and
participation at decision-making levels.  The representative
answered that no restrictions were placed on women's
participation in trade unions, and that women were involved as
members and in decision-making on an increasing basis.  For
example, some unions, like teachers' unions, had 50-50
representation at the highest level.  Public workers' unions were
seeing an increase in women at management levels through their
efforts to raise the confidence of women about participating at
decision-making levels.

439.  To a question on the social allowances and benefits enjoyed
by working women, including child care, organized relaxation and
assistance in building a home and in daily domestic services, the
representative replied that benefits were available under the
national insurance  scheme, workers' compensation, severance
payments and free medical services in polyclinics.  Day care was
also available, public workers could benefit from a housing loan
scheme and there were other programmes available to assist in
home purchases or construction.

      Article 12

440.  In response to the question whether health-care bodies had
improved their effectiveness in diagnosing and treating cancer
since the last report, the representative stated that there were
a number of efforts at early detection and treatment under the
leadership of a non-governmental organization, the Barbados
Cancer Society, as well as educational and promotional
programmes.  As a result, the impact of breast and cervical
cancers had decreased.  The programmes were projected for
expansion into hospice care.

      Article 13

441.  Asked whether informal organizations that had begun
accepting women members brought them to decision-making levels
and whether they were able to participate in all of the social
activities of the Bridgetown Club, the representative stated that
the main service organizations had amalgamated their men's and
women's branches and women served in the leadership of the clubs.

Women now participated in membership and other activities of the
Bridgetown Club.

      Article 16

442.  To requests for information about the number of divorces,
the trends in single-parent families, the nature of the family as
set out in the law and limits to the free choice by women of a
spouse, the representative responded that no specific studies had
been done on fluctuations in divorce rates but that the incidence
of divorce had decreased between 1989 and 1992 and more women
than men were filing for divorce.  The concept of family was
embodied in all family legislation, affirming that it was the
basic unit of society and providing for counselling prior to any
divorce proceedings and procedures for equitable maintenance,
custody of children and equitable distribution of marital assets.

Those provisions were also applied to parties in de facto unions.

There were no limits to the rights of women in the free choice of
a spouse.

443.  Another question asked was whether, given the possibility
of
the same person having a de facto in addition to a legal
marriage, that constituted a form of polygamy.  In reply, the
representative stated that, once a person was married, that took
precedence over any other relationship and a person could only be
legally married to one person.  However, protection was accorded
to the children of another union.

444.  Information was requested concerning the rate of divorce,
the reasons for changes and whether procedures for reconciliation
achieved the desired goal.  In reply, it was noted that there was
no evidence on the question but that it merited further study.

Concluding comments of the Committee

      Positive aspects

445.  The Committee particularly noted positive features in the
reports of Barbados:

      (a)      That Barbados had ratified the Convention without
reservation demonstrated the Government's commitment to achieving
equality for women in public and private life;

      (b)      The Committee welcomed the fact that the
Government
had continued with its plans of action to improve the status of
women in Barbados in spite of economic problems encountered
during the reporting period.  The Committee was pleased that the
Government had recognized the need to cushion the impact on women
of its structural adjustments;

      (c)      The Committee noted that Barbados had enacted
most,
if not all, the national legislation required to give effect to
the Convention in Barbados;

      (d)      The Committee praised the Government for its
emphasis on education as the key factor in advancing the status
of women in that country;

      (e)      The Committee also applauded the continued
operation
of government machinery which had the responsibility to collect
information about the status of women in Barbados, cooperate with
non-governmental organizations in improving the lot of women,
provide programmes designed to assist and support women in the
community and disseminate information designed to improve women's
status.

      Principal subjects of concern

446.  The Committee expressed concern at the serious lack of
female participation in politics and in the representation of
Barbados at the international level and in other decision-making
positions.  The Committee considered that to be of such
importance that it wished Barbados to consider enhanced campaigns
to involve women in those positions by applying article 4 of the
Convention.

447.  The Committee was also concerned, given the importance of
tourism to the Barbados economy, to ensure that the Government
was aware of the potential for an increase in prostitution.  More
detailed information about the incidence of prostitution, its
control and the provision of health care for prostitutes should
be included in the next report.

448.  Finally, the Committee wished to encourage the Government
of
Barbados to consult with non-governmental organizations when
preparing its next report and to obtain their assistance in
achieving the Convention's objective of improving the status of
women in its country.

      Suggestions and recommendations

449.  The Committee expressed the wish that in future reports
Barbados would provide more information:

      (a)      Evaluating the impact of programmes designed to
enhance the status of women and legislation granting women equal
status with men;

      (b)      Evaluating the outcome of the latest plan of
action
of the Bureau of Women's Affairs and the educational programmes
in schools and tertiary institutions;

      (c)      Setting out whether there had been any noticeable
improvements in the status of women such as improved educational
standards, decrease in prostitution, reduction of violence
against women and greater participation in decision-making roles
in public life;

      (d)      Stating whether the Bureau's educational
programmes
had resulted in an improved commitment to the equal status of
women by both men and women;

      (e)      Giving more information about women in the
workforce, for example their pay and terms of employment, their
participation in trade unions and what obstacles they faced in
employment in such areas as achieving equal pay with men.


                           Colombia

450.  The Committee considered the revised combined second and
third periodic reports of Colombia (CEDAW/C/COL/2-3/Rev.l) at its
250th meeting, on 31 January (CEDAW/C/SR.250).

451.  In presenting the report, the representative read out a
letter from the President of Colombia to the Chairperson of the
Committee, in which the President reaffirmed the commitment of
the Government to guaranteeing equal rights for women as spelled
out in the Constitution of the country.  That commitment had been
demonstrated by the establishment of the Presidential Council for
Youth, Women and the Family and by the adoption of an integrated
policy for women and a development policy for rural women.

452.  The representative focused on the achievements made by her
country since 1987, the year of the presentation of the initial
report.  She said that the ratification of the Convention had
been the result of pressure exercised by women's organizations,
international groups and the nascent awareness of national
institutions, in addition to events promoted by the United
Nations within the framework of the United Nations Decade for
Women.  The creation of the Colombian Women's Integration Council
in 1980 had marked a milestone in that it recognized the
necessity of creating a national mechanism for coordinating the
various sectoral efforts to integrate women into their
activities.  Certain sectoral developments had been successfully
initiated and had led to the creation, in 1990, of the
Coordination and Control Committee on the Convention and to the
establishment of the Presidential Council for Youth, Women and
the Family.

453.  In connection with the celebration of the International
Year
of the Family in 1994, the Government had taken care to ensure
that the achievements and the progress made with regard to the
status of women would not be jeopardized by the general concept
of the family.  The rights of all family members had to be
respected and it should be possible to reconcile individual
projects with family responsibilities.  The subject of family
violence would be a priority issue.

454.  Regarding the preparations for the Fourth World Conference
on Women, the representative said that the Presidential Council
had been designated as a focal point for the coordination and
mobilization of governmental and non-governmental organizations
and also for the preparation of the national report.

455.  She assured the Committee members that their observations
would be taken into account in the elaboration of future
government policies and also for the subsequent report.

General observations

456.  Members commended the Government of Colombia and the
Colombian non-governmental organizations for the progress made in
spite of the difficulties created by violence and the economic
recession.  Special mention was made of the 1991 Constitution,
which recognized very extensive rights for women, and of the good
representation of women in economic life, although their
proportion in public representative institutions was still low. 
In spite of the fact that some women had assumed high political
positions, their representation in political decision-making was
still very limited.  They welcomed the appointment of three
female ministers.  The members hoped for the enactment of a draft
law that provided a guarantee for the appropriate and effective
participation of women at decision-making levels of public
administration and encouraged political parties to present more
female candidates for elections.  Furthermore, they urged the
Government, in implementing the Convention, to adopt programmes
for rural women.

457.  Members expressed appreciation for the message sent by the
President and for the dense, self-critical and frank report, as
well as for the extensive replies given.  They commended the
establishment of the Presidential Council for Youth, Women and
the Family and hoped that the new administration would maintain
its efforts for the advancement of women.

458.  In reply to the question why the Coordination and Control
Committee had not functioned since its establishment, although it
could have complemented the efforts of the Presidential Council,
the representative said that, although the Committee's
establishment had demonstrated the Government's intention to
create a national coordination mechanism for women's questions,
it could not fulfil its mandate because of its weak institutional
structure.  That was why the present administration had created
the Presidential Council for Youth, Women and the Family.

459.  Asked about the Council's budget and organizational
structure and the coordination between it and other government
departments dealing with women's programmes, the representative
said that the Council was part of the administrative structure of
the State.  The Council depended upon the President and had to
coordinate resources for projects and programmes that guaranteed
the promotion of women and the rights of the elderly.  It was
also the focal point at the national and international levels for
women and gender-related issues.  For the first time,
gender-related issues had been integrated into development.  The
Council's functions consisted in defining policies, providing
technical guidelines for integrating them within the governmental
bodies, developing methods for promoting social and economic
programmes and coordinating activities with ministries,
institutes, regional bodies and non-governmental organizations. 
In order to strengthen the Council, strategies were being
developed to make it into a permanent institution that should
survive a change in government.  The Council also gave support to
departmental and municipal women's offices in order to strengthen
them to such an extent that they would survive a change in
administration, not only because of their legal structure but
also because of their visibility.

460.  The Council had been established by the President and
currently had a staff of 50 persons.  Its programme also included
issues related to youth, the elderly, the disabled and the
family, as well as income-generating activities, and its goal was
to make women benefit from the development process.  In addition,
there was coordination with other sectors on subjects such as
developing coeducational programmes and non-sexist curricula,
health care for women, credit and training for women in
micro-industries, and support for female heads of households. 
The Council had already been institutionalized to the extent that
the current candidates for the presidential election were already
considering different administrative structures for a national
women's office.

461.  The Council had its own budget, received in part from
national allocation, in part from international cooperation
agencies.  Additional funds for special programmes came from
ministries, decentralized institutes and regional and municipal
institutions.

462.  Members requested information concerning programmes and
measures directed towards disabled women.

463.  In additional comments, members noted that the Presidential
Council should be strengthened and hoped that the institution
would be maintained even if the government changed.  They asked
what the greatest achievements of the Council had been.  They
also inquired about the impact of guerilla warfare and drug
trafficking on the lives of urban and rural women.

Questions related to specific articles

      Article 2

464.  The representative highlighted the most important
provisions
of the Constitution, which had entered into force in 1991 and in
which the principle of gender equality was enshrined.  The
provisions of the Convention had been incorporated in national
legislation.

465.  Other new laws that contributed to the equality of women
and
men were the Social Security Law, the General Education Law and
the law that allowed divorce and gave support to single female
heads of household.  Currently, a draft law concerning sexual
violence, sexual harassment and the participation of women in
public administration were being discussed.

      Article 3

466.  Among institutions dealing with the advancement of women,
the representative mentioned the Presidential Council for Youth,
Women and the Family, the Office for Rural Women and 11
departmental and municipal women's offices and sectorial
programmes.

      Article 5

467.  The representative said that, in the mass media, as well as
in formal education, traditional stereotypical gender roles still
tended to be reproduced and maternity and reproductive activities
remained the primary responsibility of women.

468.  Asked for additional information regarding violence against
women, the representative said that, in comparison with the
importance of that problem, the services available to female
victims were still scarce.  Statistics and studies were
insufficient and based on partial data, yet the available
information was alarming.  According to a recent study,
65 per cent of women who were either married or lived in
consensual unions stated that they had had a violent fight with
their partner.  One in 5 women said that they had been beaten and
1 in 10 declared that they had been forced into sexual relations.

The current legislation did not cover that offence, nor were
there sanctions for violence against women.  As the Constitution
made specific reference to marital violence, efforts were under
way to adopt appropriate legal norms to penalize violence against
women.

469.  Regarding the question whether female victims of violence
were given legal advice free of charge, the representative
mentioned the family commissions that had been created in 1989 to
prevent such violence and to give assistance free of charge to
women who had become victims.  Currently, there were about 100
commissions, which received special support from the Government. 
They were municipal police-type bodies that undertook emergency
measures until the cases were dealt with by the appropriate
judicial or administrative authorities.  However, because of
budgetary limitations and lack of awareness about the issue, not
all municipalities had set up such commissions.

470.  Regarding the availability of those commissions in rural
areas the representative said that they did not yet exist in all
rural areas.  Efforts were under way to establish more family
commissions so as to establish a nationwide network and to
provide the necessary training to the officers and to extend the
free legal advice services throughout the country.

471.  Replying to a question about special training for the
officers working in family commissions, the representative said
that, although there was not yet any systematic training
programme, some progress had been made and training workshops and
programmes were being organized for judicial personnel who had to
deal with female victims of violence as well as for the officers
of the family commissions.

472.  Regarding a question about shelters for female victims of
violence, the representative said that there were only a few,
which were run by non-governmental organizations.

473.  In additional comments, members commended the efforts made
to obtain more accurate data on violence against women.  They
noted that no mention had been made of measures to eliminate the
root causes of violence.  They said that one of the most
important measures was the education of the entire society.  They
expressed the hope that the question of violence would also be
dealt with in subsequent reports.

      Article 6

474.  Regarding prostitution, the representative said that the
invisibility of the problem and insensitivity to it hampered
implementation of the relevant provisions of the Convention.  It
was still felt that was a problem of private morals and not an
ethical problem in a society that pretended to be a developed
democracy.

475.  In reply to the question whether HIV/AIDS prevention and
treatment programmes were targeted at women engaged in
prostitution, the representative said that, since 1992, the
Ministry of Health had been training prostitutes in the
prevention of HIV/AIDS and in the use of condoms.  Those training
programmes were confined to the main cities.  The prevention of
HIV/AIDS through screening programmes was also difficult because
of the high cost involved.  Apart from some big cities, there
were generally as yet no services specifically for the care of
women prostitutes affected by HIV/AIDS.  In December, the
Institute of Family Welfare had started an ambitious programme
for preventive and health care for girls who were at risk of
becoming prostitutes.

476.  Members requested that subsequent reports contain further
information concerning prostitution.  They also said that
particular attention should be paid to the phenomenon of
increased street prostitution.  Some expressed concern that only
rape of minors below the age of 14 was penalized very strictly,
considering that aged and disabled women were equally vulnerable.

      Article 7

477.  The representative said that no legal measures
discriminated
against women with regard to political participation.  However,
although they had increased their participation, statistics
showed that in practice women had not reached the highest levels
equitably and continuously.  Whereas more women could be found in
leading positions in trade unions in the public sector, in the
private sector their number was much smaller.  The representative
also highlighted the information given in the report regarding
the role of women in community organizations, political parties
and the cooperative movement.  She said that 180 non-governmental
organizations dedicated their activities in 1993 to the promotion
of women.

478.  Members noted that the statement in the report that women
were "not yet organized in sufficient strength to constitute a
pressure group" was not valid. Women could not wait to be
organized, they ought to take action in all fields in order to
achieve greater participation in decision-making.  They also
asked whether any initiative was taken to promote the
participation of women in political life through increasing their
numbers in political parties or on candidates' lists.

      Article 8

479.  The representative stated that currently the Minister for
Foreign Affairs was a woman and that 10 per cent of all
ambassadors were women.

      Article 10

480.  The representative said that measures had been taken to
improve and promote the concept of equality through the
production of non-sexist school texts.  Women represented between
49 and 52 per cent of school enrolment from primary to university
education and there was a marked trend in favour of coeducation. 
While considerably more women had taken up courses in
administration, economics, engineering, law and agronomy, women
were still concentrated in traditional areas.

481.  Asked whether the draft General Education Law had been
adopted, whether it contained specific measures to combat
discrimination against female students and positive measures to
counter traditional stereotypes, the representative said that the
law had been adopted in December 1993.  It did not contain
affirmative measures or provisions specifically addressed to
women.  Legislation did not contain any special measures directed
to education.

482.  Members requested further information on the participation
of women in the various fields in which educational training was
provided.

483.  In additional comments, members requested further
information about provisions dealing with non-sexist education
and were concerned that the law did not devote more attention to
the issue of non-sexist education.

      Article 11

484.  The representative mentioned a law for the support of women
heads of household that had been adopted in December 1993, which
gave female heads of households a right to social security,
preferential access to education, employment, credit,
micro-enterprises and low-cost housing.  That law was the first
example of affirmative action in Colombia.

485.  As to whether measures had been taken to ensure the welfare
and labour rights of women working in the informal sector and
whether the draft law on social security mentioned in the report
had been adopted, the representative said that Law 100, which had
created the basis for the integrated social security system, had
been adopted in December 1993.  According to that law, social
security was no longer the sole responsibility of the State.  For
old age and invalidity pensions, persons could choose between the
social security scheme maintained by the State and another scheme
financed from pension funds in the private sector.  Over a span
of seven years, the entire population, including people who could
not pay the premiums, should be covered by a health insurance
scheme.  The contributions of the poorest and most vulnerable
persons in rural and urban areas would be subsidized and special
attention would be given to, among others, women during and after
pregnancy, lactating mothers, women heads of household and
workers in the informal sector.

486.  Regarding questions whether the current laws were being
enforced, and by what means, and whether labour inspectors dealt
with failures to comply with the law, the representative said
that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security had the authority
to supervise the application of the laws through its Division for
Special Relations.  It was currently doing research on
discrimination against women in the field of employment.  The
results of the study would be used to initiate training and
consciousness-raising of labour inspectors in that field.

487.  Asked whether legal counsel and legal defence services were
available to women free of charge, the representative responded
that free legal counsel on labour matters was available to the
vulnerable sections of the population, such as working children,
women, indigenous women and disabled persons.  In general,
however, women were inadequately informed about their labour
rights and the services that were available free of charge.

488.  Regarding further details about women's participation in
the
labour market, the increase in the economically active female
population, the occupational categories, wage differences,
women's employment in the informal sector and the increase in the
number of women heads of household, the representative referred
members to a 1993 document entitled "Latin American women in
figures" that had been distributed during the meeting.  Women's
integration into the labour market had been much faster than
men's, but at the same time women had to face many adverse
factors, such as their concentration in the informal sector with
its precarious social security and legal protection, the higher
rate of unemployment and the poverty that affected women heads of
households to a greater extent.

489.  In additional comments, members congratulated the
Government
for all the efforts undertaken and asked for the percentage of
women heads of households.

      Article 12

490.  In reply to a question about plans to amend the existing
laws governing the voluntary termination of pregnancies, the
representative said that abortion was still illegal.  The last
attempt to legalize abortion had been made in 1993, but the draft
law had had to be set aside because of strong opposition from
members of Congress.

491.  Regarding a question about campaigns to promote the use of
condoms in order to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, the
representative said that, in spite of massive resistance from
religious groups, the Ministry of Health had managed to set aside
important resources for an intensive media campaign to promote
their use.  None the less, widespread distribution of condoms had
not been achieved.

492.  In additional comments, members said that women in Colombia
should fight for the legalization of abortion not in order to
reduce births, but in order to protect women from illegal
abortions, which resulted in maternal mortality. They said that
the problems associated with abortion had not been helped by the
Government's family planning media campaigns and programmes.

      Article 13

493.  The representative made special reference to the newly
adopted Law on Social Security and Pensions, which contained,
inter alia, the obligation to organize special information and
education programmes for women in the fields of integrated health
and sex education in less developed parts of the country,
especially for the rural population and the young.

      Article 14

494.  The representative supplemented the information contained
in
the report by mentioning a policy document for rural women, which
contained general objectives and basic strategies for rural women
and which had been approved in the latter part of 1993.  Its
purpose was to better the quality of life of rural women by
giving them equal opportunities for taking part in the sectoral
strategies and in political life and better access to productive
resources, and by increasing their revenues.  The national
machinery for rural women should also be strengthened.

495.  In additional comments, members observed that regulations
and laws were needed to govern the labour practices of flower
producers.

      Article 15

496.  Although women had full equality before the law as spelled
out in the Constitution, that principle had not been translated
into full de facto equality.  The major obstacles were
insufficient information of many women about their rights and
about the legislative machinery that was available to them for
making them effective.  In order to overcome that obstacle, the
Presidential Council would, in the course of the International
Year of the Family, disseminate widely information about
fundamental family rights, in particular the rights of women.

      Article 16

497.  The representative pointed out three major innovations:  a
decision of the Constitutional Court in 1992, according to which
domestic labour was recognized as a contribution to the assets of
the couple in a de facto union; a law adopted in 1992 according
to which divorce was permitted for all marriages, including
marriages in the Roman Catholic Church; and a provision allowing
for divorce by mutual consent.

EDAW  The Committee deferred its concluding comments on the
reports of Colombia until its fourteenth session.


                             Ecuador

499.      The Committee considered the second and third periodic
reports of Ecuador (CEDAW/C/13/Add.31 and CEDAW/C/ECU/3) at its
244th meeting, on 25 January (see CEDAW/C/SR.244).

500.      In her introductory statement, the representative of
Ecuador said that discrimination against women was deeply rooted
in the socio-economic problems of her country, which had been
facing a most serious recession in the last 10 years.  She
explained that the second periodic report was of a more
descriptive nature, whereas the third periodic report contained
the drafts of legal amendments.

501.      Having confronted a serious recession since 1980, the
Government had taken macroeconomic adjustment measures which had
had an unfortunate impact on the weaker members of society, in
particular on women and children.  A growing decrease in GDP per
capita and in the volume of imports, together with an increase in
external debts, had brought with it a drastic reduction in social
security spending.  The budget of the Ministry of Social Welfare
had been cut by 47 per cent.  She explained that only 26 per cent
of the population had access to social security, 76 per cent of
women through formal employment and 9 per cent of women through
informal employment, and that indigenous women had no access to
social security at all.  The representative explained that
according to a UNICEF survey, 66 per cent of families lived below
the poverty line.  While higher and middle class income levels
had increased 50 per cent, the income of the overall population
had decreased constantly.  Social movements were losing strength
and momentum.  Unemployment was reported to have reached
12 per cent; of the economically active population,
underemployment had reached 56 per cent; 48 per cent worked in
the informal sector.

502.      In 1988, the "Social Front" was established, combining
the ministries of Social Welfare, Labour, Health and Education,
and presided over by the Ministry of Social Welfare.  Its goal
was to eliminate the recurrent problems of bureaucracy and to
avoid the duplication of programmes.  The National Committee for
Planning and Social Development took office in 1989.  The
representative also reported on the Fund for Social Investment
which directed funds to rural development, youth and women.

503.      The representative reported on the critical living
conditions of children in her country.  In many families,
children contributed 19 per cent of an average household income. 
Some children aged 8 to 11 years were working 40 hours a week. 
School attendance suffered as a consequence, with only
30 per cent of children finishing elementary school.  To combat
the high rate of illiteracy, the previous Government had launched
a campaign entitled "Ecuador estudia", which had decreased the
illiteracy rate considerably.

504.      Although no exact data existed on the incidence of
disability, numbers were expected to be very high, with an
estimated 18 per cent of the population having disability
problems and frequently living in substandard conditions. 
However, there existed no specific projects for women with
disabilities.  Malnutrition was one major cause of disability, as
was the lack of adequate health care, in particular prenatal,
delivery and postnatal care, as well as the lack of immunization
programmes for women and children.  In 1982, a law had been
adopted concerning disability.  A national programme for the
disabled had been launched which included tax exemptions as well
as large-scale public campaigns to provide facilities for
disabled people in urban structures.  The Government had set up
eight rehabilitation centres which were concentrated in the
cities.

505.      Concerning the situation of rural women, the
representative reported on the existing gap between urban and
rural areas.  Many development programmes focused on the cities,
while the rural areas were abandoned and neglected.  With the
migration of the male population from rural to urban areas, women
and children who were left behind took over the agricultural
activities.  The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock carried
out projects on appropriate agricultural technology for women.

506.      The representative described the environmental
sanitation situation both in urban and rural areas, which was
very poor; there was a lack of safe drinking water.  As a
consequence, infant mortality was one of the highest in Latin
America.  Half of the children below five years of age suffered
from malnutrition.

507.      Concerning legal reform, the representative indicated
that considerable legislation aimed at enhancing women's status
had been introduced but some measures had faced opposition in the
Congress.  Congress had given serious consideration to the
discussion of the draft amendment of the Code of Criminal
Procedure.  A draft of the first Code of Family Law was submitted
to the Congress in January 1994 by the Parliamentary Committee
for Women, Children and the Family.  Following the ratification
of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992, a new Code
for Minors had been elaborated.

General observations

508.      Members of the Committee thanked the representative of
Ecuador for providing a frank report committed to the advancement
of women and expressed their concern about the alarming living
conditions of the majority of women.  They noted that the
economic situation and the structural adjustment measures had
affected her country more than others.  Women and small children
were the major victims.  While recognizing the progress made in
legal reform and in socio-economic programmes, in particular in
combating illiteracy in the female population and in the
elimination of stereotypes in education, members were concerned
about the number of remaining obstacles to equality.  While
Ecuador had already given women the right to vote in 1929, and
was in fact one of the first countries in the region to do so,
women still faced discrimination in 1994.

509.      Members of the Committee noted the need for the
Government to define modern, up-to-date criteria for development
and to improve what was deemed to be a kind of medieval situation
for women, which was the result of a patriarchal structure in
which women were denied basic rights.  Before enjoying legal
rights, women needed to be given basic human rights, such as safe
drinking water and better nutrition.  Half of the population of
the country could not participate with pride in the life of the
country.  Members emphasized that, despite the economic problems,
many programmes related to women's equality could be carried out
with few resources.

510.      The Committee expressed the feeling that the prevailing
attitude in Ecuador was that the Government was not giving
serious consideration to the advancement of women.  There was a
de jure and de facto gap in the attainment of women's equality. 
Moreover, members asked whether the women in Ecuador themselves
wanted to change their current situation.  If such was not the
case, women's consciousness about their situation and their
rights needed to be raised.  Solidarity among all women was a
prerequisite for leading a successful struggle for women's equal
rights.

General questions

511.      In reply to a question on the National Institute for
Women, the representative said that the institute had not yet
been established.  The National Directorate for Women was still
part of the Ministry of Social Welfare.  There was strong
opposition to the setting up of an independent national machinery
for the advancement of women, in order not to weaken the
Ministry.  The representative informed the Committee about a hot
line pilot project for women that had been warmly welcomed by
women in Ecuador.  Many women called and reported on cases of
sexual abuse and violence.  Although there was no political
support from the National Directorate for Women, that project,
which could only function with outside assistance, was very
successful.

512.      Regarding the National Development Plan for 1988-1992,
which devoted a whole chapter to women, there had been no
assessment of its implementation.  No statistical data and
consequent evaluation had been provided.

513.      Asked whether more information could be given on the
areas of competence and the activities of the Parliamentary
Committee for Women, Children and the Family, the representative
stated that the Committee, which was not permanent, had
introduced all of the legal amendments that had received support
from the Government, in particular, the Code of Family Law, since
no definition of the family had existed prior to the introduction
of the Code.

Questions related to specific articles

     Article 2

514.      With reference to the status of approved legislative
changes and draft laws, the representative replied that there had
indeed been more proposals for legal changes than reforms
accomplished.  The delay in promulgating the laws could be
attributed to the mandatory respect for the agenda of the
Congress, where discussions in recent years had focused on
political and economic issues.

515.      She mentioned the legal reforms contained in the reform
of the Civil Code, which had been put into force within law 43 in
1989.  Those reforms contained important improvements: 
recognition of the juridical equality of women and men in
marriage; administration of joint estates; responsible and joint
parenthood of the spouses; marital obligations and the
termination of marriage.  The changes in the articles related to
marriage had encountered considerable resistance, including
opposition from women.

516.      The representative reported on a number of other legal
amendments,including the introduction of the Code of Family Law. 
Another proposal was for the establishment of family judges and
of accelerated oral and summary proceedings.  The Electoral Law
was still under debate, since no agreement could be reached on
the suggested quota of 25 per cent of women to be included on the
electoral lists of political parties.  That amendment was
contested in the sense that it contradicted democratic
procedures.  Further resistance was expressed to the idea that
10 per cent of State funds allotted to political parties should
be used for the political training of women.  The law on
complimentary nutrition was meant to give rights to abandoned
women who could not provide for their children without their
husband's support.  According to the proposed law,  fathers who
did not pay support for their children for two months would be
imprisoned for eight months.  That proposal, which was not
included in the Code of Family Law, had been rejected.  The law
on the reform of the Code of Civil Procedure dealing with the
special retirement benefits for women passed but, owing to the
lack of liquidity in the social security fund, payments were not
assured.  A draft law on giving special retirement benefits to
women who had been in formal employment for 25 years and were
mothers of five children was not adopted.  A law on the
registration of a child born out of wedlock under its father's
name was unanimously rejected.  That reform would have given
legal recognition to children born out of wedlock without
entitling them to support by the father or inheritance rights. 
It would have devolved upon the father to prove that he was not
the father.  Public reaction to the proposal had been fierce;
women were accused of being prostitutes searching for fathers for
their illegal children.  Another draft law in favour of an
obligatory yearly examination for uterine cervical cancer, to be
undertaken by the employers, was rejected because of the costs
involved.

517.      The representative stated that under another draft
legal
provision, concerning domestic violence, women would be enabled
to take legal action against their relatives.  In criminal law,
the provision that women be more severely treated than men for
the offence of adultery had been abolished, although adultery
remained a cause for divorce in the civil code.  If a spouse was
found in flagrante delicto, no charges were brought against a
person inflicting harm on the spouse.

518.      The Committee questioned the importance attached to the
father's name, which had nothing to do with paternity.

519.      Members reminded the representative that in ratifying
the Convention without reservation Ecuador had made a commitment
to make its national laws comply with the Convention.  Parliament
and Congress had the responsibility for achieving compliance and
were obliged to implement the Convention.  The Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women should
not be considered a second class convention requiring less
persistence.  Members expressed their concern that a third
periodic report of a State party still contained only drafts of
legislative reforms.

520.      The representative was asked to transmit the concerns
of
the Committee to the Government, which was responsible for
protecting the rights of all women in the country.  Members
expressed the hope that the country would immediately conduct a
systematic review of national law and make it conform to the
Convention.  The Committee said that it might ask for a specific
report on legislative changes, which should be presented at a set
time.  The Committee expressed its full support for the
endeavours undertaken to introduce legal amendments.  If the
country required advisory services and technical assistance for
that purpose, as others had done before and as suggested in the
plan of activities of the Centre for Human Rights for the
implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,
the Committee would seriously consider that request.

     Article 4

521.      The representative regretted to report that no laws or
measures "of positive discrimination in favour of women" had been
taken by the State aside from the one mentioned on the protection
of pregnant female workers.

522.      In additional comments, members expressed concern that
the Constitution of the country did not allow temporary specific
measures as provided in the Convention.


     Article 5

523.      In reply to a question on the success of programmes
aimed at promoting change of attitudes of men and women, the
representative referred to Ecuadorian law, which was based on
Roman law and gave the patria potestad the leading role in law
and in reality.  Discrimination against and subordination of
women formed part of the patriarchy, which rested on the
principle of a division of labour.  Greater awareness of
stereotyped gender roles and cultural obstacles to the
elimination of discrimination against women was needed.  As long
as stereotyped roles persisted in education and mothers
encouraged their sons to adopt macho attitudes whereas girls were
brought up to be docile and obedient, no change was imminent.

524.      In additional comments, the Committee noted the
prevailing attitude of machismo in the country, which affected
women in all walks of life and expressed itself also in violence
against women, which was largely accepted.  Members emphasized
that attitudes and behaviour could be changed if there was
political will and broad support.  It was hoped that the
subsequent report would contain information on this issue.

     Article 6

525.      In reply to a question related to the problems of
prostitutes and whether the interest of the National Directorate
for Women and its social rehabilitation programmes had resulted
in any specific measures or studies, the representative replied
that two associations of prostitutes had been formed which called
themselves "associations of free working women".  Their first
congress had been held in November 1993 and had brought together
women of all ages and from different regions of the country in an
atmosphere of solidarity.  The representative pointed out that
prostitution in Ecuador was not an offence.  Owing to double
standards, prostitution in a brothel was allowed, but not
prostitution in the streets.

526.      Concerning the HIV/AIDS pandemic, she stated that
prostitutes were regularly screened for infection.  Prostitutes
that had contracted the HIV/AIDS virus were badly treated by the
authorities and there had been many negative articles in the
media on street prostitutes discovered to be HIV-positive.

527.      In additional comments, experts noted that prostitutes
with HIV/AIDS infection were the first patients to require
compulsory medical care, regardless of how and where they had
been infected.

     Article 7

528.      Asked whether there had been any law or measure
designed
to increase the number of women in the Parliament and in the
Executive branch, the representative replied that no such measure
had been taken.  No political party had encouraged female
participation through a quota system or by any other means.

529.      However, a number of women had been assigned to high-
level positions.  The president of the Monetary Association and
the Minister for Education were women.  There were three women
secretaries of state and five women deputies in Parliament.

530.      In an additional comment, the Committee noted that the
example of Ecuador showed how important it was to have more women
at the decision-making level to achieve qualitative and
quantitative change.  Resistance in the Government to legal
reform had increased because there had been little support for
the reform within the legislative bodies.  Endorsement of the
legal reform process also had to come from the highest executive
level.

     Article 10

531.      Concerning the illiteracy rate, the representative
stated that the figures were still high although a governmental
literacy campaign, carried out four to five years earlier, had
been very successful and had decreased female illiteracy from
60 per cent to 38 per cent.  That campaign had been undertaken
with the direct collaboration of secondary educational
establishments in particular, as well as the National Directorate
for Women.  No measures had been taken to reduce the school drop-
out rate for girls, particularly in the rural areas.  With regard
to modifying the sexist content of curricula and textbooks, the
representative reported that that reform was being carried out. 
A teacher training programme also existed along those lines.  No
statistics broken down by sex were available on the receipt by
women of educational awards or on their integration in the ranks
of administration in higher education.  One positive development,
however, was that a women had recently been appointed Minister
for Education.

     Article 11

532.      The representative informed the Committee that men and
women had equality of access to all occupational training
programmes.  Asked whether women had recourse to the courts or
any other tribunal when they suffered discrimination in their
work, the representative replied that very few cases of
discrimination were taken to court.  Male and female workers
could have recourse to the courts, but there were no legal
provisions on discrimination.

533.      The legal minimum age to enter the labour market was 12
years; no distinction was made between girls and boys.  The
labour law prevented the exploitation of minors.  The Code for
Minors did not allow children to work in jobs that deprived them
of their normal development.  In general, however, child labour
was not prohibited and hundreds of children could be seen working
in the street and thus contributing to family income.

     Article 12

534.      On the question whether measures had been developed
that
would improve the situation of rural women in particular, the
representative replied that only the Ministry of Agriculture was
managing a project for women in rural areas, which unfortunately
could not be implemented because of flooding.  There were no
projects to improve the rural hygiene situation, which was very
bad.  In particular, access to safe drinking water was
unavailable in many areas.

     Article 14

535.      The representative was asked about the participation of
women in the preparation and implementation of development plans
generally, and in agriculture in particular.  In general, women
in Ecuador took part in the elaboration of development programmes
and policies, but their presence in public life was still very
small and insignificant.  However, women did not really shape the
future of the country and their contributions were not always
recognized by the changing Governments.

Concluding comments of the Committee

     Positive aspects

536.      The Committee congratulated the representative of the
Government of Ecuador on the timely submission of the reports,
which gave a clear and frank description of the current difficult
situation in the country, particularly for women.

537.      While congratulating Ecuador on having ratified the
Convention on 9 November 1981 without any reservation, the
experts of the Committee noted that not all legislation had been
brought into line with the Convention.

538.      They congratulated the Government of Ecuador on its
successful literacy campaign and the development of legislation
which had made it possible to overcome some forms of
discrimination.

     Principal subjects of concern

539.      They expressed deep concern at the serious
discriminatory conditions affecting Ecuadorian women and regret
at the steady reduction in the capacities of the agency
concerned, the National Directorate for Women of the Ministry of
Social Welfare, as demonstrated by the fact that, over the past
three years, officials had held only provisional appointments and
had lacked any support.  The Directorate was short of economic
resources, enjoyed little political support and had only very
limited capacity in terms of coordinating programmes with other
bodies.  The fact that the few programmes it operated were
dependent on international cooperation resources was a cause for
concern.

540.      The members of the Committee emphasized the fact that,
despite the country's current economic problems, initiatives
could be developed in favour of equality at minimal expense, and
indeed must be developed.  An analysis of the report submitted
showed that legislation was still marked by serious
discriminatory features; customs tended to stereotype gender
roles in a way that was detrimental to the advancement of
Ecuadorian women; and State initiatives, far from expanding, had
undergone a serious decline.  Those factors combined to create an
extremely serious situation with regard to the human rights
violations addressed in the Convention.

Suggestions and recommendations

541.      The Committee called for the implementation of
fundamental legal reforms to eliminate legislation discriminating
against women and to promote their advancement.  It therefore
requested that the Government take the appropriate measures and
report on progress made in that regard in the next periodic
report.

542.      It recommended that the Government strengthen the
national agency for women in political, administrative and
financial terms, upgrade its status and give it the capacity to
coordinate initiatives for the advancement of women.

543.      Every effort should be made to guarantee the basic
services required to ensure the survival of women in the most
vulnerable categories.  Programmes should be developed to promote
awareness among Ecuadorian men and women of the need to modify
cultural values which perpetuate discrimination in any form.

544.      The Government should pay particular attention to
preventing and punishing violence against women.

545.      The Government should consider the possibility of
bringing together women active in non-governmental organizations,
political parties and grass-roots movements, academic women and
whomever else it might deem appropriate.  They could then join in
a coherent national effort to deal with this critical situation,
the solution of which would, to a great extent, depend on women's
solidarity and determination to bring about changes.


                             Japan

546.      The Committee considered the second and third periodic
reports of Japan (CEDAW/C/JPN/2 and CEDAW/C/JPN/3) at its 248th
and 249th meetings, on 27 and 28 January (see CEDAW/C/SR.248
and 249).

547.      In presenting the report, the representative of Japan
underlined the importance that her Government attached to the
monitoring role of the Committee and pointed out that the change
in government in her country in August 1993 had led to epoch-
making changes with respect to the status of women, in particular
with regard to the participation of women in policy decision-
making in various fields.  As examples she mentioned the
appointment of three women Cabinet ministers, of a woman as
Supreme Court justice for the first time ever and of the first
woman Speaker of the House of Representatives.  Copies of the two
reports had been widely distributed among members of the Diet,
political parties, major women's organizations and journalists. 
In drafting the third reports, views of non-governmental
organizations were also taken into account and the Advisory
Council to the Prime Minister had been consulted.

548.      The main features of the current situation of women in
Japan were the progressive ageing of the female population, a
decrease in the number of births, a trend towards higher
educational attainment, the tendency of women to marry at a later
age and an increase in the number of working women.  Women
occupied prominent positions in the Administration, the judiciary
and the legislature.  The rate of female membership in the Diet
was 6.8 per cent and in national advisory bodies it was
10.7 per cent.  The proportion of women filling managerial posts
in the public and private sectors had also been increasing.  The
representative highlighted the major achievements since the
consideration of Japan's initial report in the areas of
education, employment and agriculture.  She spoke of the plans
for enhancing the authority of the national machinery by raising
its membership to the ministerial level and appointing an Equal
Participation Coordinator with the rank of Director-General in
every ministry and agency.

549.      Harmonization of work and family responsibility was of
great importance to attaining de facto equality.  That was why
the Child-care Leave Law had been put into force and subsidies
given to employers to set up and run child-care facilities.  In
the Japanese civil service women were free to take entrance
examinations in every job category.  In 1989 Japan had revised
the rules as to which country's laws applied in private
international law cases, so as to establish full equality of the
sexes before the law with respect to international marriages and
adoptions.  She explained that since January 1991 the provisions
in the Civil Code regarding marriage and divorce had been in the
process of being reviewed.  Local governments had been very
active in promoting measures relating to women since the
ratification of the Convention and the community of
non-governmental organizations was very active in Japan.  The
representative said that de jure equality had almost been
attained; however, customs deeply rooted in stereotypes and the
poor representation of women in the decision-making process
prevented women from achieving full de facto equality.

General observations

550.      Members congratulated the Government for the progress
made in advancing the status of women, especially with regard to
the big strides made in a short time, considering the very
traditional nature of the society.  They commended the authors of
the two reports for having followed the Committee's guidelines
and for having replied in the second report to the questions that
had not been answered during the consideration of the initial
report.

551.      Regarding the remaining obstacles that still limited
the
advancement of women, the representative mentioned stereotypes
about the roles of women and men in all spheres of life as the
principal cause of persistent problems.  A major barrier to the
participation of women in economic life was insufficient support
for the reconciliation of work and family responsibilities.  It
was, of course, not possible to change the attitudes of people in
a short time.

552.      In additional comments members commended the extensive
replies given to the questions prepared by the pre-session
Working Group and they appreciated the fact that in the
preparation of the report non-governmental organizations had been
consulted.  Members acknowledged having received a large number
of counter-reports from non-governmental organizations.  That
proved the democratic attitude of the Government and showed that
women in Japan were mobilizing themselves.  However, members felt
that the Government should be more attentive to observations made
by non-governmental organizations, in particular with regard to
the personnel management systems affecting women's employment,
and the issues of violence against women and prostitution.

553.      Members considered that the status of women in Japan
was
not commensurate with the level of economic development of the
country.  Women had made a valuable contribution to the country's
economic success without having been given an adequate position
in all spheres of life.  Yet, in the current recession, they were
the first ones to suffer.  Given the opportunity, women would
make a significant contribution to the political, social and
cultural development of their country.

554.      Regarding the reports, members felt that they referred
only to the positive changes.  Although they contained much
valuable statistical data, there was no analysis of the obstacles
to the advancement of women.  It would have been appreciated if
the Government had prepared its third report after the
Committee's session and had taken the Committee's comments into
consideration.

555.      It was said that the Government, as a large donor
country, ought to direct its official development assistance
towards helping to enhance the status of women in recipient
countries.

556.      In concluding, the representative said that she would
convey all the comments made by members of the Committee to the
Government in an effort to improve the situation.

Questions related to specific articles

     Article 2

557.      Asked about instances of discrimination against women
and the legislative and other measures that had been taken to put
an end to such discrimination, the representative enumerated five
instances:  the obligation for women to retire at an earlier age
than men; the provision of dormitory housing for men, but not for
women; the exclusion of women workers from training programmes at
factories; the recruitment of men as regular, but women as
temporary, employees; and the promotion of men over women in
identical positions despite shorter records of service.  In all
those instances, appropriate judicial and administrative measures
had been taken to correct the injustices.  In other cases, such
as complaints that only men were recruited for positions
requiring technical skills, that women were not promoted on an
equal basis with men and that in the area of recruitment there
was discriminatory treatment of female students as a result of
the recession currently gripping Japan, discriminatory treatment
continued.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Law and the Labour
Standards Law were currently under review with a view to
achieving equal employment opportunity and treatment for men and
women.

558.      There were also instances of discriminatory customs and
practices in areas other than employment owing to stereotypes
regarding gender roles; however, their number was declining.

559.      In reply to the question whether the law relating to
equal opportunity provided penalties, the representative stated
that gender-based wage discrimination was a punishable offence. 
Breaches of equal opportunity and treatment in private-sector
employment, except for wages, were dealt with through
administrative guidance following investigations made by the
Ministry of Labour.  In additional comments, members said that
the Equal Employment Opportunity Law should provide sanctions in
all cases of breaches of the law.

560.      Asked about the possibility for women to have recourse
to the courts or other tribunals if their rights were infringed,
the representative said that anyone might have recourse to the
courts to assert rights granted to them under the law.  The
public service laws provided for imprisonment or fines in cases
of discriminatory treatment and any public employee who had been
subjected to discriminatory treatment might lodge a complaint or
institute a lawsuit.

     Article 3

561.      Asked whether the National Women's Education Centre
offered courses to prepare women for public office, the
representative replied that the Centre contributed to the
promotion of women's education by organizing practical training
courses and conducting research.  There were no courses to
prepare women for public office, but the goal was to empower
women and promote their participation in public life.

562.      Regarding the types of studies and diplomas offered at
the Open University, the representative said that the
university's Faculty of Liberal Arts offered courses in science
in daily life, industrial studies, social studies, humanities and
natural sciences, after which a bachelor's degree in liberal arts
could be conferred upon graduation.

563.      Members commended the Government's intention to
strengthen the national machinery and asked whether thought had
been given to setting up the office of equality ombudsman.  They
requested information in the subsequent report on the policies
that were pursued to fulfil the targets set for the advancement
of women.

564.      Members suggested that more attention should be paid to
policy measures regarding the status of disabled women and single
mothers.

     Article 4

565.      Regarding the system of reintegration of women
employees
into the workforce, the representative stated that women who
resigned from work because of pregnancy, childbirth or child care
could opt to be re-employed.  The Ministry of Labour provided a
system of grants to employers that adopted and met certain
conditions and promoted a comprehensive support plan for the
reconciliation of work and child care through the dissemination
of information, educational activities, child-care leave, reduced
working hours, advice and guidance to enterprises.  Since 1988,
the proportion of firms that had adopted that plan had increased
to 19.7 per cent.  One of the reasons for the low percentage was
the fear of some firms that they would incur extra expenses in
upgrading the skills of returning workers, in addition to the
financial difficulties brought on by the current recession.

566.      In reply to questions regarding single-parent families,
the representative said that households headed by a single
mother, irrespective of her marital status, received loans,
counselling, a survivor's pension, a child-rearing allowance and
at-home care, and could also obtain night-time child care. 
Additional special allowances included the payment of a
vocational training allowance and the payment of travel expenses.

567.      Regarding the Week of the Women, the representative
explained that no records were kept on the number of
participants, but most of them were middle-aged or older women
and, recently, a growing number of men.  Efforts were being
undertaken to increase the number of younger participants and of
men.  Other efforts to raise consciousness included the Equal
Employment Opportunity Month and a panel meeting to solve
problems arising from stereotypes and to improve the social
environment through wide dissemination of the meeting's
proposals.

568.      In additional comments, members expressed the view that
not enough use had been made of affirmative action, such as the
setting of quotas.  The question was raised whether special
temporary measures had been adopted to help in the employment of
young women during the economic recession.

     Article 5

DOCS      Within the framework of the New Plan of Action to the
Year 2000, one of the targets of which was to improve the popular
understanding of equality between men and women, several
ministries and agencies had undertaken consciousness-raising and
public relations activities.  The Ministry of Education had
established a curriculum extending from elementary to high school
which taught gender equality and understanding.  Partly as a
result of those activities, ways of thinking had begun to change,
as could be seen from a public opinion poll conducted in 1992. 
The representative supplemented that statement by some
statistical data.

570.      Asked about legal measures in relation to sexual
harassment, the representative stated that no specific legal
measures existed as yet.  The most difficult task was to alter
the consciousness of supervisors and male colleagues.  The
Ministry of Labour had established a study group to look into the
problem, launched a campaign and started providing advice to
women workers.  In one specific case, the victim's boss and
employer had to pay damages under a court order.

571.      Regarding cases of domestic violence, the
representative
quoted statistical data compiled in 1992.  Although there was no
particular provision in the code for the punishment of abuse or
maltreatment of a spouse, the use of violence, infliction of
bodily injury, confinement and rape were all criminal acts.

     Article 6

572.      In reply to the question what available information had
led to the comment that there had been a decline in the number of
arrests for prostitution-related crimes, the representative said
that dealing with prostitution-related cases had become more
difficult with the development of more sophisticated forms of
prostitution, such as "dispatch prostitution".

573.      There was no statistical record on the incidence of
violence against prostitutes.  Although it was illegal to be the
client of a prostitute, there was no provision for punishment.

574.      Regarding the question whether the Government had
considered providing compensation to women who had been forced
into prostitution, the representative said that official
organizations never forced women into prostitution.  Although the
Government did not provide compensation to women who had been
forced into prostitution by individuals or private organizations,
persons who solicited in public for purposes of prostitution
might be sent to the Women's Guidance Home, and girls and women
in need of protection were provided with professional
counselling, guidance and housing.

575.      Asked about the provisions of the Anti-Prostitution
Law,
the representative said that the law stipulated that prostitution
impaired human dignity, was contrary to sexual morality and
corrupted the morals of society, and emphasized the illegal and
anti-social character of prostitution.  The purpose of the Act
was to prevent, suppress and prohibit prostitution; however, only
acts relating to the promotion of prostitution, not the acts of
prostitution, were put under sanctions.

576.      In additional comments, members observed that the
report
included very little information about cases of Asian women who
had raised issues of exploitation against Japan.  Reference was
made to cases of sex tourism, the abuse of other Asian women in
the Japanese sex industry, mail-order brides and the exploitation
of women through forays of Japanese men into other Asian
countries.  The Government was urged to discourage sex tourism. 
Particular reference was made to the fate of women who had been
forced into prostitution by Japanese men during the Second World
War, often referred to as "comfort women".  It was suggested by
some members that the Government should pay overall compensation
to the surviving victims without their having to go to court
individually, and create a women's fund in memory of those who
had died in the meantime, thus meeting its commitment to the
women of Asia.  They requested an explanation about the measures
the Government was planning to take to assist those women.

577.      It was said that the report did not provide enough data
on prostitution, pornography, violence against women,
exploitation of immigrant women, the shelter situation for
battered women and the punishments for those offences.  Members
asked whether criminal gangs profited from the exploitation of
women and whether geisha girls or hostesses were still common. 
They urged the Government to undertake a study on all of those
issues and the underlying causes and report on the policy
measures taken.

578.      In addressing those concerns, the representative said
that the Prime Minister had been asked to take stronger measures
against organized prostitution.  The Government was trying to
curb sex tourism through legal amendments that should forbid
travel agents to arrange illegal acts for travellers.  Any form
of prostitution was illegal and the Government was intensifying
efforts to protect the rights of foreign workers.  Regarding the
issue of "comfort women", a study had been undertaken in 1991 and
when the findings had been made public in 1993, the Government
had extended its apologies to all those who had suffered damage. 
The Government was considering how best to express its remorse.

     Article 7

579.      Members welcomed the appointment of female ministers
and
noted the Plan of Action of 1977 for increasing the number of
women in executive bodies.  Asked for clarification of the
application of the Plan of Action, the representative said that
one of its five basic targets was to achieve participation in
society by men and women on an equal footing and one of the
priority objectives was to promote women's participation in
policy decision-making.  The Government was seeking the
cooperation of local governments, political organizations, labour
unions and women's organizations in its task.  To promote the
participation of women in administration, the Government had set
an initial overall target of 10 per cent.  The Government had
promoted the employment of women as public employees, reviewed
the restrictions on women's participation in recruitment
examinations for public service jobs, had in 1991 set a newly
revised target rate for women in national advisory councils, to
be raised to 15 per cent by the year 1995, and abolished all
restrictions on women entering the regular national public
service.

580.      While commending the election of a woman as Speaker of
the House of Representatives, members inquired about the reasons
for the continuing low percentage of women members of Parliament
and the small increase in the number of women in national
advisory bodies and in local government.  The representative
stated that the stereotypes concerning the roles of men and women
in society and the short history of women's participation in
political life were contributing reasons for the situation.  The
expansion of women's participation in policy decision-making was
one of the priorities of the New Plan of Action.  More
specifically, the low number of women in national advisory bodies
was related to the small number of women who held senior public
posts and were in leadership positions.  Therefore, the national
machinery asked that more women candidates be recommended to
advisory councils and be promoted in their own organizations. 
The low number of women in local government was explained by the
low number of women who played active roles, held high positions
or had the necessary knowledge or qualifications.

581.      Asked about the rate of participation of women at the
upper levels in political parties, the representative said that
the percentages varied from 1.2 to 18.1 per cent.  Their
membership varied from 6.1 to 44.8 per cent.  The proportion of
female trade union members stood at 28.2 per cent in 1993.

582.      Regarding the enrolment figure of women in the National
Defence Academy, the representative said that, with a total of
71 female students, women had accounted for 7.5 per cent of the
total number of students since 1992.

583.      In additional comments, members urged the Government to
take specific steps to improve the status of women in positions
of power and decision-making.

     Article 8

584.      Asked about the number of women filling diplomatic
posts, the representative stated that in 1993 14.8 per cent of
the officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were women.  Of
the candidates who had passed the Foreign Service Specialist
Officer Examination in 1993, more than half had been women. 
There were four women ambassadors.  Members suggested that the
subsequent report give information on the percentage of female
ambassadors and women holding posts in international
organizations.

     Article 10

585.      Members inquired whether the reasons for the somewhat
more optimistic view regarding the percentages of girls studying
non-traditional subjects during the period covered by the third
periodic report were the result of any particular strategies. 
The representative said that women had been participating in a
greater variety of fields of study as a result of changes in
attitudes about gender.  The Ministry of Education was trying to
develop awareness of the equality of men and women at each grade
level in elementary and secondary schools and guidance
counsellors were encouraging students to select courses of study
free of any preconceived notion about gender suitability.

586.      Asked for clarification concerning the "open courses"
and specialized education, the representative explained that
university extension courses provided learning opportunities to
adult citizens in various fields.  The courses were open to
everyone.  The open courses provided opportunities to gain
specialized knowledge and vocational skills about daily life and
current issues.  More than half of the participants were women.

587.      Regarding any plans to reform the curriculum in order
to
expand the subjects offered at all levels, the representative
stated that after the reform of 1989, the national curriculum for
both elementary and secondary education became the same.  Home
economics was mandatory for all students at the upper secondary
school level and industrial arts and home-making had to be taken
by both boys and girls at the lower secondary school level.

588.      Members noted the women's studies programme offered by
the National Women's Education Centre and commended the attempt
to introduce comparative international information through
seminars as beneficial to Japanese women.

589.      Regarding consciousness-raising about gender equality
and the corresponding training of teachers, the representative
said that the Ministry of Education attempted to give teachers
sufficient information about gender equality by holding
curriculum classes for each area or prefecture.

590.      In additional comments members expressed appreciation
for the changes made but said that the reversal of stereotyping
in the education system and in the media needed to be extended. 
Attitudes needed to be changed at an early age and great
importance should be attached to the sex education of children.

     Article 11

591.      Members asked whether the principle of equal pay for
work of equal value was being considered and what procedures
existed for the settlement of disputes concerning remuneration. 
The representative explained that the data supplied in the
reports did not permit a comparison of average remuneration of
men and women.  The main factors accounting for a difference in
the average remuneration of men and women were seniority, the
occupation of the employee and the type of industry in which they
worked.  The Government was trying to strengthen measures to
promote the compatibility of work and family responsibilities and
to ensure equal opportunity and treatment, in order to narrow the
remuneration gap.  In addition, the Government had published
guidebooks for students to encourage them to consider occupations
other than those traditionally taken up by women, and was also
organizing meetings to discuss ways of utilizing women's
abilities in all fields.  Labour standards inspectors supervised
the observance of ILO Convention No. 100 concerning equal pay for
equal work for men and women whenever a complaint was filed and
also when a violation was revealed as a result of an inspection. 
In many cases damages had been awarded as a result of lawsuits.

592.      Remuneration consisted of the basic wages and
allowances.  Under the Japanese wage system, it was difficult to
apply the concept of equal pay for work of equal value or
evaluation systems based on gender-neutral criteria, as contained
in the Committee's general recommendation 13.

593.      Asked whether the Labour Standards Law also dealt with
health and safety rules at the workplace and what sanctions were
provided for violations of the law, the representative said that
issues of safety and health at the workplace were addressed by
the Industrial Safety and Health Law, according to which the
employer had to ensure the safety and health of workers by
establishing a comfortable working environment and improving
working conditions in addition to complying with minimum
standards.  The sanctions were imprisonment or fines.

594.      Regarding the type of protection that was afforded to
women in agricultural, forestry or fishing industries and the
problems that they encountered in ensuring the economic
well-being of their families, the representative said that since
only 7 per cent of the women working in those branches of
industry were employees, the rest being self-employed or family
workers, safety measures and working conditions tended to be
poorly controlled.  However, the competent ministry undertook
several measures to improve conditions, such as
consciousness-raising and training activities, mutual labour
assistance programmes and the establishment of model farms. 
Female workers in those fields of industry were protected by the
relevant labour laws just like female employees in other
industries.  The major difficulties for those women were to
balance their occupational with their household responsibilities
and to cope with the undefined role of women in those operations.

The ministry provided education through homelife-improvement
extension programmes and promoted the reaching of household
agreements on the roles and situations of family members, since
in those occupations the male head of household was mostly the
decision maker and other family members provided the labour.

595.      Asked about the rate of unemployment among women and
any
assistance provided to ensure minimum living standards for their
families, the representative said that owing to the prolonged
recession the unemployment rate was rising for both men and
women.  It stood at 2.8 per cent in November 1993.  Unemployment
benefits ensured a minimum living standard and were provided
regardless of sex for a limited period of time, depending on age
and length of previous employment.  The Government was currently
trying to devise effective employment measures.

596.      Regarding a question about the pension systems in the
public and in the private sector and the differences between them
the representative explained that the national pension schemes
provided basic pensions for all.  Salaried workers in the private
sector were automatically insured under the Employees' Pension
Insurance and persons working in the national and local
government were covered by the Mutual Aid Association.  As the
coverage differed in the various schemes, the Government was
planning to unify the public pension schemes by 1995.

597.      With reference to the current status of the family-care
leave scheme, the representative said that the number of firms
that had introduced the scheme was gradually increasing.  The
guidelines issued by the Ministry of Labour described the minimum
conditions applicable to permit a worker to take leave to care
for a family member, such as duration and gender equality, and
contained a list of the persons for whose care leave might be
taken.  The employee should also be given the choice between
taking such leave or making use of such measures as flex-time or
staggered working hours.  The guidelines had been widely
disseminated and were being adopted by many firms; however, the
family-care leave scheme had not become law as yet.

598.      In additional comments, members appreciated the
progress
in the employment of women but said that much more needed to be
done in areas such as equal employment opportunity, part-time
employment and wage disparity.  Members observed that the
principle of equal pay for equal work had not been complied with,
since according to their information women received only
40 per cent of men's wages.  They asked what practical measures
the Government was considering to improve the situation.  Members
referred to similar comments that had been made during the
presentation of the initial report.  Members felt that women in
Japan seemed to be subjected to indirect discrimination through
the separate personnel management track systems practised by
private companies.  Such practices needed to be prosecuted just
as much as those involving direct discrimination and measures
should be taken to make private firms comply fully with the law. 
The question was raised whether the Government had an
understanding of the concept of indirect discrimination, of which
such separate track systems were an example; the Government was
urged to include that concept when reforming the Equal Employment
Opportunity Act.  Questions were raised as to who paid for
child-care leave, the Government or the employer, and the kind of
obstacles men faced in taking such leave.  When women re-entered
the labour market, mechanisms should exist to prevent their being
forced into part-time employment.  Members said that Japanese
companies did not make full use of women's skills and
capabilities.

599.      Asked about measures to improve the status of part-time
workers, the representative said that part-time workers were
covered by the Labour Standards Law, which set minimum labour
standards.  In order to improve their welfare and working
conditions, the Law Concerning the Improvement of Employment
Management of Part-time Workers had been enacted and put into
force in 1993.  A number of measures had been taken on the basis
of that law, and efforts in that direction were expected to
intensify.

600.      With reference to the Japanese wage system, which is
based on seniority, the representative said that it was not
discriminatory towards women because of the child-care system. 
The provision of vocational training for women who re-entered the
labour market was paramount.


601.      Members asked whether measures had been taken to reduce
the working week to 40 hours in order to strengthen the family.

     Article 12

602.      In the course of additional questions raised, members
asked whether there was a nationally organized screening
programme for cervical and breast cancer.

603.      Members referred to the medical tests that were
mandatory for women serving in private bath houses.  The fact
that they were not informed of the results constituted a
violation of human rights.

     Article 14

604.      In referring to the status of rural women, members said
that particular attention should be paid to them as their
traditions were usually the strongest and progress difficult to
achieve.  Special programmes should be designed to involve rural
women in decision-making.

     Article 16

605.      Members observed that very little information had been
supplied in the reports relating to the reform of the Civil Code
intended to improve the status of women and children in the
family and asked for clarification of the current legal situation
of women in the family.  The representative said that a national
advisory commission had started reviewing the provisions
concerning marriage and divorce under the Civil Code.  An interim
report had been published in 1992 and through mid-May, the views
of the public and the courts had been solicited until mid-
May 1993.  On the basis of those views, the deliberations on the
relevant issues were still ongoing.

606.      In additional comments, members referred to
discriminatory practices relating to marriage and family
relations, such as those regarding the prohibition against women
remarrying within a certain period and children born out of
wedlock.  Greater consideration should also be given to the
elderly female population and, following related research,
information should be provided on policy measures and programmes.

Members asked also when the ongoing review of the Civil Code
would be finished and what the reasons for the recent increase in
the divorce rate were.  Members stressed the need to address
rigid gender-role stereotypes in the family and to increase male
participation in family life.

607.      The Committee deferred its concluding comments on the
reports of Japan until its fourteenth session.

                          New Zealand

608.      The Committee considered the second periodic report of
New Zealand (CEDAW/C/NZL/2 and Add.1) at its 243rd meeting, on 25
January (see CEDAW/C/SR.243).

609.      In presenting the report, the representative of New
Zealand stated that the Government took its responsibility to the
Committee very seriously and had endeavoured to prepare a report
showing an accurate picture of the situation of New Zealand
women.

610.      The representative noted that her country had just
celebrated the centennial of women`s suffrage.  New Zealand had
been the first self-governing country in the world to give women
the right to vote.  The celebrations to mark the occasion had
involved the extensive participation of the Government and
women's organizations.  The event provided an opportunity to
assess the current position of women and to consider what was
needed to be done to achieve true equality.  She noted further
that 1993 had been the International Year of the World's
Indigenous People, and said that many of the events connected
with the suffrage celebrations had picked up the theme of
indigenous women.

611.      Her country had withdrawn its reservation concerning
the
employment of women in underground mines.  However, while women's
employment in the armed forces had increased, the country was not
yet in a position to remove its reservation concerning women in
the armed forces.  New Zealand also maintained its reservation on
paid maternity leave.  The Government regarded payment for
maternity leave as a matter for negotiation between the parties
to an employment contract.

612.      The Government had passed a new Human Rights Act in
1993, extending the grounds of prohibited discrimination.  Its
grounds would now cover gender issues, including pregnancy,
childbirth, sexual harassment, marital and family status, sexual
orientation, disability, age, race, religion, employment status
and political opinion.  The Act would come into force in 1994. 
The country's Human Rights Commission had also been granted more
funds to carry out its enhanced duties.

613.      The country had been undergoing a process of economic
and social reform aimed at revitalizing the economy.  To reverse
the imbalances created by past policies of insulation and
agricultural protectionism, the economy had been extensively
deregulated, agricultural subsidies had been abolished, import
and foreign exchange controls relaxed, tariff barriers reduced
and State assets sold or corporatized.  While the reforms had
brought hardships, the ultimate purpose of those measures was to
enhance living standards on the basis of sustainable economic
growth.

614.      In response to a question on the impact of structural
adjustment programmes on women, the representative said that a
poorly performing economy would not help women in the long term,
either economically or socially, hence the need for reform.  She
acknowledged the pressures many New Zealanders experienced during
the period of structural adjustment, but said that the positive
effects were beginning to be seen.  There were clear indications
that the country was now on track for sustained and sustainable
growth.  Some of the reforms had focused on the country's welfare
system, which still remained one of the most generous in the
world.  There had been no reduction in spending on either
education or health.

615.      The Committee noted the possible adverse effects of
structural adjustment on women and asked whether a study on those
effects had been conducted.

616.      Referring to the role of the Ministry of Women`s
Affairs
and non-governmental organizations since the last report, the
representative informed the Committee that the Ministry was
regarded as a key policy agency involved in most major policy
developments.  She also acknowledged the important role that non-
governmental organizations had played throughout the country's
history.

617.      The representative noted a number of long-term trends
affecting women, including changes in family structure; the
increased participation of women in the workforce, of which women
made up 43 per cent; the greater number of women who had
established their own businesses; the increased participation of
women in the traditional male professions; and greater numbers of
women in public life, including the appointment of the first
female High Court judge, in 1993.  The representative noted that
women's average remuneration remained less than men's.

618.      Particular concerns included the growth in
single-parent
households, most of which were headed by women and had less
income because of their relatively lower participation rate in
paid employment, and the number of ageing women.  Most people
over the age of 75 were women, most of whom derived a high
proportion of their income from State-funded superannuation
payments.

619.      With respect to violence, she observed that the issue
had been of public concern for a number of years and that the
reduction of violence was a priority for the Government. 
Measures to reduce and prevent violence included the setting up
of family violence prevention networks, rape crisis centres and
men's non-violence support groups.  New legislation had been
passed that took a stronger approach to the control of
pornography, providing for censorship to be based on the actual
or likely harm to be caused by a particular material.  It removed
the distinction between the public and private use of
pornographic materials and imposed greater restrictions on such
materials.

620.      The representative stated that women's health was a key
issue.  She noted that cervical cancer, identified as a
preventable disease, had been killing over 100 women a year.  A
national cervical screening programme had been established, which
had a particular emphasis on the Maori and Pacific Island women. 
Breast cancer was also being addressed.  The improvement in
health services for Maori women had also been emphasized. 
Attempts had been made, with some success, to encourage healthy
lifestyles and to reduce the high incidence of smoking among
Maori women.

621.      Another positive development among Maori women had been
their increased participation in the business sector.  Their rate
of growth in establishing their own businesses was faster than
that of Maori men or any non-Maori New Zealanders, although they
started from a lower baseline.  Various initiatives had been
launched to encourage Maori women to take a role in business and
to develop further their entrepreneurial skills, including the
Wahine Pakari programme and the establishment of the Maori
Women's Development Fund.

622.      State-funded Maori immersion education had been
provided, and the Government was committed to continuing
financial support for the programme.

623.      The Government had set up a steering committee to
prepare for the Year of the Family.  It would be used as a spur
to improve parenting skills in the society and for the
improvement of the care of the elderly and children.

624.      In introducing the report of Niue, a self-governing
State in free association with New Zealand, the representative
reported that Niue had unrestricted legislative competence
regarding the rights set out in the Convention.  Women had made
significant strides in public life as well as in male-dominated
occupations.  Niue was a full member of UNESCO and was seeking
membership in WHO.

625.      Regarding Tokelau, New Zealand's last remaining
non-self-governing territory, the representative said that the
constitutional changes currently being implemented would continue
the process whereby Tokelau, at its own pace, would assume
greater control of its own affairs, including the manner in which
rights accorded to Tokelauans under the Convention would be
protected.

General observations

626.      Members of the Committee indicated their general
satisfaction with the report, its presentation, its
comprehensiveness and the information contained therein.  Concern
was expressed about the remaining reservations on women in the
armed forces and on paid maternity leave in a country where there
was such a large number of women in the workforce.

627.      The view was expressed that, although it was gratifying
to note that the machinery for women's affairs was well
established and that it had an increased budget, information was
needed on the existence of local machinery.

General questions

628.      In response to a question on the extent to which there
was consultation with non-governmental organizations in the
preparation of the report, the representative said that such
organizations were involved at all stages of the process, with
involvement on the part of organizations of Maori women.

629.      The Committee took note of the reports of Niue and
Tokelau contained in the annexes to the New Zealand report and
asked if these were the only States associated with New Zealand. 
If they were not, the Committee asked why reports from other
States had not been submitted.  In response, the representative
said that when New Zealand had ratified the Convention in 1985,
in accordance with the practice at the time, that ratification
had also been extended - with their agreement - to Niue, Tokelau
and the Cook Islands.  The Cook Islands, like Niue, was a
self-governing State in free association with New Zealand and was
therefore responsible for implementing the obligations under the
Convention.  The Cook Islands was aware of its responsibilities,
but with only limited resources it had been unable to complete
its report in time for the present session and would be
submitting its report as soon as possible.

630.      In response to the question whether New Zealand had
provided technical assistance to the Cook Islands in the
preparation of its report, the representative noted that
assistance had been given for the text, but that the preparation
of the report was considered by the Government of the Cook
Islands to be its own responsibility.

Questions related to specific articles

     Article 2

631.      Members asked about an apparent discrepancy between the
reservation on maternity leave with pay and various legislative
measures to prohibit discrimination, such as the new Human Rights
Act.

632.      The additional question was raised whether the Ministry
of Women's Affairs and the trade unions had taken up the issue of
women's rights regarding paid maternity leave.  The
representative explained that the Government considered that
payment for maternity leave was a matter for negotiation between
the parties to an employment contract and therefore not subject
to government direction.  However, the provisions of the Parental
Leave and Employment Protection Act provided for unpaid leave for
parents in both the private and the public sectors, and employees
could negotiate better terms and conditions for paid maternity
leave.  She noted that most women in the public sector were
covered for six weeks' paid leave.

633.      In response to a question about the basis for
complaints
taken to the Human Rights Commission and how those complaints
were settled, the representative informed the Committee that
marital status complaints made up 17 per cent of all complaints
received.  The majority of those involved access to credit and
joint accounts.  Such matters had been settled through mediation
and had resulted in compensation and the revision of the policies
of the private sector institutions involved.  Allegations of sex
discrimination, other than in the area of marital status,
constituted over 70 per cent of the complaints taken to the Human
Rights Commission, the majority being in the area of employment.

634.      Replying to questions about differences in rates
charged
to men and women for insurance policies and whether that might
adversely affect certain groups of women, the representative
explained that the Human Rights Act exemption in respect to
superannuation of life insurance was a result of the different
life expectancies of women and men.  Exemptions were only
permitted when they were supported by actuarial or statistical
data.  On the average, given the different periods of
contribution and the longer life span of women, men and women
received the same total benefits from the plans.

635.      In an additional question, it was asked why the Human
Rights Act had left out political parties, private clubs and
churches.

     Article 4

636.      Answering the question whether the centennial
celebrations of women's suffrage and the related activities,
including those financed by the Suffrage Centennial Year Trust
Fund, had been evaluated, the representative observed that it was
too early to evaluate the results of the suffrage centennial.  A
range of activities had been undertaken by the Government, in
collaboration with non-governmental organizations, that included
educational and research activities, international conferences,
projects, television documentaries, films and books about women
in the country, in addition to radio broadcasts and short
snippets about women's lives, their achievements and history. 
Funds had been distributed to hundreds of projects throughout the
country.  The theme of the centennial had been "celebrating the
past and challenging the future".  It had provided an opportunity
to assess the situation of women and to identify the next steps.

637.      Replying to a question about the financial support
provided to supplement training and the Wahine Pakari programme,
the representative explained that financial support had increased
eightfold over the last two years.  She noted that upon
completion of the six-week training course for training
motivators, the graduates trained other women in their own
communities and were paid to do so.  There were other funding
sources available from the Government.

638.      In response to the question whether women's studies
courses were well attended and available at academic
institutions, the representative said that women's studies
programmes were offered by some secondary schools and most
universities and polytechnical institutions and they were usually
fully subscribed.

     Article 5

639.      In answering a question regarding the effectiveness of
"counter-sexist" teaching materials and the running of
"counter-sexist" training courses, the representative affirmed
the Government's commitment to gender-inclusiveness in all
aspects of education policy and development and its goal of
ensuring equality in educational opportunity by identifying and
removing barriers to achievement.  The Ministry of Education had
developed strategies, including non-stereotypical role models and
non-sexist language, but there had been no substantial long-term
monitoring of the effectiveness of either the resources or the
training courses.  The material had been in use for nearly 20
years and had been greatly expanded and improved.

640.      Replying to the question whether, in family education,
prenatal and postnatal education had been extended nationwide,
particularly to Maori women, the representative stated that a
number of organizations, including Crown Health Enterprises,
general practitioners, practical nurses and others, provided such
education.  There was some evidence that mainstream services were
not well used by Maori women, who had a different profile from
their non-Maori counterparts.  That had led health-care
authorities, Government departments and Maori women's groups to
explore different ways of meeting the particular needs of Maori
women.  Examples of such initiatives included the Tipu Ora
programme, which supported Maori women during pregnancy, and had
resulted in a reduction in smoking, promotion of breast-feeding
and a significant reduction in Maori infant cot deaths, the
establishment of Whare Paruora health clinics, Government-funded
research into new models for the delivery of prenatal and
postnatal care to Maori families and Government funding for iwi
(tribal) based health programmes.

641.      Regarding a question about the response from women's
groups to the enactment of the Films, Videos and Publications
Classification Act in 1993, the representative explained that
women's groups had been active in bringing about the changes in
censorship legislation.  The act, which would come into effect
after the three existing censorship bodies were combined into a
single office, would place greater restrictions on the
availability of violent and pornographic material, introduce new
controls on the displaying of the material and set penalties for
the possession of banned materials.  The representative said that
some women's organizations had wished for the legislation to be
more restrictive, but that all would agree that the changes
represented a significant and positive shift in censorship
policy.

642.      Asked whether the cause of the increase in the number
of
abused women seeking protection in shelters had been investigated
in the light of the preventive measures adopted by the
Government, the representative indicated that that fact did not
necessarily reflect an increase in violence, but rather an
increased awareness of the availability of sources of support for
victims.  Measures included an active arrest policy with respect
to domestic violence, where all cases were treated in the same
manner as assault attacks between strangers, so that arrests
could be made without the victim having to press charges.  The
representative referred to research that had suggested that
strategies for the reduction of family violence needed to address
such issues as power and control, parenting and child-rearing
practices, and social structural factors.

643.      In reply to the additional question whether there was
specific legislation on violence against women as opposed to
random violence, the representative indicated that such
legislation did exist.

644.      Asked, further, whether the attitudes of men towards
sharing domestic work had changed, the representative noted that
men had to change their attitudes further.

     Article 6

645.      The representative informed the Committee about the
response of the general public and women's groups to the increase
in the spread of HIV.  She observed that there was evidence that
sex workers in New Zealand were relatively free of HIV/AIDS.  The
number of women infected with AIDS was as low as 17 out of the
48 HIV cases that were diagnosed in June 1993.  The widespread
use of condoms, predating the appearance of HIV/AIDS, was
indicated as the factor contributing to the low incidence among
sex workers.  In addition, the representative indicated that
women's groups had been concerned about the risks of late
diagnosis of women infected with HIV/AIDS and had identified the
need for information programmes that specifically addressed the
issues of pregnancy and breast-feeding.  Funds had been made
available by the Government for education and sexual health
programmes.

     Article 7

646.      In response to a question regarding the decreasing
number of women in high executive positions, contrasted with the
increase in the number of women in local government, the
representative brought to the attention of the Committee figures
that showed an increase in the number of women in Parliament
since 1984.  She noted that women had occupied various positions
in the Cabinet since 1947.  Women in New Zealand would be curious
to see if the new electoral system based on proportional
representation, adopted in 1993, would lead to further increases
in representation.  Women had always been more successful in
local government.  There were no definitive studies on why women
were more successful at local levels.  The theories that had been
put forward claimed that women were attracted to local politics
since they could combine official duties with their
responsibilities at home.

647.      In an additional question, further information was
requested on obstacles to women obtaining high-level posts in
politics.

     Article 10

648.      Replying to the question whether the closure of schools
in rural areas, with a resulting inconvenience to rural families,
coupled with the reduction of the education budget, had adversely
affected poor people and those living in rural areas, the
representative stated that, on the contrary, the expenditures on
education had increased substantially during the past three
years.  It was pointed out that a rural school closed only when
the school roll fell below 10 students, that the Government
provided transportation assistance from home to school, that no
fees were charged for pre-tertiary schoolchildren receiving
education by correspondence and that the Government supported
rural studies through a range of other initiatives.

649.      In response to a question about the declining number of
Maori and Pacific Island girls entering higher education, as
indicated in the report, the representative stated that there had
been no such decline.  The text of the report referred to the
differing proportions of Maori and non-Maori females entering
tertiary education directly from school.  Maori students took a
break and worked before they entered tertiary education.  Between
1986 and 1991, the total number of Maori university students had
more than doubled and more than half were women.  The Government
was pursuing strategies to improve the participation rates and
attainment levels at all levels of education.

650.      A number of members referred to a report, prepared by a
non-governmental organization, which highlighted the problem of
fee increases for tertiary institutions and their implications
for women, and asked whether the relevant authorities were aware
of those problems.  In response, the representative stated that
the Government had been committed to increasing the availability
of tertiary education in a fiscally responsible way.  Loans were
available to students to cover fees and their living expenses,
and they were not required to repay the loan until they were in
the paid workforce.  More women, at a more mature age, were
entering tertiary education than in the past, their number
doubling between 1988 and 1993.  Women were moving towards
equality in enrolment in science, and a comparable number of
women and men were enrolled in veterinary science, medicine and
dental surgery.  There was an increased percentage of women
graduates in medicine, natural sciences and engineering.

     Article 11

651.      In clarifying the reasons for the differences observed
in unemployment rates among the female population in the
different ethnic groups, the representative explained that the
figures for unemployment in the female labour force in 1993
(21.4 per cent for Maori females, 19.8 per cent for Pacific
Island females and 6.1 per cent for European females) represented
a drop in the unemployment rates of the two first groups from
29.2 per cent and 25.6 per cent, respectively, in 1991.  There
was no single reason for the different rates of unemployment
among ethnic groups.  Contributing factors included the
restructuring of the economy, which had led to a reduction in the
number of unskilled jobs, a shift away from the manufacturing
sector, and a lack of employment opportunities in regions where
Maori and Pacific Island women were more concentrated, and lower
levels of retention and attainment rates for Maori and Pacific
Island girls in the education system.  Education and training
were vital for Maori and Pacific Island women, and the Government
had a commitment to assist disadvantaged job seekers and to
develop measures for people who had not received formal
institutional education.  In reply to the additional question
whether changes in the industrial environment had reduced the
bargaining power of trade unions, with a resultant adverse effect
on women, the representative stated that current legislation
continued the move from occupation-based to industry-based
bargaining.  The current legislation did not replace collective
bargaining, but rather provided options for contract forms.  The
current law extended personal grievance provisions to all workers
and now included sexual harassment as a basis for complaint.

652.      In answering an additional question about the principle
of equal pay for work of equal value, the representative
indicated that a kit had been produced on gender-neutral job
evaluation for use by large organizations.

653.      It was asked whether the unemployment rate had led to
an
amendment in unemployment benefits and whether the six-month
waiting period was still in force.

654.      An additional question was why women were employed
primarily in part-time jobs.  Further explanations were
requested.

     Article 12

655.      In providing additional information on the impact of
the
decentralization and restructuring of the health-care system and
the effects of the changes on health care, the representative
said that 80 per cent of total health expenditure was publicly
funded and that the funding levels had been maintained during the
economic recession.  She added that the mechanisms for services
had been restructured to improve access and effectiveness, while
costs were contained.  Area health boards had been replaced by
four regional health authorities, which acted as purchasers of
services for their population.  In addition, a core national
health advisory committee had been established to advise the
Government on the services to be funded.  The medium-term
objectives for health services included improving the access of
New Zealanders to health and disability services, improving the
quality, effectiveness and efficiency of the services, and
providing assistance to the poor.  Under the restructured health
system, women's access to services should be maintained and in
some cases improved, particularly access for Maori women. 
Consumer choice and protection would be enhanced.

     Article 14

656.      It was asked why the pilot project on mammography had
been restricted to an older age group.

657.      Questioning the practice of the eldest son as the first
choice for the inheritance of a family farm, the representative
said that it was not a legal position but was a practice in
family farming.  It was based on the perception that agriculture
was a male occupation; increasingly, however, more women were
farm managers in their own right, owners or full partners with
their husbands.

Concluding comments of the Committee

     Positive aspects

658.      The Committee noted that the second periodic report of
New Zealand indicated new developments in the area of the
advancement of women which had occurred since the submission of
the first report.  Among those positive developments were:

     (a)  The withdrawal of some of the reservations introduced
by
New Zealand upon ratification of the Convention;

     (b)  The adoption of the new Human Rights Act which extended
the area of prohibited discrimination to cover sex, including
sexual harassment, marital and family status;

     (c)  The enactment of legislation in 1993 which attempted to
curtail harmful material in the area of pornography;

     (d)  The implementation of many projects aimed at the
enhancement of the status of women during the celebration of the
centennial of women's suffrage;

     (e)  The establishment during those celebrations of a trust
fund to foster projects that enhanced the status of women;

     (f)  The close cooperation between the Government and the
non-governmental organizations in New Zealand was commendable and
a model to be copied by others;

     (g)  Violence against women had been taken seriously and
there was a policy, particularly that adopted by the police
designed to combat the problem;

     (h)  Finally, the Government had achieved remarkable results
in the struggle towards realization of de facto equality for
women.

     Principal subjects of concern

659.      The Committee, however, expressed its concern about the
economic structural adjustment programme and its impact on
women's lives, particularly in the poorer sections of the
society.  That was in spite of the Government representative's
reassurance that several socio-economic support measures had been
introduced to overcome the impact of the restructuring process.

660.      The Committee equally noted that women's annual income
was not equal with that of men for many reasons, particularly
because of their need to accommodate family responsibilities. 
Although the Government had taken measures to improve women's
income, it had abolished pay equity legislation during the
reporting period.  More efforts needed to be taken to alleviate
the burden on women in that respect.

661.      In the field of employment more affirmative action
needed to be taken by the Government, in cooperation with the
private sector, to help women cope with both family and work
responsibilities.  Such affirmative action would help integrate
women in full-time employment and avoid limiting their
participation in the workforce to part-time or lower paid jobs.

662.      The Committee also noted its concern that changes in
legislation were likely to weaken the trade union movement in
New Zealand.  Without strong union support, women in paid
employment would lack the means to negotiate better employment
conditions with their employers.

     Suggestions and recommendations

663.      The Committee suggested that the Government review its
reservations with the intention of withdrawing them, particularly
that entered to paid maternity leave.  The Committee found it
difficult to understand why paid maternity leave had not been
implemented in working life.

664.      The Committee urged that in its next report the
Government provide more detailed information about the obstacles
which still existed and prevented women from achieving full
equality.

665.      More research analysis was also needed on how the
ethnic
minority groups might achieve the same levels of equality as the
majority of women in New Zealand.


                            Senegal

666.      The Committee considered the second periodic report of
Senegal (CEDAW/C/SEN/2 and Amend.1) at its 247th meeting, on
27 January (see CEDAW/C/SR.247).

667.      In introducing the report, the representative of the
Government of Senegal noted that the socio-economic situation of
the country had remained influenced by the unfavourable exchange
rate for national products, external debt, climatic conditions,
structural adjustment measures, high inflation and other negative
factors affecting the country.

668.      He emphasized that the status of women in his country
had evolved since the colonial period.  He stated that the
colonial aim had been to concentrate on women in their
reproductive role.  They had no access to education, and there
was no intention of abolishing traditional practices.

669.      The representative noted that, since independence and
following the adoption of appropriate legislation, efforts had
been made to raise awareness among the population regarding
improvements in the areas of health and education.  He also
emphasized the issues related to women's role in the family,
development, food, self-sufficiency and work in the informal
sector.

670.      The representative also informed the Committee that
recently there had been significant progress in women's education
and that the enrolment of women in schools was on the rise,
including in higher education.  Employment among women had also
increased, with most women working in the agricultural sector,
while the remainder worked largely in fisheries.  However, access
to credit remained a problem, though efforts were being made to
redress it.

671.      Regarding the inclusion of women in the labour force,
the representative stated that women represented 8 per cent of
all workers in the private sector and 15 per cent in the public
sector.  In the private sector, women were paid by piece-work,
while men were paid by the hour, manifesting serious
inequalities.

672.      In respect to female circumcision, the representative
stated that some 20 per cent of the population still practised
genital excision without anaesthesia or psychological
counselling, leading to severe health problems among women,
including haemorrhage.  He noted that the authorities did not
approve of the practice, but it was not prohibited under the
country's Penal Code.

673.      Regarding prostitution, the representative indicated
that although prostitution was not illegal, it had been pointed
out as the source of the transmittal of sexual diseases.  He
indicated that prostitutes were required by the Ministry of
Health to be registered, and failure to do so resulted in penal
measures such as imprisonment.  He also said that HIV/AIDS was
linked to prostitution, with 30 per cent of all cases of HIV/AIDS
being women.

674.      The representative indicated that violence against
women
remained a problem although the Penal Code provided for legal
redress.  Rape was also frequent in spite of the severe
penalties, and sexual harassment, which was sometimes confused
with men's advances towards women, was an issue not dealt with
under the Code.

675.      With respect to family planning, the representative
observed that the rising demographic trend (2.8 per cent yearly)
and high maternal mortality had led the authorities to start a
policy for the establishment of family planning centres, which
had multiplied since 1970, partly with the assistance of UNFPA. 
Awareness of contraceptive methods had increased (89.8 per cent
for all methods), but their use remained low owing to cultural
traditions.  On the other hand, abortion was a crime as well as
taboo.  Finally, he observed that social benefits included
medical care, maternal assistance and full pay during maternity
leave.

676.      In respect of the political participation of women, the
representative noted that the place women occupied in the
political arena was very restricted.  Only three women had become
members of the Government, while in Parliament, of 120 members,
only 15 were women.  There was only one female Mayor, and no
women headed any political party, not even the Socialist Party,
where women represented 600,000 of the 800,000 members.

677.      Regarding the legislative measures taken by the
Government, the representative stated that obsolete measures in
the family law that granted certain powers to the husband, such
as in the legal domicile and the right to oppose the practice of
a professional activity, had been revoked.

678.      The representative observed that the Ministry of
Justice, in collaboration with all relevant ministries, was
responsible for the preparation of the periodic report on the
implementation of the international instruments.  The report to
the Committee had been prepared in consultation with
non-governmental organizations, which offered their comments and
suggestions.  Those organizations had also contributed to the
distribution of the present report.

General observations

679.      The Committee noted the political will of the
Government
to change the status of women, but also that there was still
discrimination against women and that their potential
contribution was not fully acknowledged.  It was felt that the
report should have addressed the actual situation of women to
determine their progress, and it was suggested that the next
report should provide information on rural women, prostitution
and disabled women, and should include more statistical data on
the de jure and de facto situations.

General questions

680.      In response to the comments made by members of the
Committee with respect to statistics, female circumcision and
structural adjustments in the economic and social fields, the
representative stated that his introductory statement contained
the answers to those issues.

681.      In his reply to the question whether the Ministry of
Social Development had replaced the former Ministry for the
Status of Women, and what impact that would have on the
Inter-ministerial Committee and the National Consultative

Commission, the representative stated that it was an evolution of
the feminist policy of the Government.  The intent was to group
the various political components under one ministry, which would
also be responsible for the implementation of that policy.

682.      With respect to the Inter-ministerial Committee, the
representative observed that its role was to ensure follow-up
action to the feminist and family policies defined by the
Government.  All relevant ministries were represented on the
Committee.

683.      The role of the National Consultative Commission was to
assist the Head of State in defining feminist and family
policies.  In relation to the budgetary provisions for the
Ministry of Women's, Children's and Family Affairs, the
representative observed that it received an allocation similar to
that of other ministries, as provided under the Finance Law
approved by the Parliament.

Questions related to specific articles

     Article 1

684.      Asked about the definition of discrimination in the
national law, the representative indicated that a working group
had been established in 1993 with the task of adapting the
national legislation to the international instruments ratified by
the country.

     Article 2

685.      With respect to the offence of family abandonment, the
representative explained that originally article 332 of the Penal
Code had penalized abandonment of the domicile by married women,
and that, since that text was considered discriminatory, it had
been replaced by a new one condemning the abandonment of the
domicile by either spouse, although it still required that
charges for legal action be filed by the wife.

686.      Regarding the social, cultural or religious customs
having an impact on the lives of women and the role of the
Ministry of Women's, Children's and Family Affairs, the National
Consultative Commission and the Inter-ministerial Committee, the
representative noted that the customs were deeply rooted in the
society.  The authorities concerned were aware of the need for
changing mentalities and had devised a plan of action to address
those customs that had stymied the advancement of women.

     Article 3

687.      It was noted that although legal measures had been
taken, freedom and equality remained fragile in a retrograde
social context and that the Government must make a greater effort
to develop women's rights.

     Article 4

688.      With respect to the functioning of the training centres
and the programmes offered to women, the representative observed
that, bearing in mind the high number of drop-out students and
the low capacity of the educational system to absorb the rapidly
growing school-age population, the State Secretariat and the
different ministries relevant to women's issues had decided to
establish a system of vocational training for women in all
administrative departments in charge of absorbing female drop-out
students from the traditional system.  In those centres, which
numbered about 60, the staff included trainers and monitors to
train the girls in home economics, etc.

     Article 5

689.      In replying to questions on the Family Code and the
provisions granting a woman the right to take over the management
of household affairs in the event of the absence of the husband,
the representative noted that in the absence of the husband the
wife became the provisional administrator of the properties.

690.      It was stated that customs could only be changed
gradually and that polygamy was just one form of marriage in
Africa.  In some cases, it was a choice that women decided to
make.  Furthermore, it was pointed out that many educated women
chose a polygamous marriage because it was easy to enter into and
easy to get out of; consequently, it would be difficult to
abolish such a practice.

     Article 6

691.      In response to the request for additional information
regarding prostitution, procurement, the penalties provided for
under article 323 of the Penal Code and the action taken for the
social and economic reintegration of prostitutes, the
representative noted that prostitution was not prohibited by law,
but was subject to control by the Ministry of Health, which
registered all prostitutes for medical check-ups on a bi-monthly
basis.  If prostitutes did not register themselves, they were
subject to a penalty of imprisonment.  Furthermore, procurement
was a criminal offence under article 323 of the Penal Code and
was linked to prostitution and the unemployment of young
destitute women.

     Article 7

692.      In replying to a question on the conditions and
circumstances by which women could be deprived of their civil and
civic rights or be declared incapable of managing their own
affairs and lose the right to vote, the representative noted the
provision of article 2 of the Constitution relative to the
electoral law, which outlined the ineligibility of electors to
vote, in the case of a prison conviction or civic degradation
owing to crimes committed.  However, those conditions were
applicable to both sexes.  The women in Senegal enjoyed legal
capacity and could exercise it without any authorization.

693.      Regarding the question of the participation of women in
the public service, for example, in the army and in customs, the
representative admitted the existence of discriminatory
provisions; however, such provisions could be removed as a result
of action aimed at the adoption in the national legislation of
provisions of international instruments.

694.      Regarding the role played by trade unions in
encouraging
women to participate in the political and commercial spheres, the
representative referred to the Constitution, which allowed no
discrimination in the enjoyment of that freedom, or in active
participation in trade unions.  He added that women were very
active in this field.

     Article 9

695.      Asked about the apparent discriminatory provision in
relation to women who married non-Senegalese men, the
representative stated that the five-year requirement did not have
a discriminatory connotation, but that it was aimed at verifying
that the applicant was well integrated into Senegalese society. 
That provision was also intended to discourage arranged marriages
for the purpose of acquiring Senegalese nationality.

     Article 10

696.      In answering a question on the reasons for young women
dropping out of school and why emphasis was placed on finding
jobs and technical training rather than on encouraging them to
return to school, the representative referred to the reasons
given under other relevant articles and the perception that the
place of women was at home.  That tendency might disappear in
view of the focus of the State and women's organizations on the
issue.

     Article 11

697.      In response to a question about the possibility of
women
competing for jobs in the civil service and other areas of the
public sector on equal terms with men, the representative
referred to Law 61-33 of 1967, which set out the rules and
conditions pertaining to health, nationality and other
requirements applicable to interested candidates.  There was no
discrimination in the distribution of posts, but there was a
hierarchy and there were categories in the allocation of
salaries.  If there were discrepancies in salary, it could be in
the private sector, where women were usually paid by piece-work
while men were paid by the hour.

     Article 12

698.      In respect of the equal access of women to health
services, the representative stated that all medical facilities
were available to all those living in the country.

699.      In respect of spouses infected with AIDS, he stated
that
they were alerted early on by the service that discovered the
disease, with a view to avoiding its spread.

700.      In respect of family planning, he added that methods
were available in all the medical centres for the protection of
the child and mother and for family planning.  However, the rural
areas had fewer centres than did the urban areas.

     Article 14

701.      Regarding the de facto discrimination in rural areas
with respect to women's access to land and their voice in
decisions affecting life in the community, the representative
noted that the de facto situation resulted from the African
perception that the owner of the land was the head of the family,
while the women were only cultivators.

     Article 15

702.      The representative noted in clarifying article 13 of
the
Family Code that the wife could not leave the domicile unless
authorized by the husband.  However, that provision had been
revoked in article 332 of the Penal Code, which originally had
dealt only with abandonment by the wife.  The provision had been
revoked in the Penal Code in 1977, but the provision of
article 13 of the Family Code had not been modified until 1989.

703.      The representative reaffirmed that women could fully
enjoy their legal capacities without the authorization of their
husbands.

     Article 16

704.      In respect of the several questions raised regarding
the
age of marriage, arranged marriages, consent of the husband or
other members of the family, the representative observed that the
minimum age for marriage was 16 for women and 20 for men.  He
added that although marriage in the country was considered a
social phenomenon, the prospective bride or groom, even if a
minor, had to express consent first in front of the parents in
the presence of two witnesses, then subsequently in front of the
relevant civil authority when filling out the papers for the
contract of marriage and, finally, in front of the civil official
during the actual marriage ceremony, where both bride and groom
had to give their oral consent.

705.      In reference to the three matrimonial property systems
provided for under the law, and in replying to the questions
which of the systems (community of property, separation of
property, endowment system) women selected more often, which of
them women had access to for the administration of their property
and how property was distributed upon the break-up of the
marriage, the representative noted that the most common system
chosen was the separation of property based upon the black
African perception of marriage as a family issue, contrary to the
Greco-Roman conception, which viewed marriage as the choice of
the individual.  Furthermore, the community of property system
was reserved for spouses who chose monogamous marriages.  The
dowry system was unknown.

706.      In the case of dissolution of a marriage based on the
separate property system, the spouses retained their respective
property, as indicated initially.  In the case of the community
of property system, the community was dissolved by an official
designated by a judge, who would divide the property into equal
parts between the spouses.

707.      In respect of the support for changes in the law and in
practice concerning discrimination against women in the family in
relation to the dowry and succession and equally shared parental
authority rights, the representative observed the active
participation of women's organizations and the political will of
the relevant offices to adopt national legislation according to
the provisions of the international instruments and to make
changes in the texts and in practices which were discriminatory
against women.  Furthermore, succession and shared parental
authority rights were included in the package of reform under
consideration.  Regarding the abolition of polygamy, the
representative stated that polygamy was not encouraged and that
all provisions relevant to the family were usually aimed at
restricting it, as in the case of the irrevocable option of
monogamy.  However, polygamy was a phenomenon which could not be
abolished merely by the passing of laws.

708.      Regarding the legal position of parties cohabiting and
children born out of wedlock, the representative stated that
concubinage was not recognized in Senegalese law, although the
law in certain cases could be flexible by establishing legal
facts.  However, in the case of cohabitation, there was the
benefit of being able to skip some procedures, such as the
official publication to be made before contracting marriage. 
Furthermore, children born during cohabitation could not be
repudiated or disowned.  The representative added that children
born out of wedlock would take the name of the mother but, if
they were recognized, they could then take their father's name. 
The forced recognition of children was forbidden; it had to be
done by their father on a voluntary basis.

Additional questions

709.      It was also noted that the rate of illiteracy was too
high and that all women had to have a knowledge of the laws to be
able to invoke them.  The question was raised whether education
was compulsory.

710.      With respect to political participation, as it was
another avenue for women to express their rights, it was asked
what women thought of their representation in this field.

711.      A question was asked about the reason for the limited
opportunities for women in employment, and it was suggested that
facilities for credit and the development of strategies for women
in the informal sector should be pursued.

712.      Another question raised was whether Senegalese law
could
become more effective in dealing with the issue of violence
against women.

713.      With respect to the two forms of marriage, information
was needed with which to determine the basis for the choice
between polygamy and monogamy, as it was thought that the law
which intended to promote monogamy could have unintentionally had
the reverse effect.

714.      An analysis of the effects of the legislative changes
on
the lives of women was suggested for the next report.

715.      Another question referred to children born out of
wedlock, and what could be done to improve their situation.

Concluding comments of the Committee

     Introduction

716.      The Committee commended Senegal on the presentation of
its second periodic report, which provided essential information
on the laws relating to the implementation of the Convention.

717.      The Committee was satisfied with the information
provided by the Government representative, which made it possible
to gain a better understanding of the real situation of women.

718.      The Committee regretted, however, the absence of
information regarding the factors and difficulties which were
impeding implementation of the Convention.

     Positive aspects

719.      The Committee noted with satisfaction the political
will
of the State party, which was endeavouring to continue its
efforts to improve the status of women.

720.      Indeed, it acknowledged that various public information
campaigns undertaken by the Government would promote public
awareness of the rights of women under international conventions
and national laws with a view to enhancing their status.

     Principal subjects of concern

721.      Despite the efforts of the Government to guarantee
equal
rights for women, certain discriminatory practices persisted,
including female circumcision and polygamy, which gravely
offended the dignity of women.


722.      The Committee noted with concern that the situation of
women was still precarious in the fields of health and education,
especially in rural areas.

723.      The Committee also noted the fact that a large number
of
women were being absorbed by the informal sector without
effective steps being taken to protect their interests.

724.      On the question of constraints imposed by structural
adjustment programmes, the Committee believed that those
constraints did not absolve the State party of its obligation to
provide social protection to the most vulnerable groups; namely,
women, the poor and the disabled.

     Suggestions and recommendations

725.      The Committee encouraged the State party to step up its
public information campaigns on behalf of women and to expand its
programmes to combat traditional practices which affect women's
health and advancement in order to eliminate persistent forms of
discrimination against women.

726.      The Committee recommended that the Government of
Senegal
should monitor the effective application of the laws guaranteeing
equality of the sexes in order to enable women to utilize and
benefit from those laws.

727.      It was also of the view that special measures should be
taken to reduce the adverse effects of structural adjustment
policies that generally affect women.

728.      Lastly, the Committee recommended that the third
periodic report should provide complete information regarding the
legal and practical steps taken to implement the provisions of
the Convention.


          3.  Reports submitted on an exceptional basis

729.      The Committee considered reports submitted on an
exceptional basis through presentation of the reports by the
States concerned, followed by questions by the experts and
answers by the States.

730.      In her opening remarks on each report, the Chairperson
of the Committee recalled that, at its twelfth session, in 1993,
the Committee had decided inter alia that it should, pursuant to
article 18 of the Convention, request the States of the territory
of the former Yugoslavia to submit a report or reports on an
exceptional basis and that such a report or reports should be
considered at the next session.  In addition, the Committee had
put on record its commitment to look into similar grave
violations of rights being experienced by women in any part of
the world. 9/

731.      She also stated that, in accordance with the practice
of
other human rights treaty bodies, the Committee, deeply concerned
about recent and current events in the territory of the former
Yugoslavia affecting the human rights of women protected under
the Convention, having noted that all the women within the
territory of the former Yugoslavia were entitled to the
guarantees of the Convention, finding that the new States within
the boundaries of the former Yugoslavia had succeeded to the
obligations of the former Yugoslavia under the Convention, and
acting under article 18 of the Convention, had requested certain
States within the territory of the former Yugoslavia, in
particular Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to submit reports
on an exceptional basis within the mandate given by the Committee
at its previous session.


                    Bosnia and Herzegovina

732. The Committee  considered the report of Bosnia and
Herzegovina at its 253rd meeting, on 1 February (see
CEDAW/C/SR.253).

733.      The representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina made an
oral report, in which she confirmed the commitment of her country
to the Convention and to all other international human rights
treaties.  She referred to the unprecedented suffering of
civilians in her country in the last 21 months as a result of the
aggression of the regular and irregular armed forces of Serbia
and Montenegro and their surrogates in Bosnia as well as parts of
the armed forces of the Croatian Defence Council under the
command of extremist nationalists and with the active
participation, and support in terms of manpower and military
equipment, of parts of the regular armed forces of Croatia. 
Thousands of people had been killed or were unaccounted for;
thousands were wounded, handicapped, had disappeared or died of
starvation, cold and disease; thousands had been forced to
abandon their homes and their land, often losing families and
friends.  In pursuing the goal of ethnic cleansing, which was the
direct cause of the vast majority of gross human rights
violations, various atrocities and the infliction of terror among
the population, the Serb aggressors and Croat extremists violated
international legislative standards of human behaviour.  Numerous
cities, various places of worship and cultural monuments had been
destroyed.  So had homes, shops and places of business.  As
confirmed by the numerous reports of intergovernmental and
non-governmental investigating teams, commissions and groups,
refugees in the detention camps were often exposed to terror,
torture and humiliation.  Even in the declared United Nations
"safe areas", they lived in inhuman conditions, exposed to
indiscriminate shelling, starvation and constant fear.

734.      She referred to the mass and systematic rape of non-
Serbian women of all ages, stressing that the majority had been
Muslim women, as one of the most complex manifestations of
aggression, the policy of ethnic cleansing and a particular form
of genocide.  According to the State Commission in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, approximately 25,000 victims had been registered. 
Women had also been victims of massive deportation and detention
in most of the 200 registered camps in the occupied territories. 
Those camps were the scene of large-scale rapes, forced
prostitution and other abuses.  She provided examples of camps,
restaurants and hotels where such abuses took place on a massive
scale.  In some cases, after being raped, women were killed, had
disappeared or had committed suicide.  Those actions were
premeditated, carefully organized and meant as acts to humiliate,
shame and degrade the entire ethnic group.  They were not just
products of the "war environment".  Some acts of violence against
women's integrity took place in front of their family members, or
even local communities.  She referred further to the reports of
experts, submitted to the General Assembly or the Security
Council, for example, the report of the Special Rapporteur
(A/48/92-S/25341), as well as the relevant resolutions of those
organs (General Assembly resolution 48/143; Security Council
resolutions 780 (1992) and 798 (1992)), in which they strongly
condemned those acts and pointed to the consequences of those
crimes for their victims, such as unwanted pregnancies, mainly
ending in abortions, and physical and psychological damage,
ruining their family, social and private lives as well as their
health and well-being.  For the nation it meant humiliation,
disintegration of tradition and culture.  In order to assist the
victims, the Government had committed itself to their protection,
focusing on financial, medical and psychotherapeutic help as well
as the prevention of any form of discrimination and assistance in
their reintegration into society.  The issue was addressed in the
work of some non-governmental organizations and several centres
had been opened to assist traumatized women.

735.      She also referred to the situation of refugees, in
imminent danger while fleeing from or through the areas of armed
conflict and living in very difficult conditions in refugee
camps.  Among the estimated 1,250,000 refugees from the territory
of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 60 per cent were women and, of
1,288,000 displaced persons, women constituted 65 per cent. 
Their needs, however, were far from being properly addressed in
spite of the efforts of numerous women's groups, individuals and
international organizations.  The main needs of women refugees
related to health care, nutrition, basic housing facilities and
responsibility for their children.

General observations

736.      Members of the Committee commended the report and
welcomed the fact that the representative of the country was
attending the meeting of the Committee, despite the dramatic
situation in the country.  They expressed their solidarity as
women with the women of Bosnia and Herzegovina and their deep
concern about the prevailing war and ongoing violations of human
rights, particularly the rights of women.  They expressed their
dismay at the daily information about ongoing atrocities, ethnic
cleansing and acts of violence directed against women and
children, including mass rapes.  They emphasized that, as members
of the Committee, they were interested in any further information
that could lead to a better understanding and an improvement of
the situation of women, protection of their rights, alleviation
of their sufferings and prevention of actions contrary to
international standards of human rights and the provisions of the
Convention.
737.      The view was expressed that the crimes against women
should be thoroughly looked into, like any other human rights
violations.  Proper legal proceedings should be established.  An
end should be put to the ongoing war and lasting peace and
justice for all parties should be ensured.

General questions

738.      Asked whether there were any specific machineries for
women providing them with humanitarian and legal assistance and
information about their rights and the Convention, the
representative answered that she was not aware of any specific
mechanism dealing separately with women's issues.  People had
many more immediate and dramatic needs that the Government had to
address, such as the lack of water, food, fuel, other basic
goods, medicines and shelter in the besieged cities.  Initiatives
and structures related to the advancement of women had existed
before the war.  She would, however, provide more details in the
next report.

739.      Other questions related to the specific assistance
provided to women victims of rape; the exact number of
therapeutic and rehabilitation centres for women victims of
violence; and the ways in which women were involved in their
organization.  It was also asked whether the denunciation of the
rapes by the international public opinion and media was helpful.

740.      In reply the representative stated that there were
specific centres for all traumatized women, providing
psychotherapy, consultations and other forms of assistance to
alleviate their plight.  Although those centres assisted women
victims of rape, they were also accessible to other war victims
in order not to label and single out raped women.  She was not
able to provide comprehensive information on those centres, and
she stated that any assistance from the international community
with regard to alleviating the consequences of that traumatic
situation for women was helpful.

741.      With regard to the request for more detailed
information
about how the number of 25,000 women victims of rape had been
estimated, the representative replied that it was difficult to
compile the full evidence in the conditions of war.  Certain
camps were not accessible even to the official investigating
teams, or had often been relocated or closed if the inspection
was expected.  Certain parts of the country had not been
accessible until now.  Besides, many women were not willing to
provide testimony, but rather preferred to put the tragedy behind
them and move on with their lives.  Thus, the data compiled by
the State Commission had been based on the reports of various
commissions, women's testimonies, information provided by women's
groups and refugee women.  The figure of 25,000 had been
carefully estimated and was considered on the low side.  She
further pointed to the necessity to distinguish between the rape
that was known to take place in the environment of war and
disorder and the genocidal rape of women in her country, which
was a matter of policy and was used as means of warfare to
achieve the goals of ethnic cleansing, to humiliate the nation
and the ethnic group, to result in forced pregnancies reminding
women of the terror and preventing them and their families from
leading normal lives.  Thus, attempts to educate society how to
help the victims and cope with the situation were very important.

742.      The experts further asked who specifically dealt with
the consequences of violence against women, including forced
pregnancies, what measures had been taken in that respect by the
Government and non-governmental organizations and whether there
were any women's support groups.  It was asked whether abortion
was accessible to women victims of rape if they decided to
undergo it; what was the legal status of children born as a
result of rape and whether they were taken back by the families
or placed in orphanages.

743.      In reply, the expert stated that, in assisting
traumatized women, the Government could not go much beyond the
measures already described in her presentation.  Daily
preoccupation with such essential matters as the provision of
fuel, food, clothing and medicines; maintenance and
reconstruction of electricity, water, telecommunication and
transportation lines; restoration of houses, shelters and
hospitals absorbed fully the Government.  Besides, the war was
still going on and creating additional daily demands.  There was
no information on the number of abortions performed as a result
of rape.  However, it was assumed that a number of women decided
to give birth to the child, neither admitting nor discussing the
fact that it had been conceived as the result of rape.  There
were, however, also the cases of self-inflicted abortions,
reported by some grass-roots organizations.  Although the law
permitted abortion, it was not always possible in practice owing
to scarce medical facilities.  There was also no specific
information on children born as the result of forced pregnancies
and the incidence of rape.  Numerous non-governmental
organizations carried out various forms of medical, psychological
and therapeutic activities aimed at assisting those women,
helping them to cope with the situation, to go on with their
lives.  Some other non-governmental organizations focused on the
collection of data and testimonies from women victims of rape in
order to prepare for court proceedings, including the future
presentation of cases at the International Tribunal for the
Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of
International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the
Former Yugoslavia since 1991.  Those women's groups often
received assistance and training from women's networks in other
countries, mainly in the West.

744.      With regard to the possibility of the International
Tribunal taking up the cases of violence, the question was asked
whether the victims of such actions, considered for the first
time as war crimes instead of individual acts of violence, would
be given compensation as victims of torture and special
assistance by the Government.  Compensation to women victims
should be a part of the peace agreement.

745.      In reaction to those statements, the representative
replied that her Government attached great importance to the
establishment of the International Tribunal to follow up the
cases of war crimes and that it considered essential that rape be
included in the list of war crimes.  Such a decision would
establish an important legal precedent.  The issue of monetary
compensation to women victims of war rape would be referred to in
her Government's regular report.  However, the Government viewed
that issue in the context of war crimes, considering rape as a
war weapon and an instrument of the ethnic cleansing policy.

746.      Asked about the cases of violations of women's human
rights by members of the military of Bosnia and Herzegovina or by
individuals, the representatives replied that, although the
Special Rapporteur stated in his report that acts of violence
against women had been committed by all parties, the majority of
those acts were targeted against Muslim women by the Serbs.  At
the beginning of the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina,
there had been no army in her country and the defence had been
organized by citizens, in a spontaneous manner.  Thus, there had
been individual cases of violence against women, either meant as
acts of revenge, or individual war-related acts of violence. 
Those cases, when discovered, had been punished by the
authorities with dismissal from the army or detention.  The
Government also took steps to prevent such acts.

747.      Attention was drawn to the relevance of general
recommendation 19 of the Committee related to the issues of
violence against women and the 1974 Declaration on the Protection
of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict (General
Assembly resolution 3318 (XXIX)).  The obligation of Governments
to eliminate and prosecute discrimination and cases of violence
committed by public authorities as well as individuals was
emphasized.  Questions were raised as to whether any measures had
been taken by the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to prevent
violence, to protect women and children and to eliminate hatred
and whether the Committee could help in that respect.  It was
further asked what was the role of women's organizations in that
regard.

748.      In reply to the question about government policies for
assistance to  families in wartime, the representative replied
that, although the capacity of the Government had been very
limited and focused on the immediate and basic needs of society,
the issue had been addressed in the mass media; there were
centres of family counselling and there were attempts to raise
awareness of the importance of the family to its members.

749.      In reply to questions related to the medical needs of
women, in particular specific needs of women victims of rape, and
the overall state of the health services, the representative
replied that, although the level of medical services had been
very high in the past, they had been largely destroyed through
the war and were affected by the lack of basic equipment and
medicines.  Thus, the capacity of those services had been very
limited and continued to be affected on a daily basis by shelling
or siege.

750.      With regard to the request to assist the Committee in
seeking practical help for women at the highest level of the
United Nations and the question about existing assistance
provided to women by international governmental and
non-governmental organizations, the representative replied that
those organizations had been doing a great deal to alleviate the
suffering of the population, but had not succeeded in putting an
end to the war, the cause of the present situation.  Some
organizations of the United Nations system, such as the Office of
the Unitedfrom women in Western countries most required by the
women in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

751.      Regarding the observation on the importance of the full
participation of women in all spheres of life for the future of
the country and referring to a request for more information on
the participation and role of women in decision-making bodies at
the government and local levels, as well as in the peace
negotiations, and discussions concerning the future of the
country, the representative stated that the data would be
submitted in the next report.  She further remarked that there
were many women in the foreign service and a woman occupied the
crucial post of ambassador to Croatia.

752.      With regard to questions related to the situation of
refugee women and children, their safety, specific needs and the
services they required, the representative stated that their
situation had been increasingly difficult as most of them lived
on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, already severely
suffering from war and the shortage of basic goods and services,
and the flow of

refugees from war affected areas to the refugee camps continued. 
Many refugees had been killed or affected on their way to safety
and it was very difficult to protect them.  International
assistance was particularly important in that respect, including
the acceptance of many refugees by foreign countries.

Concluding comments of the Committee

753.      The Committee commended the representative of Bosnia
and
Herzegovina for presenting its report on an extraordinary basis
despite the regrettable situation in her country and also for
providing answers to most of the questions posed by members of
the Committee.

754.      The Committee noted the information provided about the
massive rape of women as an instrument of ethnic cleansing and
other forms of violation of women's human rights, and recalled
that it had always condemned violence against women in all its
forms.

755.      The Committee therefore expressed its full support for,
and solidarity with, all women of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their
sad situation in this unfortunate war.

756.      The Committee therefore, while condemning in the
strongest terms the use of rape and violations of women's rights
as an instrument of warfare, called on all of the women of Bosnia
and Herzegovina not to remain passive.  Women must henceforth
become visible at both the governmental and non-governmental
levels.  The Committee hoped that in that way women would
generate the political will requisite for change and an urgent
end to the war.

757.      The Committee called on the Government, for its part,
to
do all it could to stop the rape and protect the human rights of
women, who, as always, were particularly vulnerable in this
unfortunate fratricidal war.


     Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)

758.      The Committee considered the report of the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) (CEDAW/C/YUG/SP.1)
at its 254th meeting, on 2 February (see CEDAW/C/SR.254).

759.      In introducing the report, the representative of the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) described
the consequences of the disintegration of the Socialist Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia, the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina
which had caused a flow of refugees to her country and the
blockade unjustly imposed on her country by the international
community, in particular as a result of the sanctions introduced
by the Security Council in its resolutions 757 (1992) of 30 May
1992, 787 (1992) of 16 November 1992 and 820 (1993) of 17 April
1993.  She also referred to the numerous interventions by various
humanitarian organizations and individuals to provide
humanitarian aid and to draw the attention of the world to the
devastating consequences of the sanctions for the national
economy, social infrastructures and the entire civil population,
in particular women and the vulnerable groups.

760.      Living standards had fallen dramatically.  National
health services lacked basic medical supplies and infrastructures
and the supply of imported medicines and other needed goods was
blocked or obstructed by the embargo.  Mortality had increased,
in particular among young children and the elderly, as had the
death rate of infants and people suffering from chronic disease. 
The problem of AIDS had become pressing owing to a shortage of
diagnostic tests.  Women were affected by the shortage of
contraceptives, anaesthetics used for abortions and basic
hygienic items.  The number of miscarriages and deliveries at
home had increased, as had the death rate of live-born infants
and mortality of mothers and babies during delivery.  Stress,
fear of the future and separation of families often caused
psychiatric problems.  Violence, alcoholism and various forms of
sexual abuse had increased.  Various forms of violence against
women and sexual harassment had been addressed through non-
governmental activities, including SOS telephone services and by
the Government, which considered rape and the abuse of women and
children as crimes that should be condemned in the strongest
terms wherever they occurred and that those responsible, whoever
they were, should be punished.

761.      The representative also referred to the issue of abuses
of women in war zones and pointed to her Government's position
that such crimes were contrary to international humanitarian law.

For those reasons, the Government had cooperated actively with
the Commission of Experts established pursuant to Security
Council resolution 780 (1992) of 6 October 1992, investigating
facts and collecting data about women who had been victims of
rape and had come to Yugoslavia as refugees, with a view to the
physical and mental rehabilitation of those victims.  The
Government had also established State bodies to investigate all
such allegations, collect data and monitor the rehabilitation of
victims of sexual abuse committed in war areas and had sheltered
them as refugees in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  Some
parts of the collected evidence had already been presented to the
Commission of Experts and had been circulated as documents of the
General Assembly and the Security Council.  For example, the
Commission for monitoring the sexual abuse of women, children and
men in conditions of war, composed of medical experts and
psychologists, was set up in the Federal Ministry of Labour,
Health and Social Policy.  Although the Commission did not
discriminate in terms of nationality, the majority of victims
were Serbian female refugees from Croatia and Bosnia and
Herzegovina.  Some of those women had already been successfully
reintegrated into society, as had, for example, young women who
had given birth as a result of rape in Muslim- and Croat-run
camps and brothels.  Other medical and expert sources revealed
that many Serb women had been victims of persecution, sexual
torture and rape in various camps for Serbs.  Some, however,
after hospitalization withdrew their statements and were not
included in any evidence.  All who had become pregnant as a
result of rape had received the necessary assistance.  Most of
them did not want to talk and wanted to forget everything that
had happened to them.  Only those who had come to have an
abortion after a few months of pregnancy and had been required to
have an examination and to obtain the approval of the special
medical commission, had revealed what had really happened to
them.  A considerable number of women who had been raped in
Bosnia and Herzegovina, however, with pregnancies of less than 10
weeks, had had abortions without waiting for the Commission's
approval and had concealed the fact that they had been raped. 
Such behaviour only confirmed her country's claim that, in its
culture, a woman would admit that she had been raped only if she
had to.  Rape was so traumatic that it often caused suicidal
tendencies.  Instead of counting the number of raped women,
trying to prove which side had suffered more hardship, doubting
their testimonies and using them for political manipulation, it
would be better to assist raped women and reintegrate them in
society.

General observations

762.      Members of the Committee thanked the representative of
the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) for
presenting the additional oral report, which was more in
compliance than the written report with the request made by the
Committee at its twelfth session that the States of the former
Yugoslavia submit a report or reports on an exceptional basis in
view of the Committee's deep concern about recent and current
events in the territory of the former Yugoslavia affecting the
human rights of women protected under the Convention.  The
written report (CEDAW/C/YUG/SP.1) did not meet those
requirements, as it was more like a periodic report and did not
address the situation of women with regard to the prevailing
armed conflict and various forms of violence against women.  It
was emphasized by some that a report submitted on an exceptional
basis should provide more information on the specific situation
of women owing to the state of war.  The members expressed their
grave concern about the situation of women in the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), who had been
affected by increasingly difficult living conditions, inflation,
unemployment, increasing violence in daily life and collapsing
social and health services.  They expressed their solidarity with
all women of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and
Montenegro) and other States of the territory of the former
Yugoslavia.  They appealed to the wisdom and solidarity of women
in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to
put an end to the war, to exercise the force of right and to
exert all possible pressure on men at the decision-making levels,
in the military and in peace negotiations, to stop the
destruction, to stop using women as tools of war and to achieve
peace.

763.      The view was expressed that, as in any armed conflict,
women and children were the primary victims.

764.      In response to those observations, the representative
stated that the main emphasis had been placed on regular
reporting because her country had not been a party to the war in
Bosnia and Herzegovina.  It had nothing to do with the civil war
in Bosnia and Herzegovina between its three constituent peoples -
the Bosnian Serbs, the Bosnian Muslims and the Bosnian Croats,
and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had no territorial claims
on Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The last soldier of the former
Yugoslav People's Army had left the territory of Bosnia and
Herzegovina on 19 May 1992, so that the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia could not be responsible for the ongoing violations of
human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Thus, she was not in a
position to report on human rights violations in Bosnia and
Herzegovina.  The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was doing its
utmost and playing a very constructive role in the ongoing Geneva
peace negotiations.

General questions

765.      Reference was made to the fact that, despite all
diplomatic initiatives, and its internationalization, the
conflict kept developing, with all its outrageous consequences
for women and children.  It was asked whether women had the
political will and strength to stop further fighting, organize
themselves for peace at all levels and struggle together,
independent of ethnicity, nationality or religion, for a just and
peaceful future for the country and for its reconstruction. 
Information was also sought as to the role of non-governmental
organizations in the search for peace and the participation of
women in the peace negotiations, reconstruction of the country
and its future decision-making bodies.

766.      The representative answered that in the Federal
Republic
of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) women supported the
Government's policy related to Bosnia and Herzegovina which was
the policy of peace.  Together with men in the Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia, they sought a peaceful solution to the war in
Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Non-governmental organizations in the
country had made some attempts towards peace, but had not
succeeded up to now.

767.      The members of the Committee commented on various
negative consequences of the sanctions described in the report
and pointed to their damaging effects, especially for women, in
particular with regard to employment, health care, housing,
nutrition, pensions, maternity, child care, daily violence,
sexual abuse and the disintegration of the family.  While
reiterating concern that all sanctions affected the most
vulnerable social groups and not the Governments, reference was
made to the lack of explanation in the report as to why the
embargo had been imposed.  It was asked why reference was made in
the report to Kosovo and Metohija as regions that were slow in
ridding themselves of some traditions and customs related to
ensuring equality of men and women, and why the distinction was
made on ethnic, religious and traditional grounds.  The
representative replied that those regions had been singled out
not for the purpose of discrimination, but for special attention,
as requested by the Committee at its tenth session.

768.      The observation was made that the report did not
address
properly the issues of violence against women.  While information
had been provided in the statement on the increasing daily
aggression and violence against women in the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), such as physical violence,
sexual abuse, verbal and/or physical coercion of women to sexual
intercourse, sexual abuse of children, verbal and emotional abuse
of women and children, harassment and intimidation of women at
their places of work, economic abuse of women and children, there
had been no information on the issue of rape as a weapon of war. 
Although reference to mass rapes used as means of warfare was
included in reports of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission
on Human Rights and in many press reports on the subject in the
past two years, exact information and data on the subject would
be essential to the Committee.  The situation in which might
prevailed over right and men used their power to return to such
practices of the dark ages was shocking and required
clarification as to the facts, figures and actions taken by the
Government, if any, to bring the perpetrators to justice and
assist the victims.  One member, however, did not share the view
that such data would be important, but rather favoured the view
that the focus should be on rehabilitation of and assistance to
women victims.  The remark was also made that the statement in
the oral report made by the representative that "aberrant and
violent sexual behaviour is far from being characteristic of the
war in the former Bosnia and Herzegovina alone; such behaviour
has occurred in all known wars thus far" (see CEDAW/C/SR.254) was
unacceptable, as well as immoral and appalling.

769.      The representative stated that the accusation of the
use
of mass rapes as a war weapon did not apply to her country at all
because the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was not engaged in the
war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  She referred to the report of the
Special Rapporteur, which confirmed the incidence of mass rapes
but pointed to all parties in the conflict.  Although incidents
had happened in all war-torn areas, the evidence of ordered,
systematic rapes was very weak, and the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia had strong evidence of Serbian women being raped by
Croats and Muslims.  She also stated that the issue of violations
against women who had found refuge in the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia had been studied by the State Commission for War
Crimes and the Crimes of Genocide and the Interdepartmental Group
of the Federal Government involving all crucial ministries,
non-governmental organizations and associations of citizens.  She
stated that her Government was willing to cooperate with all
international fact-finding bodies.  She also apologized for the
sentence that might give the false impression that rape was
considered, by the Government of the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia, normal behaviour in times of war and asked that it be
seen in the context of what followed in her report, where rape
was clearly characterized as a great breach of humanitarian law.

770.      With regard to the concern expressed about the
situation
and the marginalization of detained women, incidents of unwanted
pregnancy, numerous abortions, women dying during delivery, the
dramatically declining birth rate, and increasing infection with
AIDS, she pointed out the increased difficulties that influenced
the status of women in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia owing
to the consequences of war in neighbouring Bosnia and
Herzegovina, general shortages and the malfunctioning of medical
services and supplies and the collapse of social structures as a
result of the sanctions.  Abortion was still used as a means of
contraception.  There were an increasing number of new-born
children with AIDS.  The risk of AIDS was particularly dangerous,
especially in view of the lack of proper information, medicines
and sexual education, especially among young people.

771.      Asked about the data related to prostitution, policies
in that respect and the increasing number of female prostitutes
visible, even in neighbouring countries, and if that was related
to the incidence of massive rapes, the representative answered
that prostitution was not a crime under the provisions of the
Yugoslav Penal Code.  Increased numbers of prostitutes, who were
mainly women, but also young girls and boys, had started to
practise "covert prostitution" as a result of the dramatic
situation of the country and the lack of basic goods and
prospects.

772.      With regard to questions related to the situation of
women and children refugees, the representative stated that the
refugees from all neighbouring war-ridden areas were accepted by
the society and individual families regardless of their ethnic
origin, religion or nationality.  This was also a policy of her
Government.  Referring to the question of the increased incidence
of violence within the families that received the refugees, she
stated that it had resulted from basic shortages and daily
hardship and had nothing to do with the national or ethnic
background of the refugees and the receiving families.  Contrary
to the image, the cultural differences between the nations of the
former Yugoslavia were not so drastic, and those nations had
lived in peace together for many years.

773.      In conclusion, one member said that the
representative's
statement that her country had nothing to do with the human
rights violations in Bosnia and Herzegovina was not acceptable.

Concluding comments of the Committee

774.      The Committee commended the representatives of the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for presenting their report on an
extraordinary basis in spite of the regrettable situation in
their country and also for providing answers to most of the
questions posed by members of the Committee.

775.      The Committee expressed its sadness at the plight of
the
women of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and recalled that it
had always deplored violence against women in all its forms.  It
expressed its concern at the increased violence perpetrated
against the women of the country caused by the stress and
deprivation currently being experienced by the population.  It
expressed its concern that the women were also suffering the
consequences of sanctions, which were having a serious impact on
their health care and nutrition in particular.  The tragic war in
the territory of the former Yugoslavia had affected women's
dignity as human beings, had caused large numbers of women to
become refugees and had demonstrated women's vulnerability in
time of conflict.

776.      The Committee called on all the women of the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia not to remain passive.  Women must
participate fully at governmental and non-governmental level in
initiatives for peace in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. 
The Committee expressed the hope that the women would generate
the political will needed for change and needed to bring the
conflict to an end.  The Committee awaited initiatives from the
women of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which would bring an
end to the tragic conflict.



      V.  IMPLEMENTATION OF ARTICLE 21 OF THE CONVENTION


777.      The Committee considered the implementation of article
21 of the Convention (agenda item 5) at its 238th meeting, on 19
January.

778.      The item was introduced by the Deputy Director of the
Division for the Advancement of Women, who presented the report
prepared by the Secretariat (CEDAW/C/1994/4).


          Action taken by the Committee on the report of
                        Working Group II

779.      At its 256th meeting, on 3 February, the Committee
considered the item on the basis of the report of Working Group
II.

     Draft recommendation on articles 7 and 8

780.      The Working Group carefully considered the draft
recommendation on article 7, which had been prepared on the basis
of contributions from Evangelina Garcˇa-Prince and Salma Khan,
and decided to shorten the original text substantially and
restructure it to include sections on the following: 
(a) background to the international conventions that have been
adopted; (b) introduction to and commentaries on various
paragraphs of the article; (c) declaration of principles; and
(d) recommendations.  The Group completed this work and the
revised text was given to the Secretariat for translation and
circulation so that it could be taken up in plenary meeting.

781.      The Working Group considered the draft recommendation
on
article 8 and decided to shorten some sections on the role of
women in government foreign service and include new material
referring to the function performed by women in multilateral
organs, non-governmental organizations and international
companies and stressing their role in the establishment of
lasting peace.  The Working Group prepared a revised text and
submitted it to the Secretariat for translation and circulation
so that it could be taken up in plenary meeting.

782.      The Committee decided to continue consideration of the
draft recommendation at its fourteenth session.

     Equality in marriage and family relations

783.      At its 258th meeting, on 4 February, on the
recommendation of Working Group II, the Committee adopted a
general recommendation on equality in marriage and family
relations (general recommendation 21), relating to articles 9, 15
and 16 of the Convention (for the text, see chap. I, sect. A).


     VI.  WAYS AND MEANS OF EXPEDITING THE WORK OF THE COMMITTEE


784.      The Committee considered ways and means of expediting
its work (agenda item 6) at its 238th meeting, on 19 January.

785.      The item was introduced by the Deputy Director of the
Division for the Advancement of Women, who presented the report
prepared by the Secretariat (CEDAW/C/1994/6).

786.      A representative of the Centre for Human Rights
informed
the Committee that the issue of the equal enjoyment of human
rights and fundamental freedoms by women had been reflected in
the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the
World Conference on Human Rights.  The Conference had set the
goal of universal ratification of the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women by the
year 2000, and had taken particular note of the recommendation
made by the Committee at its eleventh session, in January 1992,
that the overall issue of reservations to human rights
conventions be placed on the agenda of the Conference.

787.      She emphasized that the Conference had also stressed
the
importance of working towards the elimination of violence against
women, as well as the elimination of all forms of sexual
harassment, exploitation and trafficking in women, gender-bias in
the administration of justice and the eradication of any
conflicts that might arise between the rights of women and the
harmful effects of certain traditional or customary practices,
cultural prejudices and religious extremism.

788.      She drew the Committee's attention to the
recommendation
of the Conference regarding a human rights education decade, and
to General Assembly resolution 48/127 of 20 December 1993, in
which the Assembly had requested the Commission on Human Rights
to consider proposals for such a decade.

789.      The Conference had recommended that steps should be
taken to increase cooperation and promote further integration of
objectives and goals between the Commission on the Status of
Women, the Commission on Human Rights, the Committee on the
Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the United Nations
Development Fund for Women, and other United Nations bodies.  In
that context, it had also called for strengthened cooperation
between the Division for the Advancement of Women and the Centre
for Human Rights.

790.      She outlined the work that had been carried out by
other
human rights treaty bodies, with particular reference to the
human rights of women.

791.      She also drew the Committee's attention to Commission
on
Human Rights resolution 1993/46 of 8 March 1993, on integrating
the rights of women into the human rights mechanisms of the
United Nations, in which the Commission encouraged closer
cooperation between the Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women and other treaty bodies. 10/  In
order to implement some of the provisions of the Vienna
Declaration and Programme of Action, the Centre for Human Rights
intended to establish a focal point on women's issues in the
office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, to
deal with matters relating to the human rights of women within
the Centre, as well as system-wide, especially in view of the
upcoming Fourth World Conference on Women.

792.      She emphasized that, in view of the increasing backlog
of reports and other matters awaiting consideration, both the
Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights had decided to request the
holding of additional sessions in 1994.  Similarly, the Human
Rights Committee had asked that its forthcoming summer session be
extended by one week to allow additional time for the Committee
to deal with the heavy backlog of communications under the
Optional Protocol and reports from States parties.

793.      Replying to the questions raised by many members
concerning cooperation between the Centre for Human Rights and
the Division for the Advancement of Women, the representative of
the Centre stated that, over the past few months, there had been
a number of high-level contacts between the Centre and the
Division with a view to increasing cooperation between the two
bodies.

794.      With regard to non-governmental organizations, the
representative of the Centre reported that both the Committee on
the Rights of the Child and the Committee on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights had taken steps to involve them in their work and
had set aside time for them to make oral statements. 
Non-governmental organizations had also provided materials in
conjunction with the consideration of country reports.

795.      At its 250th meeting, the Committee held a general
discussion of its functioning, its relationship with other human
rights treaty bodies and the secretariat servicing of the
Committee.

796.      Many members noted that the work programme of the
Committee had been increasing and had reached a level that was
too heavy to ensure that the results would be of the quality
expected of the Committee.  The number of periodic reports being
considered during each session was too large for the time
available and much higher than for other treaty bodies.  One
expert noted that the uniformity of the presentation and
consideration of the reports had resulted in a somewhat
mechanical approach to that function.

797.      It was stated that the nature of the Committee's
activities had changed in the wake of the World Conference on
Human Rights and that its sphere of activity now extended beyond
merely reviewing reports.  The function of providing commentaries
on articles of the Convention through general recommendations and
contributions to significant United Nations conferences and
events had expanded.  It was pointed out that the effort to
provide general recommendations had perhaps proceeded too
rapidly, and the Committee should consider slowing the pace in
order to ensure that the quality of the final recommendations
would meet the highest professional standards.

798.      It was noted that the restriction on meeting time for
the Committee was a significant factor contributing to its
difficulties in completing its work programme.

799.      A number of suggestions were made relating to the
organization of work.  The possibility of designating experts to
specialize in initial reports to be considered at the next
session, as had been discussed at past sessions of the Committee,
was raised, as was the possibility of regionally based pre-
session meetings.  The idea of using electronic-communication
technology to facilitate communications among members and with
the Secretariat was also discussed.  Members suggested having the
Bureau of the Committee meet with the Secretariat, in advance of
sessions, in order to plan the work.  The need to emphasize
analytical rather than clarificatory questions was advanced.  It
was noted that not all members had provided the pre-session
Working Group with questions that could be taken into account in
preparing the questions sent to the reporting States.  One member
suggested that the report of the pre-session Working Group be
reviewed before the questions were sent to the respective States.

Another suggestion put forward was that, in order to allow
adequate time for organizational matters, no reports should be
considered on the first day of the session.

800.      Many members emphasized the need to provide orientation
to newly elected members.  It was suggested that some form of
orientation manual be prepared, that communications with new
members commence during the year of their election and that time
be set aside at the beginning of the session during which new
members were welcomed in order to provide orientation.

801.      Most members expressed concern about the quality of
servicing provided to the Committee.  One member stated that the
servicing had been the worst in the history of the Committee. 
Others noted that the transfer of the Division for the
Advancement of Women from Vienna had hampered servicing.  In
principle, the Committee should receive the same level and
quality of servicing as other human rights treaty bodies.

802.      It was stated that the Committee had not received
adequate professional support in terms of the legal expertise it
needed; the Chairperson had not been adequately supported by the
Secretariat; and there was insufficient secretarial and other
support.  It was suggested that the Secretary-General establish
an identifiable unit that would work with the Committee
throughout the year, which could provide communication with
members, service initiatives taken by the Chairperson and be a
focal point for requests for information about the Committee and
advisory services.  The importance of filling the now vacant
position, formerly occupied by the Secretary of the Committee,
with a highly qualified professional, was emphasized.  It was
important to know, at the outset of the session, which individual
staff members of the Secretariat had been assigned to what tasks,
so that members could be clear about whom to approach on specific
matters.

803.      Concern was expressed about the speed with which
translations had been made available to the Committee.

804.      The Secretary-General of the Fourth World Conference on
Women, as the official responsible for supervising the work of
the Division for the Advancement of Women as secretariat for the
Committee, replied to questions.  She stressed the changed
political role of the Committee in the aftermath of the World
Conference on Human Rights.  She noted that the problem of
resource levels was common to all units in the United Nations
system dealing with women's issues and that the transfer of the
Division from Vienna had involved logistical problems that had
hampered servicing.  She said that those problems should not be
taken as an excuse for failings in the servicing of the session. 
She had made efforts to improve coordination with the Centre for
Human Rights.  She stated that a specific unit should be created
within the Division for the Advancement of Women to deal with
women's human rights, including the servicing of the Committee. 
That would improve the career prospects of staff and ensure
mobilization of technical support to the Committee.


    A.  Action taken by the Committee on the report of
                      Working Group I

805.      At its 256th meeting, on 3 February, the Committee
considered the report of Working Group I.


        1.  Secretariat servicing of the Committee

806.      The Committee noted that the World Conference on Human
Rights had reaffirmed the role of the Centre for Human Rights in
the coordination of United Nations activities for human rights. 
It also noted the role of the Division for the Advancement of
Women for taking steps to ensure that violations of women's human
rights would be addressed in the human rights regime, including
gender-specific abuses.  It further noted that the Conference had
called for close cooperation between the Centre and the Division.

807.      The Committee looked forward to that closer cooperation
between the two units on the basis of agreed guidelines on
methods of work to ensure that the Committee would be given the
same level of servicing as other human rights treaty bodies and
its work would be included in all publications on human rights. 
The Secretariat should report on cooperation and coordination as
part of its pre-session report on ways and means of improving the
work of the Committee.

808.      The Committee stressed the need to have adequate
resources for this purpose in both organizational units.  It
noted the fact that the servicing of the Committee has always
been absorbed by the Division for the Advancement of Women
without an increase in resources and stressed that, in view of
the growing volume of work and new mandates, the resources
available to the Division for servicing the Committee should be
increased.  Within the structure of the Division an adequately
staffed substructure should be created for servicing the
Committee on a permanent basis.


              2.  Venue of the fourteenth session

809.      The Committee noted that its fourteenth session would
be
held at United Nations Headquarters in 1995.


             3.  Review of the rules of procedure

810.      The rules of procedure of the Committee were originally
drafted in 1981.  In the intervening period the Committee had
adopted, by consensus, a number of new procedures that could be
interpreted as inconsistent with the published rules.  The
Committee had therefore decided, at its twelfth session, to
review the rules of procedure in order to adjust them to its
current procedures.

811.      Following a review of the rules which might need
reformulation, the Committee requested the Secretariat to prepare
draft revised rules, based on the Committee's current practice,
to be considered by the Committee at its fourteenth session.  The
drafts should address the rules that need to be changed.  The
Secretariat should also make suggestions about possible rules
that would seem desirable in the light of the Committee's current
practices.


       4.  Formulation of Committee comments on the reports
           of States parties

812.      The Committee decided to adopt the practice now
becoming
common in all of the human rights treaty bodies of preparing
concluding comments on the reports of States parties that had
presented them to the Committee, so that those could be reflected
in the report of the Committee.  The following procedures for
preparing those comments were determined.

813.      At the outset of each session, the Chairperson should
designate, for each report, two members of the Committee to draft
concluding comments to be considered for adoption by the
Committee.  To the extent possible, at least one of those
rapporteurs should be from the region of the reporting State. 
For second and subsequent periodic reports, they should consult
with the members of the pre-session working group.

814.      The comments should cover the most important points
raised during the constructive dialogue, emphasizing both
positive aspects of the reports and matters on which the
Committee had expressed concern, and should clearly indicate what
the Committee wished the State party to report on in its next
report.  The comments should be concise.  For second and
subsequent reports, the comments should take into account the
findings of the pre-session working group as well as the
constructive dialogue.

815.      The drafts should be considered in closed meetings of
the Committee scheduled periodically during the session, but at
least one per week.

816.      Once agreed, the concluding comments would be
incorporated into the Committee's report on the consideration of
the State party's report.

817.      One member expressed her reservation regarding the
formulation of concluding comments.


    5.  Reports to be considered at the fourteenth session

818.      Taking into account the criteria that preference should
be given to those States whose reports had been pending for the
longest time, the need to give priority to the consideration of
initial reports, and the desirability of having a balance of
reports in terms of geographic and other factors, the Committee
decided to consider the following reports at its fourteenth
session, in 1995:

     (a)  Initial reports

     Bolivia
     Chile
     Mauritius
     St. Vincent and the Grenadines
     Tunisia
     Uganda

     (b)  Second periodic reports

     Argentina
     Finland
     Peru

     (c)  Third periodic reports

     Norway
     Russian Federation


           6.  Pre-session working group for the fourteenth
session

819.      After consultations among members belonging to the
regional groups concerned, the Committee decided that the pre-
session working group for the fourteenth session should consist
of the following members and alternates:

    Member                                Alternate
      
    Evangelina Garcˇa-Prince              Liliana Gurdulich de
Correa
      (Venezuela)                           (Argentina)
    Salma Khan (Bangladesh)               [open]
    Hanna Beate Sch”pp-Schilling          Pirkko Anneli M„niken
      (Germany)                             (Finland)
    Kongit Sinegiorgis                    Ahoua Ouedraogo
      (Ethiopia)                            (Burkina Faso)

Since there is no current member from Eastern Europe, the working
group will consist of four members.


                7.  Orientation of new members

820. The Committee requested the Secretariat to prepare a brief
orientation manual for new members and to distribute it to them
in advance of the session as well as to other members of the
Committee.


     8.  Organization of the work of the fourteenth session

821. The Committee decided to begin consideration of the reports
of States parties under article 18 from the second day of the
session.


       B.  Plan of activities of the Centre for Human Rights
           of the United Nations Secretariat

822. The Committee, having been provided by the Centre for Human
Rights of the United Nations Secretariat with a draft of its plan
of activities for the implementation of the Vienna Declaration
and Programme of Action, recommended that the plan of activities
be amended in order to strengthen the Centre's work relating to
the human rights of women and its relations with the Committee. 
It decided that those amendments should be transmitted by the
Chairperson of the Committee to the Assistant Secretary-General
for Human Rights.


 C.  Feasibility of preparing an optional protocol to the
Convention

823. At its 258th meeting, on 4 February, on the recommendation
of Working Group III, the Committee adopted suggestion 5, on the
feasibility of preparing an optional protocol to the Convention
(for the text, see chap. I, sect. B).


      VII.  CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE COMMITTEE TO INTERNATIONAL
            CONFERENCES


             A.  Fourth World Conference on Women

824.  The Committee considered the structure and contents of
document CEDAW/C/1994/7, prepared by the Secretariat as an
outline of the compendium on the implementation of the Convention
which the Committee was expected to submit to the Fourth World
Conference on Women, to be held in Beijing in 1995, and possibly
to other meetings as well.  The Committee decided to introduce
changes in the title, structure and contents of the document and
prepared the following text, which also contains some details on
how the document was drawn up.

825.  The Committee decided that the title should be changed to
"Report on progress achieved in the implementation of the
Convention" and that the report should be expanded to include
chapters on the following:

      (a)   Introduction;

      (b)   Origins of the Convention and practices of the
Committee;

      (c)   Interpretation and implementation of the Convention;

      (d)   The future of the Convention and the Committee.

The content of each chapter will be as follows:


                       1.  Introduction

826.  The report will emphasize that:

      (a)   The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women is the first international treaty
embodying the civil, political, social, economic and cultural
rights of women.  It therefore covers the full range of issues
related to the role and position of women in public and private
life and establishes the obligation of States parties to ensure
the full development and advancement of women with the aim of
guaranteeing the enjoyment and exercise of human rights and
fundamental freedoms by women on a basis of equality with men. 
Consequently, the Convention is one of the international human
rights treaties;

      (b)   The Convention not only embodies the rights covered
by
previous international conventions and treaties, but also defines
them in a clearer and more detailed way in order to ensure that
women will be able to exercise those rights.  The Convention thus
contains the basis for policies that States parties should
develop to enable women to enjoy internationally recognized human
rights de facto and not just de jure;

      (c)   The Convention has been ratified by 132 countries. 
Many of those countries have entered reservations.  Reservations
which were entered to articles 2 and 16 are of particular
concern.  Conversely, some countries which have not entered
reservations continue to permit practices which contravene
particular provisions of the Convention;

      (d)   In accordance with article 18 of the Convention, the
States parties have undertaken to submit periodic reports on the
implementation of the Convention for consideration by the
Committee.  As a mechanism for monitoring implementation of the
Convention through a constructive dialogue with States parties
and for making suggestions and general recommendations, the
Committee contributes in a very important way to the advancement
of human rights in keeping with the provisions of the 1993 Vienna
Declaration and Programme of Action, with economic, social and
cultural development in accordance with the conclusions of the
World Summit for Social Development, and with the advancement of
women, as provided for in the 1985 Nairobi Forward-looking
Strategies for the Advancement of Women;

      (e)   In the light of the foregoing, the Convention is of
special importance to the Fourth World Conference on Women.  The
report should illustrate the importance of the Convention to the
Fourth World Conference.  The Conference will give an impetus to
the promotion of internationally recognized human rights and
freedoms and will reactivate the enforcement of the provisions of
the Convention.  The Conference should encourage universal
ratification of the Convention and the withdrawal of reservations
entered with respect to it.


  2.  Origins of the Convention and practices of the Committee

827.  This chapter should be drafted in accordance with the text
of document CEDAW/C/1994/7.


    3.  Interpretation and implementation of the Convention

828.  This chapter shall consist of three parts:

      (a)   A concise explanation of how the content of the
Committee's recommendations, which has been expanded and made
more specific, has developed.  It should be noted that, while
some of the recommendations refer to the format for the
presentation of reports of States parties (recommendations 1, 2,
9 and 11), reservations (recommendation 4), the organization of
the work of the Committee (recommendation 7) and the
dissemination of the Convention (recommendation 10), most of them
refer to some of the articles of the Convention.  The
recommendations that cover several articles should be mentioned
and their texts restated in full (recommendations 12 and 19
concerning violence against women and 18 concerning disabled
women);

      (b)   A section on each article, containing the following:

      (i)   The text of the recommendation or recommendations,
            if any, concerning the content of the article;

     (ii)   A comparative analysis of the implementation of
            the article in accordance with the first, second and,
in
            some cases, third reports, based on a representative
            sample of reports of countries in different regions
and at
            various levels of development;

    (iii)   Commentaries on the article, based on:

            Contributions submitted by the members of the
            Committee prior to June 1994;
            
            Reports submitted by States parties;

            Contributions from the specialized agencies (the
            Secretariat should take into account the offers made
by
            the representative of UNESCO to organize meetings of
            experts on some of the articles and by the
            representative of ILO to make technical contributions
            in the areas of its competence);

            Contributions from non-governmental organizations.


      4.  The future of the Convention and the Committee

829.  In this chapter, the Secretariat should include a reference
to the Committee's proposals regarding an optional protocol and
the programme of activities of the Centre for Human Rights.  In
any case, the chapter should refer to:

      (a)   The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,
adopted
in June 1993 by the World Conference on Human Rights, in which it
is stipulated that the human rights of women and of the girl
child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of
universal human rights.  Accordingly, the human rights of women
should form an integral part of the United Nations human rights
activities, especially the promotion of the Convention and the
analysis, from a gender perspective, of the implementation of the
other international human rights treaties;

      (b)   Governments and intergovernmental and
non-governmental
organizations should intensify their efforts for the protection
and promotion of the human rights of women and the girl child, on
the basis of the Convention and the work of the Committee;

      (c)   The United Nations should further the aim of
achieving,
by the year 2000, universal ratification of the Convention, and
should urge States to withdraw all reservations contrary to the
purposes of the Convention or incompatible with international
treaty law;

      (d)   General recommendation 19 of the Committee and
information provided by States parties to the Committee on the
issue of violence against women should be taken into account in
the mandate and activities of the Special Rapporteur on violence
against women;

      (e)   In order to achieve these objectives, it is essential
for all women in the world, as soon as possible, to become aware
and to make use of the Convention in defending their rights.  To
that end, various actions are needed:

      (i)   The United Nations should ensure that the Convention
            and the general recommendations of the Committee
            are translated into all languages and widely
disseminated;

     (ii)  The Convention should be included in all United
Nations
           programmes for the dissemination and teaching of
           human rights;

    (iii)  Those persons within the Governments of States parties

           who are responsible for the implementation of the
           Convention should receive training in its content, and
           its consideration by the academic community should be
           encouraged.

830.  The Secretariat should send the draft of the report to the
members of the Committee prior to October 1994.


     B.  International Conference on Population and Development

831.  At its 258th meeting, on 4 February, the Committee, on the
basis of the report of Working Group III, adopted suggestion 6,
containing its suggestion to the International Conference on
Population and Development (for the text, see chap I, sect. B).


              C.  World Summit for Social Development

832.  The forthcoming World Summit for Social Development and
ways
in which the Committee should be involved therein were considered
by Working Group II.  It had before it a report of the Secretary-
General which contained types of recommendations that could be
considered by the Summit (A/CONF.166/PC/6).   The following
recommendations emerged from the discussion.

833.  The Group took the view that the final document to be
adopted by the Summit should take a gender approach to be
reflected in all the texts.  In addition, it should develop more
thoroughly a section highlighting the importance of improving the
status of women and giving adequate consideration to their needs
in social development strategies.  The Group also emphasized that
the Summit and the document should take into account the serious
social problems caused by adjustment policies, and the
increasingly negative impact of such policies on the status of
women.  International financial institutions developing and
imposing structural adjustment programmes, and Governments
implementing those programmes, needed to pay attention to those
facts and to formulate and implement differentiated measures to
alleviate the impact of such programmes on women and children. 
It was stated that the Summit could not fail to discuss the
responsibility of the developed countries, in terms of an ethical
and political approach, in connection with the possibilities of
and limits to social development in the developing countries.

834.  The Group thought it highly desirable for the Committee to
participate not only in the Summit, but also in the preparatory
meetings to be held in New York in January-February 1994, August-
September 1994, and January 1995.  Two members of the Committee
should participate in those preparatory meetings, one
representing the developed countries, the other representing the
developing countries.  The purpose of their participation would
be to follow the Summit with a view to helping States to
understand that the Convention is an important normative
instrument that may offer effective guidelines in social
development initiatives, and that implementation of the
Convention is indispensable to social development.

835.  With an eye to the possibility that the Committee members
might participate in the first preparatory meeting, the Working
Group prepared a set of suggestions based on the examination of
the report of the Secretary-General.   The text of those
suggestions is set out below.

836.  Both meanings of the concept "social development" should
include a clear understanding of the importance of women's issues
to social development.  Among the aspects of the human condition
to be addressed is the problem of distribution of work between
women and men which obtains in many societies.  When women bear
the greater burden of work, there is social injustice.  Only when
women achieve equality in all aspects of life, including an
equitable distribution of work between men and women, will a
model of society which is more efficient and more just be
achieved.

Overview of the social situation

837.  In relation to poverty, to add to their plight, many women
suffer from a lack of power and status within the family.  Some
of the obstacles they must overcome to achieve equality with men
in private life are set out in general recommendation 21 of the
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. 
Violence against women in both their public and private lives is
a widespread and serious problem affecting their ability to
participate at all levels and in all sectors of society. 
Examination of States parties' reports to the Committee on the
Elimination of Discrimination against Women demonstrates that
violence against women seriously affects their ability to
participate fully in public and family life.

Social integration

838.  An examination of States parties' reports to the Committee
on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women demonstrates
that structural adjustments in some economies have had a serious
impact on women's ability to participate in the workforce and as
equal members of society.  It is rare too that Governments move
resolutely to work towards de facto equality for women. 
Education policy must strike an appropriate balance in
particular, abolishing gender stereotyping so that women are
portrayed as valued members of society.  Traditionally, because
they must care for their families as well as earn an income, and
more recently because of the impact of structural adjustments in
many countries, women play a significant role in the informal
sector.  Women in all societies continue to bear a
disproportionate and inequitable burden of work, continuing to
care for the family and contribute to its income, and in a
significant proportion of families are sole breadwinners.

Poverty and employment

839.  Structural readjustments in many economies have aggravated
the problem of dissolution of households, and compounded the
poverty of large numbers of women and the children for whom they
care.  Current efforts to assist families have not been fully
adequate for protecting women who support households, frequently
without financial assistance.  With regard to employment, women
who are themselves members of specific groups and who have
particular roles to play in their support have particular
requirements for active employment policies.

Types of recommendations that could be considered by the Summit

840.  The World Conference on Human Rights urged the full and
equal enjoyment by women of all human rights and that this be a
priority for Governments and for the United Nations.  The
Conference also underlined the importance of the integration and
full participation of women as both agents and beneficiaries in
the development process and reiterated objectives established on
global action for women towards sustainable and equitable
development.


    VIII.  PROVISIONAL AGENDA FOR THE FOURTEENTH SESSION OF
           THE COMMITTEE


841.  The Committee considered the provisional agenda for its
fourteenth session (agenda item 7), at its 238th meeting, on 19
January.

842.  The Deputy Director of the Division for the Advancement of
Women introduced the proposed agenda (CEDAW/C/1994/6, annex II).

843.  On the basis of the report of Working Group I, the
Committee
decided, at its 256th meeting, to approve the following
provisional agenda:

     1.  Opening of the session.

     2.  Solemn declaration by new members of the Committee.

     3.  Election of officers.

     4.  Adoption of the agenda and organization of work.

     5.  Background report of the Chairperson on the activities
         undertaken during the year.

     6.  Consideration of reports submitted by States parties
         under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of
All
         Forms of Discrimination against Women.

         Documentation

         Report of the Secretary-General on the status of
         submission of reports by States parties under article 18
         of the Convention

         Reports of States parties to be considered at the
         fourteenth session

     7.  Implementation of article 21 of the Convention on the
         Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
Women.

         Documentation

         Note by the Secretary-General on reports provided by
         specialized agencies

         Report of the Secretary-General:  analysis of article 2
         of the Convention

         Report of the Secretary-General on the implications for
         the work of the Committee of the priority themes of the
         Commission on the Status of Women

     8.  Ways and means of expediting the work of the Committee.

         Documentation

         Report of the Secretary-General on ways and means of
         expediting the work of the Committee

     9.  Consideration of the report of the fifth meeting of
         persons chairing the human rights treaty bodies and
         action taken by the General Assembly concerning treaty
         bodies.

         Documentation
         
         Report of the fifth meeting of persons chairing the
         human rights treaty bodies

    10.  Contribution of the Committee to forthcoming
         international conferences.

         Documentation

         Report of the Secretary-General transmitting the draft
of
         the compendium on the implementation of the Convention
on
         the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
         Women.



                  IX.  ADOPTION OF THE REPORT

844.  At its 259th meeting, on 4 February 1994, the Committee
adopted
the report on its thirteenth session (CEDAW/C/1994/L.1 and
Add.1-16),
as orally amended.


                             Notes

     1/  See Report of the World Conference to Review and
Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women:

Equality, Development and Peace, Nairobi, 15-26 July 1985 (United
Nations publications, Sales No. E.85.IV.10), chap. I, sect. A.

     2/  A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.

     3/  See Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-
seventh Session, Supplement No. 38 (A/47/38), chap. I.

     4/  A/CONF.157/24 (Part II), chap. III, sect. II, para. 40.

     5/  Ibid., sect. I, para. 18.

     6/  Ibid., sect. II, para. 5.

     7/  See Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-
fifth Session, Supplement No. 38 and corrigendum (A/45/38 and
Corr.1), paras. 28-31.

     8/  At its tenth session, the Committee had decided that, if
States parties whose reports were overdue by the conclusion of
that session so wished, they could submit a combined report to
the Committee and that such reports should be numbered by the
Secretariat in a way that facilitated their identification
(Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-sixth Session,
Supplement No 38 (A/46/38), para. 370).

     9/  Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-eighth
Session, Supplement No. 38 (A/48/38), chap. I, sect. B.

     10/ See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council,
1993, Supplement No. 3 (E/1993/23), chap. II.A.

                             Annex IV

   STATUS OF SUBMISSION AND CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY
    STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 18 OF THE CONVENTION ON THE
    ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN AS
                          AT 4 FEBRUARY 1994

______________________________________________________________________________
States parties     Date due*           Date of submission        Considered
                                                                 by Committee
                                                                (session/year)
______________________________________________________________________________

            A.  Initial reports due and submitted as at 4 February 1994

Angola           17 October 1987

Antigua and
 Barbuda         31 August 1990

Argentina        14 August 1986      6 October 1986            Seventh (1988)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.39)

Australia        27 August 1984      3 October 1986            Seventh (1988)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.40)

Austria          30 April 1983       20 October 1983           Fourth (1985)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.17)

Bangladesh       6 December 1985     12 March 1986             Sixth (1987)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.34)

Barbados         3 September 1982    11 April 1990             Eleventh
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.64)        (1992)

Belarus          3 September 1982    4 October 1982            Second (1983)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.5)

Belgium          9 August 1986       20 July 1987              Eighth (1989)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.53)

Belize           15 June 1991

Benin            11 April 1993

Bhutan           30 September 1982

Bolivia          8 July 1991         8 July 1991
                                     (CEDAW/C/BOL/1)
                                     26 August 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/BOL/1/Add.1)

Brazil           2 March 1985

Bulgaria         10 March 1983       13 June 1983              Fourth (1985)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.15)

Burkina Faso     13 November 1988    24 May 1990               Tenth (1991)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.67)

Burundi          7 February 1993

Cambodia         14 November 1993

Canada           9 January 1983      15 July 1983              Fourth (1985)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.16)

Cape Verde       3 September 1982

Central African
 Republic        21 July 1992

Chile            6 January 1991      3 September 1991
                                     (CEDAW/C/CHI/1)

China            3 September 1982    25 May 1983               Third (1984)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.14)

Colombia         18 February 1983    16 January 1986           Sixth (1987)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.32)

Congo            25 August 1983

Costa Rica       4 May 1987

Croatia          9 October 1993

Cuba             3 September 1982    27 September 1982         Second (1983)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.4)

Cyprus           22 August 1986      2 February 1994
                                     (CEDAW/C/CYP/1-2)

Denmark          21 May 1984         30 July 1984              Fifth (1986)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.22)

Dominica         3 September 1982

Dominican        2 October 1983      2 May 1986                Seventh (1988)
 Republic                            (CEDAW/C/5/Add.37)

Ecuador          9 December 1982     14 August 1984            Fifth (1986)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.23)

Egypt            18 October 1982     2 February 1983           Third (1984)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.10)

El Salvador      18 September 1982   3 November 1983           Fifth (1986)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.19)

Equatorial       22 November 1985    16 March 1987             Eighth (1989)
 Guinea                              (CEDAW/C/5/Add.50)

Estonia          20 November 1992

Ethiopia         10 October 1982     22 April 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/ETH/1-3)

Finland          4 October 1987      16 February 1988          Eighth (1989)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.56)

France           13 January 1985     13 February 1986          Sixth (1987)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.33)

Gabon            20 February 1984    19 June 1987              Eighth (1989)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.54)

Germany          9 August 1986       15 September 1988         Ninth (1990)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.59)

Ghana            1 February 1987     29 January 1991           Eleventh
                                     (CEDAW/C/GHA/1-2)         (1992)

Greece           7 July 1984         5 April 1985              Sixth (1987)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.28)

Grenada          29 September 1991

Guatemala        11 September 1983   2 April 1991              Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/GUA/1-2 and Corr.1)  (1994)
                                     7 April 1993              Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/GUA/1-2/Amend.1)  (1994)

Guinea           8 September 1983

Guinea-Bissau    22 September 1986

Guyana           3 September 1982    23 January 1990           Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.63)        (1994)

Haiti            3 September 1982

Honduras         2 April 1984        3 December 1986           Eleventh
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.44)        (1992)

Hungary          3 September 1982    20 September 1982         Third (1984)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.3)

Iceland          18 July 1986        5 May 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/ICE/1-2)

Indonesia        13 October 1985     17 March 1986             Seventh (1988)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.36)

Iraq             12 September 1987   16 May 1990               Twelvth (1993)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.66/Rev.1)

Ireland          22 January 1987     18 February 1987          Eighth (1989)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.47)

Israel           2 November 1992     12 January 1994
                                     (CEDAW/C/ISR/1)

Italy            10 July 1986        20 October 1989           Tenth (1991)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.62)

Jamaica          18 November 1985    12 September 1986         Seventh (1988)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.38)

Japan            25 July 1986        13 March 1987             Seventh (1988)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.48)

Jordan           31 July 1993

Kenya            8 April 1985        4 December 1990           Twelfth (1993)
                                     (CEDAW/C/KEN/1-2)

Lao People's     13 September 1982
 Democratic
 Republic

Latvia           14 May 1993

Liberia          16 August 1985

Libyan Arab      15 June 1990        18 February 1991          Thirteenth
 Jamahiriya                          (CEDAW/C/LIB/1)           (1994)
                                     4 October 1993            Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/LIB/1/Add.1)     (1994)

Luxembourg       4 March 1990

Madagascar       16 April 1990       21 May 1990
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.65)
                                     8 November 1993           Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.65/Rev.2)  (1994)

Malawi           11 April 1988       15 July 1988              Ninth (1990)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.58)

Mali             10 October 1986     13 November 1986          Seventh (1988)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.43)

Malta            7 April 1992

Mauritius        8 August 1985       23 February 1992
                                     (CEDAW/C/MAR/1-2)

Mexico           3 September 1982    14 September 1982         Second (1983)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.2)

Mongolia         3 September 1982    18 November 1983          Fifth (1986)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.20)

Namibia          23 December 1993

Nepal            22 May 1992

Netherlands      22 August 1992      19 November 1992          )
                                     (CEDAW/C/NET/1)           )
                                     17 September 1993         )
                                     CEDAW/C/NET/1/Add.1       Thirteenth
                                     20 September 1993         (1994)
                                     (CEDAW/C/NET/1/Add.2)     )
                                     9 October 1993            )
                                     CEDAW/C/NET/1/Add.3

New Zealand      9 February 1986     3 October 1986            Seventh (1988)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.41)

Nicaragua        26 November 1982    22 September 1987         Eighth (1989)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.55)

Nigeria          13 July 1986        1 April 1987              Seventh (1987)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.49)

Norway           3 September 1982    18 November 1982          Third (1984)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.7)

Panama           28 November 1982    12 December 1982          Fourth (1985)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.9)

Paraguay         6 May 1988          4 June 1992
                                     (CEDAW/C/PAR/1-2)

Peru             13 October 1983     14 September 1988         Ninth (1990)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.60)

Philippines      4 September 1982    22 October 1982           Third (1984)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.6)

Poland           3 September 1982    10 October 1985           Sixth (1987)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.31)

Portugal         3 September 1982    19 July 1983              Fifth (1986)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.21)

Republic of      26 January 1986     13 March 1986             Sixth (1987)
 Korea                               (CEDAW/C/5/Add.35)

Romania          6 February 1983     14 January 1987           Twelfth (1993)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.45)

Russian
Russian          3 September 1982    2 March 1983              Second (1983)
 Federation                          (CEDAW/C/5/Add.12)

Rwanda           3 September 1982    24 May 1983               Third (1984)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.13)

Saint Kitts      25 May 1986
 and Nevis

Saint Lucia      7 November 1983

Saint Vincent
 and the
 Grenadines      3 September 1982    27 September 1991
                                     (CEDAW/C/STV/1-3)

Samoa            25 October 1993

Senegal          7 March 1986        5 November 1986           Seventh (1988)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.42)

Seychelles       4 June 1993

Sierra Leone     11 December 1989

Slovenia         5 August 1993       23 November 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/SVN/1)

Spain            4 February 1985     20 August 1985            Sixth (1987)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.30)

Sri Lanka        4 November 1982     7 July 1985               Sixth (1987)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.29)

Sweden           3 September 1982    22 October 1982           Second (1983)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.8)

Thailand         8 September 1986    1 June 1987               Ninth (1990)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.51)

Togo             26 October 1984

Trinidad         11 February 1991
 and Tobago

Tunisia          20 October 1986     17 September 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/TUN/1)

Turkey           19 January 1987     27 January 1987           Ninth (1990)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.46)

Uganda           21 August 1986      1 June 1992
                                     (CEDAW/C/UGA/1-2)

Ukraine          3 September 1982    2 March 1983              Second (1983)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.11)

United Kingdom
 of Great Britain
 and Northern
 Ireland         7 May 1987          25 June 1987              Ninth (1990)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.52)

United Republic
 of Tanzania     19 September 1986   9 March 1988              Ninth (1990)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.57)

Uruguay          8 November 1982     23 November 1984          Seventh (1988)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.27)

Venezuela        1 June 1984         27 August 1984            Fifth (1986)
                                       (CEDAW/C/5/Add.24)

Viet Nam         19 March 1983       2 October 1984            Fifth (1986)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.25)

Yemen            29 June 1985        23 January 1989           Twelfth (1993)
                                       (CEDAW/C/5/Add.61)

Yugoslavia       28 March 1983       3 November 1983           Fourth (1985)
                                     (CEDAW/C/5/Add.18)

Zaire            16 November 1987

Zambia           21 July 1986        6 March 1991              Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/ZAM/1-2)         (1994)

Zimbabwe         12 June 1992


     B.  Second periodic reports due and submitted as at 4 February 1994

Angola           17 October 1991

Argentina        14 August 1990      13 February 1992
                                     (CEDAW/C/ARG/2)

Australia        27 August 1988      24 July 1992              Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/AUL/2)           (1994)

Austria          30 April 1987       18 December 1989          Tenth (1991)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.27)

Bangladesh       6 December 1989     23 February 1990          Twelfth (1993)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.30)

Barbados         3 September 1986    4 December 1991           Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/BAR/2-3)         (1994)

Belarus          3 September 1986    3 March 1987              Eighth (1989)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.5)

Belgium          9 August 1990       9 February 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/BEL/2)

Bhutan           30 September 1986

Brazil           2 March 1989

Bulgaria         10 March 1987

Burkina Faso     13 November 1992

Canada           9 January 1987      20 January 1988           Ninth (1990)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.11)

Cape Verde       3 September 1986

China            3 September 1986    22 June 1989              Eleventh
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.26)       (1992)

Colombia         18 February 1987    14 January 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/COL/2-3)
                                     2 September 1993          Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/COL/2-3/Rev.1)  (1994)

Congo            25 August 1987

Costa Rica       4 May 1991

Cuba             3 September 1986    13 March 1992
                                     (CEDAW/C/CUB/2-3)

Cyprus           22 August 1990

Denmark          21 May 1988         2 June 1988               Tenth (1991)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.14)

Dominica         3 September 1986

Dominican
 Republic        2 October 1987      26 April 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/DOM/2-3)

Ecuador          9 December 1986     28 May 1990               Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.31)       (1994)

Egypt            18 October 1986     19 December 1986          Ninth (1990)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.2)

El Salvador      18 September 1986   18 December 1987          Eleventh
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.12)       (1992)

Equatorial
 Guinea          22 November 1989    6 January 1994
                                     (CEDAW/C/GNQ/2-3)

Ethiopia         10 October 1986     22 April 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/ETH/1-3)

Finland          4 October 1991      9 February 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/FIN/2)

France           13 January 1989     10 December 1990
                                     (CEDAW/C/FRA/2)
                                     (CEDAW/C/FRA/2/Rev.1)     Twelfth (1993)

Gabon            20 February 1988

Germany          9 August 1990

Ghana            1 February 1991     29 January 1991           Eleventh
                                     (CEDAW/C/GHA/1-2)         (1992)

Greece           7 July 1988

Guatemala        11 September 1987   2 April 1991              Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/GUA/1-2 and Corr.1)  (1994)
                                     7 April 1993              Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/GUA/1-2/Amend.1)     (1994)

Guinea           8 September 1987

Guinea-Bissau    22 September 1990

Guyana           3 September 1986

Haiti            3 September 1986

Honduras         2 April 1988        28 October 1987           Eleventh
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.9)        (1992)

Hungary          3 September 1986    29 September 1986         Seventh
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.1)        (1988)

Iceland          18 July 1990        5 May 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/ICE/1-2)

Indonesia        13 October 1989

Iraq             12 September 1991

Ireland          22 January 1991

Italy            10 July 1990

Jamaica          18 November 1989

Japan            25 July 1990        21 February 1992          Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/JPN/2)           (1994)

Kenya            8 April 1989        4 December 1990           Twelfth (1993)
                                     (CEDAW/C/KEN/1-2)

Lao People's
 Democratic
 Republic        13 September 1986

Liberia          16 August 1989

Malawi           11 April 1992

Mali             10 October 1990

Mauritius        8 August 1989       23 February 1992
                                     (CEDAW/C/MAR/1-2)

Mexico           3 September 1986    3 December 1987           Ninth (1990)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.10)

Mongolia         3 September 1986    17 March 1987             Ninth (1990)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.7)

New Zealand      9 February 1990     3 November 1992           Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/NZE/2)           (1994)
                                     27 October 1993           Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/NZE/2/Add.1)     (1994)

Nicaragua        26 November 1986    16 March 1989             Twelfth (1993)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.20)

Nigeria          13 July 1990

Norway           3 September 1986    23 June 1988              Tenth (1991)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.15)

Panama           28 November 1986

Paraguay         6 May 1992          4 June 1992
                                     (CEDAW/C/PAR/1-2)

Peru             13 October 1987     13 February 1990
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.29)

Philippines      4 September 1986    12 December 1988          Tenth (1991)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.17)

Poland           3 September 1986    17 November 1988          Tenth (1991)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.16)

Portugal         3 September 1986    18 May 1989               Tenth (1991)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.22)

Republic of
 Korea           26 January 1990     19 December 1989          Twelfth (1993)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.28 and Corr.1)

Romania          6 February 1987     19 October 1992           Twelfth (1993)
                                     (CEDAW/C/ROM/2-3)

Russian
 Federation      3 September 1986    10 February 1987          Eighth (1989)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.4)

Rwanda           3 September 1986    7 March 1988              Tenth (1991)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.13)

Saint Kitts
 and Nevis       25 May 1990

Saint Lucia      7 November 1987

Saint Vincent
 and the
 Grenadines      3 September 1986    27 September 1991
                                     (CEDAW/C/STV/1-3)

Senegal          7 March 1990        23 September 1991         Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/SEN/2)           (1994)
                                     (CEDAW/C/SEN/2/Amend.1)

Sierra Leone     11 December 1993

Spain            4 February 1989     9 February 1989           Eleventh
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.19)       (1992)

Sri Lanka        4 November 1986     29 December 1988          Eleventh
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.18)       (1992)

Sweden           3 September 1986    10 March 1987             Seventh (1988)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.6)

Thailand         8 September 1990

Togo             26 October 1988

Tunisia          20 October 1990

Turkey           19 January 1991     7 February 1994
                                     (CEDAW/C/TUR/2)

Uganda           21 August 1990      1 June 1992
                                     (CEDAW/C/UGA/1-2)

Ukraine          3 September 1986    13 August 1987            Ninth (1990)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.8)

United Kingdom
 of Great Britain
 and Northern
 Ireland         7 May 1991          11 May 1991               Twelfth (1993)
                                     (CEDAW/C/UK/2)
                                     (CEDAW/C/UK/2/Amend.1)

United Republic
 of Tanzania     19 September 1990

Uruguay          8 November 1986

Venezuela        1 June 1988         18 April 1989             Eleventh
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.21)       (1992)

Viet Nam         19 March 1987

Yemen            29 June 1989        8 June 1989               Twelfth (1993)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.24)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.24/Amend.1)

Yugoslavia       28 March 1987       31 May 1989               Tenth (1991)
                                     (CEDAW/C/13/Add.23)

Zaire            16 November 1991

Zambia           21 July 1990        6 March 1991              Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/ZAM/1-2)         (1994)


   C.  Third periodic reports due and submitted as at 4 February 1994

Australia        27 August 1992

Austria          30 April 1991

Bangladesh       6 December 1993     26 January 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/BDG/3)

Barbados         3 September 1990    4 December 1991           Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/BAR/2-3)         (1994)

Belarus          3 September 1990    1 July 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/BLR/3)

Bhutan           30 September 1990

Brazil           2 March 1993

Bulgaria         10 March 1991

Canada           9 January 1991      9 September 1992
                                     (CEDAW/C/CAN/3)

Cape Verde       3 September 1990

China            3 September 1990

Colombia         18 February 1991    14 January 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/COL/2-3)
                                     2 September 1993          Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/COL/2-3/Rev.1)  (1994)

Congo            25 August 1991

Cuba             3 September 1990    13 March 1992
                                     (CEDAW/C/CUB/2-3)

Denmark          21 May 1992         7 May 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/DEN/3)

Dominica         3 September 1990

Dominican
 Republic        2 October 1991      26 April 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/DOM/2-3)

Ecuador          9 December 1990     23 December 1991          Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/ECU/3)           (1994)

Egypt            18 October 1990

El Salvador      18 September 1990

Equatorial
 Guinea          22 November 1993

Ethiopia         10 October 1990     22 April 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/ETH/1-3)

France           13 January 1993

Gabon            20 February 1992

Greece           7 July 1992

Guatemala        11 September 1991

Guinea           8 September 1991

Guyana           3 September 1990

Haiti            3 September 1990

Honduras         2 April 1992        31 May 1991               Eleventh
                                     (CEDAW/C/HON/3)           (1992)

Hungary          3 September 1990    4 April 1991
                                     (CEDAW/C/HUN/3)

Indonesia        13 October 1993

Jamaica          18 November 1993

Japan            25 July 1994        28 October 1993           Thirteenth
                                     (CEDAW/C/JPN/3)           (1994)

Kenya            8 April 1993

Lao People's
 Democratic
 Republic        13 September 1990

Liberia          16 August 1993

Mauritius        8 August 1993

Mexico           3 September 1990    1 December 1992
                                     (CEDAW/C/MEX/3)

Mongolia         3 September 1990

Nicaragua        26 November 1990    15 October 1992           Twelfth (1993)
                                     (CEDAW/C/NIC/3)

Norway           3 September 1990    25 January 1991
                                     (CEDAW/C/NOR/3)

Panama           28 November 1990

Peru             13 October 1991

Philippines      4 September 1990    20 January 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/PHI/3)

Poland           3 September 1990    22 November 1990          Tenth (1991)
                                     (CEDAW/C/18/Add.2)

Portugal         3 September 1990    10 December 1990          Tenth (1991)
                                     (CEDAW/C/18/Add.3)

Republic of
 Korea           26 January 1994

Romania          6 February 1991     19 October 1992           Twelfth (1993)
                                     (CEDAW/C/ROM/2-3)

Russian
 Federation      3 September 1990    24 July 1991
                                     (CEDAW/C/USR/3)

Rwanda           3 September 1990    18 January 1991           Twelfth (1993)
                                     (CEDAW/C/RWA/3)

Saint Lucia      7 November 1991

Saint Vincent
 and the
 Grenadines      3 September 1990    27 September 1991
                                     (CEDAW/C/STV/1-3)

Spain            4 February 1993

Sri Lanka        4 November 1990

Sweden           3 September 1990    3 October 1990            Twelfth (1993)
                                     (CEDAW/C/18/Add.1)

Togo             26 October 1992

Ukraine          3 September 1990    31 May 1991
                                     (CEDAW/C/UKR/3)

Uruguay          8 November 1990

Venezuela        1 June 1992

Viet Nam         19 March 1991

Yemen            29 June 1993        13 November 1992          Twelfth (1993)
                                     (CEDAW/C/YEM/3)

Yugoslavia       28 March 1991


          D.  Reports submitted on an exceptional basis

Bosnia and Herzegovina               1 February 1994           Thirteenth
                                     oral report               (1994)
                                     (see CEDAW/C/SR.253)

Federal Republic of
 Yugoslavia
 (Serbia and Montenegro)             2 December 1993
                                     (CEDAW/C/YUG/SP.1)
                                     2 February 1994           Thirteenth
                                     oral report               (1994)
                                     (see CEDAW/C/SR.254)
___________________________________________________________________________


     *    One year prior to the due date, the Secretary-General invites the
State party to submit its report.

                              -----

 


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Date last posted: 15 February 2000 14:26:35
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