United Nations

A/52/38/Rev.1


General Assembly

 
12 August 1997
ENGLISH
ORIGINAL: ENGLISH/FRENCH/SPANISH


                                United Nations

                        Report of the Committee on the
                 Elimination of Discrimination against Women


                             (Sixteenth session)



                               General Assembly

                   Official Records - Fifty-second Session
                        Supplement No.38 (A/52/38/Rev.1)


                        Report of the Committee on the
                 Elimination of Discrimination against Women


                            (Sixteenth session)




                              General Assembly
                    Official Records - Fifty-second Session
                       Supplement No.38 (A/52/38/Rev.1)


                       United Nations - New York, 1997


                                    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 designations employed and the presentation of the material
in this document do not imply the 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.

                               ISSN 0255-0970




                                        

                                        


                                  CONTENTS

               Part One:  Report of the Committee on the Elimination
                          of Discrimination against Women on its
                          sixteenth session

Chapter                                                  Paragraphs   Page

      LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL ............................................x

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

      A.  Decisions ....................................................1

          Decision 16/I ................................................1

          Decision 16/II ...............................................1

          Decision 16/III ..............................................1

      B.  Suggestions ..................................................1

          Suggestion 16/1 ..............................................1

          Suggestion 16/2 ..............................................2

 II.  ORGANIZATIONAL AND OTHER MATTERS .....................    1 - 31  3

      A.  States parties to the Convention on the
          Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
          Women ............................................    1 - 2   3

      B.  Opening of the session ...........................    3 - 9    3

      C.  Attendance .......................................   10 - 11   4

      D.  Solemn declaration ...............................     12      4

      E.  Election of officers .............................     13      5

      F.  Adoption of the agenda and organization of work ..     14      5

      G.  Report of the pre-session working group ..........   15 - 28   5

      H.  Composition and organization of work of the 
          working groups ...................................   29 - 31   8

III.  REPORT OF THE CHAIRPERSON ON THE ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN
      BETWEEN THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH SESSIONS OF THE
      COMMITTEE ............................................   32 - 41   9

 IV.  CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
      UNDER ARTICLE 18 OF THE CONVENTION ...................   42 - 351 11

      A.  Introduction .....................................   42 - 44  11

      B.  Consideration of reports of States parties .......   45 - 351 11

          1.  Initial reports ..............................   45 - 122 11

              Morocco ......................................   45 - 80  11

              Slovenia .....................................   81 - 122 15

          2.  Combined initial, second and third periodic
              reports ......................................  123 - 150 21

              Saint Vincent and the Grenadines .............  123 - 150 21

          3.  Combined second and third periodic reports ...  151 - 206 24

              Turkey .......................................  151 - 206 24

          4.  Third periodic reports .......................  207 - 274 30

              Venezuela ....................................  207 - 247 30

              Denmark ......................................  248 - 274 34

          5.  Combined third and fourth periodic reports ...  275 - 343 38

              Philippines ..................................  275 - 305 38

              Canada .......................................  306 - 343 42

          6.  Report submitted on an exceptional basis .....  344 - 351 45

              Zaire ........................................  344 - 351 45

  V.  WAYS AND MEANS OF EXPEDITING THE WORK OF THE COMMITTEE  352 - 383 47

      Action taken by the Committee on the report of Working
      Group I ..............................................  354 - 383 47

 VI.  IMPLEMENTATION OF ARTICLE 21 OF THE CONVENTION .......  384 - 394 54

      A.  Action taken by the Committee on the report of
          Working Group II .................................  386 - 388 54

      B.  Statements by senior United Nations officials ....  389 - 394 55

VII.  PROVISIONAL AGENDA FOR THE SEVENTEENTH SESSION .......  395 - 396 57

VIII. ADOPTION OF THE REPORT ...............................     397    58



                                  Part One

        REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION
                   AGAINST WOMEN ON ITS SIXTEENTH SESSION




                            LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL


                                                            31 January 1997

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 sixteenth session from 13 to 31 January 1997 at United Nations
Headquarters.  It adopted its report on the session at its 333rd meeting,
on 31 January.  The report of the Committee is herewith submitted to you
for transmission to the General Assembly at its fifty-second session.

     Accept, Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration.


                                             (Signed)  Salma KHAN          
                                                      Chairperson          
                                            Committee on the Elimination of
                                             Discrimination against Women  

His Excellency Mr. Kofi Annan
Secretary-General of the United Nations
New York

           I.  MATTERS BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF STATES PARTIES


                               A.  Decisions*

                     Decision 16/I.  Concluding comments

     The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
decided that its concluding comments would continue to follow the standard
pattern that it had introduced at its fifteenth session.  Concluding
comments would contain an introduction; a section on factors and
difficulties affecting the implementation of the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, as appropriate; a
section on positive aspects organized in the order of the articles of the
Convention; and a section identifying principal areas of concern, described
in order of the importance of each particular issue in the State party
under consideration.  The final part of the comments, the suggestions and
recommendations, would provide concrete suggestions from the Committee with
regard to the problems identified in the comments.


               Decision 16/II.  Non-governmental organizations

     The Committee decided to invite the United Nations Secretariat to
facilitate an informal meeting with non-governmental organizations outside
the regular meeting time of the Committee.  During that meeting, non-
governmental organizations would be invited to offer country-specific
information on the States parties to be reviewed by the Committee.  The
Committee recommended that States parties consult national non-governmental
organizations in the preparation of their reports required by article 18 of
the Convention.  It recommended that international non-governmental
organizations and United Nations agencies, funds and programmes be
encouraged to facilitate attendance at Committee sessions by
representatives of national non-governmental organizations.  It also
recommended that specialized agencies and other United Nations entities
with field representation work with non-governmental organizations to
disseminate information on the Convention and on the work of the Committee
and to call upon past and present experts of the Committee to participate
in those efforts.


                 Decision 16/III.  Reports of States parties

     In order to address the backlog of reports awaiting consideration and
to encourage States parties to report in a timely fashion, the Committee
decided, on an exceptional basis and as a temporary measure, to invite
States parties to combine a maximum of two of the reports required under
article 18 of the Convention.


                              B.  Suggestions*

              Suggestion 16/1.  Technical and advisory services

     The Committee suggested that the budget of the Centre for Human Rights
of the United Nations Secretariat for technical and advisory services be
made available to promote the Convention and the work of the Committee, and
to facilitate seminars on such issues as reservations.  A small working
group of Committee members would be convened at its seventeenth session to
conceptualize those seminars and, inter alia, to examine funding
requirements.  The Committee further recommended that the expertise of its
past and present experts be drawn upon in that connection.


                 Suggestion 16/2.  Pre-session working group

     The Committee proposed that, starting from its seventeenth session,
its pre-session working group be convened at the end of the session prior
to the one at which selected States parties would report in order to
provide States parties presenting periodic reports with the Committee's
questions well in advance.


* For the discussion, see chap. V below.


                    II.  ORGANIZATIONAL AND OTHER MATTERS


           A.  States parties to the Convention on the Elimination
               of All Forms of Discrimination against Women   

1.   On 31 January 1997, the closing date of the sixteenth session of the
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, there were
155 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 held its sixteenth session at United Nations
Headquarters from 13 to 31 January 1997.  The Committee held 24 plenary
meetings (310th to 333rd), and its two working groups held 7 meetings.

4.   The session was opened by the Chairperson of the Committee,
Ms. Ivanka Corti (Italy), who had been re-elected at the fourteenth session
of the Committee, in January 1995.

5.   In her opening statement, the Director of the Division for the
Advancement of Women welcomed the new members of the Committee elected at
the ninth meeting of the States parties to the Convention, in February
1996, and congratulated the five new members who had been elected at that
meeting.  She expressed her gratitude to the experts whose terms had ended
in 1996.

6.   She said the sixteenth session of the Committee came at an important
time in the life of the United Nations, just after the appointment of the
new Secretary-General and at the beginning of the year that marked the
fiftieth anniversary of the Commission on the Status of Women.  It also
came after an important cycle of United Nations conferences that had
solidified links among all parts of the United Nations system, Member
States, civil society and non-governmental organizations, setting the stage
for further consolidating action and implementation by those actors.

7.   She stated that the Committee was encouraged by the steady increase in
the number of States that had ratified or acceded to the Convention; that
number had reached 155, making universal ratification by the year 2000 an
achievable goal.  Since the fifteenth session, Algeria, Andorra, Botswana
and Pakistan had become States parties.  She explained that although the
Convention continued to be subject to a large number of reservations, some
of which were far-reaching, progress had also been achieved in that regard. 
She referred to General Assembly resolution 51/68 of 12 December 1996, in
which the Assembly urged States to limit the extent of any reservation they
lodged to ensure that no reservations were incompatible with the object and
purpose of the Convention or otherwise incompatible with international
treaty law and to review their reservations regularly, with a view to
withdrawing them.  Referring to the Committee's meeting time as provided in
article 20, paragraph 1, of the Convention, she recalled that the General
Assembly, in its resolution 50/202 of 22 December 1995, had approved an
amendment to that article which was subject to the approval of two thirds
of the States parties to the Convention.  As at 10 January 1997, 11 States
parties had accepted the amendment.  She further explained that in its
resolution 51/68, the General Assembly had approved the Committee's
holding, in the interim, two sessions annually, each of three weeks'
duration.  She informed the Committee that that arrangement would begin
with the seventeenth session of the Committee, which would be held from 7
to 25 July 1997, preceded by a pre-session working group from 30 June to
3 July 1997.

8.   The Director described positive steps that were being taken by the
Secretariat, including encouraging States parties that had not submitted
reports to the Committee to do so in a timely fashion and measures that
would encourage States parties to act in the spirit of the Platform for
Action adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women1 and regularize their
reporting obligations by the year 2000.  She also indicated that concrete
efforts continued to be made to develop a complaints mechanism in the form
of an optional protocol to the Convention.  She recalled that during the
fortieth session of the Commission on the Status of Women, in 1996, an
open-ended working group of the Commission had discussed the elements of
such a protocol, on the basis of suggestion 7 made by the Committee at its
fourteenth session, in 1995.2  The working group would continue its work
during the Commission's forty-first session.

9.   Under agenda item 8, she proposed that the Committee take up, in a
preliminary way, the revised draft of the rules of procedure, which would
then be taken up in detail at the seventeenth session.  The Committee, at
its present session, would discuss the question of its relations with
non-governmental organizations and the working methods of the Committee. 
It would also be considering its working relations with other human rights
treaty bodies, special thematic rapporteurs, including the Special
Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, and
country rapporteurs.  She wished the Committee well in its efforts to
monitor the implementation of the Convention and to develop general
recommendations as an important tool, noting that at the present session it
would continue its drafting of a general recommendation on articles 7 and
8.


                               C.  Attendance

10.  All members of the Committee attended the sixteenth session, with the
exception of Ms. Desiree P. Bernard, Ms. Sunaryati Hartono and
Ms. Kongit Sinegiorgis.  Ms. Mervat Tallawy attended from 17 to 31 January,
Ms. Ginko Sato from 19 to 31 January and Ms. Yung-Chung Kim from
13 to 17 January 1997.

11.  A list of the members of the Committee, indicating the duration of
their terms of office, appears in annex II to the present report.


                           D.  Solemn declaration

12.  At the opening of the sixteenth session, before assuming their
functions, the newly elected members, Ms. Ayse Feride Acar (Turkey),
Ms. Yolanda Ferrer Go'mez (Cuba), Ms. Ai'da Gonza'lez Marti'nez (Mexico),
Ms. Yung-Chung Kim (Republic of Korea) and Ms. Anne Lise Ryel (Norway), and
five of the six re-elected members, Ms. Carlota Bustelo (Spain),
Ms. Silvia R. Cartwright (New Zealand), Ms. Salma Khan (Bangladesh),
Ms. Ahoua Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso) and Ms. Hanna Beate Scho"pp-Schilling
(Germany), made the solemn declaration as provided for under rule 10 of the
rules of procedure of the Committee.  Being absent from the sixteenth
session, Ms. Kongit Sinegiorgis (Ethiopia) was unable to make the solemn
declaration.


                          E.  Election of officers

13.  At its 310th meeting, on 13 January 1997, the Committee elected the
following officers for a term of two years (1997-1998) by acclamation, in
accordance with article 19 of the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of  Discrimination against Women and rules 13 and 14 of the
Committee's rules of procedure:  Ms. Salma Khan (Bangladesh), Chairperson;
Ms. Charlotte Abaka (Ghana), Ms. Carlota Bustelo (Spain) and Ms. Miriam
Estrada (Ecuador), Vice-Chairpersons; and Ms. Aurora Javate de Dios
(Philippines), Rapporteur.


             F.  Adoption of the agenda and organization of work

14.  The Committee considered the provisional agenda and organization of
work (CEDAW/C/1997/1) at its 310th meeting, on 13 January 1997.  The agenda
as adopted was as follows:

      1.  Opening of the session.

      2.  Solemn declaration by the new members of the Committee.

      3.  Election of officers.

      4.  Adoption of the agenda and organization of work.

      5.  Report of the Chairperson on the activities undertaken between
          the fifteenth and sixteenth sessions of the Committee and
          consideration of the report of the seventh meeting of persons
          chairing the human rights treaty bodies and action taken by the
          General Assembly concerning treaty bodies.

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

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

      8.  Ways and means of expediting the work of the Committee.

      9.  Provisional agenda for the seventeenth session.

     10.  Adoption of the report of the Committee on its sixteenth session.


                 G.  Report of the pre-session working group

15.  The Committee had decided, at its ninth session,3 to convene a
pre-session working group for five days before each session to prepare
lists of questions relating to second and subsequent periodic reports that
would be considered by the Committee at the session.  The Committee decided
that its members should submit to the Secretariat the draft questions on
specific countries and articles of the Convention prior to the meeting of
the working group.

16.  The Committee had decided at its fifteenth session4 that the following
four members, representing different regional groups, would participate in
the working group:  Ivanka Corti (Europe), Tendai Ruth Bare (Africa),
Aurora Javate de Dios (Asia and the Pacific) and Miriam Estrada (Latin
America and the Caribbean).

17.  In accordance with the provisional agenda of the Committee
(CEDAW/C/1997/1), the working group prepared lists of issues and questions
relating to the reports of five States parties, to be sent to the
Governments of Canada, Denmark, the Philippines, Turkey and Venezuela.

18.  The pre-session working group noted that the majority of the reports
it reviewed followed the Committee's guidelines for the presentation of
reports.  This allowed the working group to assess the progress made by
States parties in implementing the Convention since the State's previous
report to the Committee.  The working group appealed to States parties to
continue to follow the Committee's guidelines for the presentation of
reports so as to expedite the work of the pre-session group and to allow it
to analyse the progress of individual States parties in greater depth.  The
group also noted that the majority of the reports to be reviewed by the
pre-session working group had been prepared prior to the Fourth World
Conference on Women.  Thus, the revised reporting guidelines provided by
the Committee and revised at its fifteenth session did not apply. 
Nevertheless, the pre-session working group took the opportunity to raise
questions relating to the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and
Platform for Action and the commitments undertaken by each State party
during the Conference.

19.  At the 320th meeting, on 20 January 1997, the Chairperson of the
pre-session working group introduced the report of the group
(CEDAW/C/1997/CRP.1 and Corr.1 and Add.1-5), indicating that questions
regarding reports had been submitted by Committee members.  She regretted
the fact that not all members had taken the opportunity to submit written
questions in advance and stated that that procedure was important for the
formulation of concluding comments and that it enhanced the work of the
group, which met for only a short time.

20.  The Chairperson of the working group indicated that most States
parties had followed the Committee's guidelines, but recommended that
States parties that had not followed them be requested to do so when next
reporting.  She also made it clear that some progress in implementation
could be discerned in the periodic reports.

21.  The Chairperson of the working group made it clear that the working
group had been given full support by the Secretariat and drew the
Committee's attention to the discussion the working group had had with the
Director of the Division for the Advancement of Women concerning the
methods of work of the group.  She noted that the Secretariat would, in
future, integrate questions sent by experts and classify them in advance,
which would allow the group to discuss implementation in greater depth.

22.  The Chairperson suggested that, at future sessions, the pre-session
working group might meet with non-governmental organizations to conduct a
thematic discussion on a particular area.  She suggested that Working Group
I should discuss the role of the pre-session, in particular given that the
Committee would now have two sessions per year.  She suggested that reports
for consideration by the Committee would now need to be identified two
sessions in advance and that it might well be more appropriate for the
pre-session to be held at the end of the previous session, as is the
practice of some other human rights treaty bodies.  In addition, she raised
the question of specialization of Committee members and the use of
concluding comments in future consideration of implementation of the
Convention in individual States parties.

23.  A number of members of the Committee commented on the suggestions put
forward by the Chairperson of the working group.  One member suggested that
if the group met at the end of the previous session, the work of the States
parties and non-governmental organizations would be facilitated and a
dialogue could be entered into with States parties.

24.  One member suggested that there was no reason to employ different
procedures for initial and periodic reports.  Other members suggested that
the most difficult task was to compare first and periodic reports.  Another
suggested that the pre-session working group, which met before the current
session, should have reviewed reports selected for consideration for the
July session, as that would allow for richer questions from the Committee,
give non-governmental organizations an opportunity to intervene and States
parties time to answer the questions.  It was stressed that as the working
group consisted of only four members of the Committee, all other Committee
members should send their questions with regard to periodic reports well in
advance so that they could be integrated by the Secretariat.  She also
urged the dispatch of non-governmental organization reports well in
advance.

25.  The Chairperson of the pre-session working group explained that in
previous sessions the Committee had decided not to consider initial reports
in the working group because it was important to establish a direct
constructive dialogue with the State party.  She noted that the Committee's
concluding comments facilitated the maintenance of that dialogue and urged
that those formulated at the current session should follow the articles of
the Convention and be as complete as possible.  She noted that the
concluding comments were an invaluable basis for the consideration of the
subsequent report of the States parties.

26.  A number of members suggested that the pre-session working group
should continue to review periodic reports only and not initial reports. 
Several also urged the development of specialization among Committee
members, making it clear that specialization would not preclude general
discussion.  Support was expressed for specialization, and it was suggested
that experts should identify annually the area in which they wished to
specialize.

27.  Other members urged that reports be selected 12 months in advance of
consideration and that they be considered by a working group at the session
prior to the one at which they are to be considered by the Committee.  In
that context, one member suggested that the analysis of reports provided by
the Secretariat be simplified and that they contain the text of
reservations entered by the State party concerned, amendments and
withdrawal notices and the concluding comments of the Committee and other
treaty bodies with regard to the State.

28.  It was noted that the Committee required more organized procedures and
that steps were needed to ensure that questions for the State party
concerned were sent well in advance so that written replies could be
provided, allowing the Committee duly to discuss issues with the State
party.  Some members noted that the Committee was a large one and that
members should speak once, rather than repeating questions already posed. 
The Committee concluded that the issues raised were properly the province
of Working Group I, but that if a decision were made to change the
procedures of the Committee, some bridging measures would be required.  In
that context, it was suggested that the guidelines for reporting might
warrant revision, as might the Committee's methods of work.


       H.  Composition and organization of work of the working groups

29.  At its 311th meeting, on 13 January 1997, the Committee agreed on the
composition of its two standing working groups:  Working Group I, to
consider ways and means of expediting the work of the Committee, and
Working Group II, to consider ways and means of implementing article 21 of
the Convention.

30.  Working Group I was composed of the following members of the
Committee:  Ivanka Corti, Miriam Estrada, Yolanda Ferrer Go'mez, Ai'da
Gonza'lez, Salma Khan,  Lin Shangzhen, Ahoua Ouedraogo and Hanna Beate
Scho"pp-Schilling.

31.  Working Group II was composed of the following members of the
Committee:  Charlotte Abaka, Ayse Feride Acar, Emna Aouij, Tendai Ruth
Bare, Carlota Bustelo, Silvia R. Cartwright, Ivanka Corti, Yolanda Ferrer
Go'mez, Ai'da Gonza'lez, Aurora Javate de Dios, Salma Khan, Yung-Chung Kim,
Anne Lise Ryel and Carmel Shalev.


                                    Notes

     1 Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing,
4-15 September 1995 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.96.IV.13),
chap. I, resolution 2, annex II.

     2 Official Records of the General Assembly, Fiftieth Session,
Supplement No. 38 (A/50/38), chap. I, sect. B.

     3 Ibid., Forty-fifth Session, Supplement No. 38 and corrigendum
(A/45/38 and Corr.1), paras. 28-31.

     4 Ibid., Fifty-first Session, Supplement No. 38 (A/51/38), para. 348.


           III.  REPORT OF THE CHAIRPERSON ON THE ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN
                 BETWEEN THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH SESSIONS OF THE
                 COMMITTEE


32.  The former Chairperson of the Committee, Ms. Ivanka Corti, reported on
her activities as Chairperson since the fifteenth session of the Committee. 
She also reflected on developments with regard to the Committee which had
occurred during the four-year period of her chairpersonship.

33.  Ms. Corti indicated that since the fifteenth session she had
participated in the celebration of International Women's Day at the
headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO), where she took part in a round table on violence
against women in all its forms.  She also participated in a seminar on
violence against women hosted by the French Ministry of Justice, held from
8 to 10 March 1996.  Moreover, she participated in two training sessions at
the International Labour Organization (ILO) International Training Centre
in Turin, as well as conferences of non-governmental organizations in
Venice and Tunis.

34.  Ms. Corti had also attended the fortieth session of the Commission on
the Status of Women as an observer, in particular, the meetings held during
the session of the open-ended working group on the elaboration of a draft
optional protocol, which she described to the members of the Committee. 
She indicated that both the Commission on the Status of Women and the
Economic and Social Council had adopted resolutions providing for the
attendance of a member of the Committee as a resource person at the
meetings of the optional protocol working group at the forty-first session
of the Commission.

35.  Ms. Corti briefed members of the Committee on the meeting of persons
chairing human rights treaty bodies held at the Centre for Human Rights in
September 1996, at which she had also been elected chairperson.  Topics
discussed at the meeting included the relationship of specialized agencies
and other United Nations bodies with treaty bodies and the role of
non-governmental organizations in the work of those bodies.

36.  Ms. Corti discussed the steps she had taken during the year to promote
links between the Committee on the one hand and the specialized agencies
and other bodies of the United Nations system on the other.  She and three
other members of the Committee had participated in a joint meeting with the
Committee on the Rights of the Child sponsored by the United Nations
Children's Fund (UNICEF) held at Cairo from 18 to 20 November 1996.  The
meeting constituted an important step towards strengthened cooperation
among the human rights treaty bodies.  The former Chairperson also reported
on the meeting with the Executive Director of UNICEF, at which concrete
proposals for future cooperation with the Committee were put forward.

37.  Ms. Corti reminded the Committee of the suggestion she had made to the
Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), following
the International Conference on Population and Development that UNFPA
should work with the Committee to consider the human rights implications of
the Conference's Programme of Action and its relevance to the work of the
Committee and the human rights treaty bodies.  Those suggestions resulted
in the round table on human rights approaches to women's health, with a
focus on reproductive and sexual health rights, co-sponsored by UNFPA, the
Division for the Advancement of Women, and the Office the United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights and held at Glen Cove, New York, from 9
to 11 December 1996.  This was the first such meeting of chairpersons of
treaty bodies on thematic issues.  It was followed by further discussions
between the Executive Director and members of the Committee.  Ms. Corti
also commended the steps that had been taken by the United Nations
Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) to promote both the Convention and the
Committee.

38.  Expressing the view that she had felt honoured to represent such an
extraordinary committee of women devoted to the defence of women's human
rights, Ms. Corti recalled that when she first assumed the chairpersonship
of the Committee, measures were needed to make the Convention and the
Committee better known.  The Vienna, Cairo and Beijing conferences had
provided an important framework for that work.  She pointed to the various
achievements of the Committee during this period, beginning with the
formulation, with UNESCO, of the manifesto "Towards a Gender-inclusive
Culture through Education".  She reminded members of the extraordinary one-
week session organized by a State party (Spain) in May 1995, and the
amendment to article 20, paragraph 1, of the Convention.  She noted the
growing interest of non-governmental organizations in the work of the
Committee, specifically mentioning the participation of a number of
Committee members in workshops at the Non-governmental Organization Forum
of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the work of the International
Women's Rights Action Watch, the International Human Rights Law Clinic of
the City University of New York Law School and the International Human
Rights Law Group in promoting the Convention and supporting the work of the
Committee.  She also described in that context the Round Table on Women's
Health as a Human Right, organized by the Commonwealth Medical Association
at Toronto in October 1996, in which members of the Committee participated.

39.  Ms. Corti drew attention to developments in various areas of the
Committee's work during her chairpersonship.  She noted in particular
general recommendation 21 on equality in marriage and family relations1 and
the fact that the Committee had updated its reporting guidelines at its
fifteenth session to take account of the Beijing Declaration and Platform
for Action, adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women in September
1995.

40.  Ms. Corti congratulated Ms. Khan on her election as Chairperson and
noted that her task would be a challenging one.  She reminded members that
the Committee would now meet twice yearly and that its work required
rationalization.  Steps needed to be taken to reduce the backlog of reports
awaiting consideration by the Committee and to establish permanent
relations with non-governmental organizations and encourage their greater
involvement in the Committee's work.  The new rules of procedure required
finalization, and a permanent relationship needed to be forged with the
non-treaty human rights mechanism, and in particular, with the Special
Rapporteur on violence against women.  She noted the importance of the
establishment of the Women's Rights Unit in the Division for the
Advancement of Women and the appointment of the Chief of that section, whom
she encouraged to maintain close links with the Chairperson of the
Committee.

41.  Finally, Ms. Corti thanked current and former Committee members, the
members of the Division for the Advancement of Women and the staff of the
Centre for Human Rights, non-governmental organizations and the various
academics who had contributed to the popularization and appreciation of the
Convention.  In conclusion, she expressed appreciation for the solidarity
of all women, which was fundamental to the Committee's success.


                                    Notes

     1 Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-ninth Session,
Supplement No. 38 (A/49/38), chap. I, sect. A.

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


                              A.  Introduction

42.  At its sixteenth session, the Committee considered the reports
submitted by eight States parties under article 18 of the Convention:  two
initial and one combined initial, second and third periodic report; one
combined second and third periodic report; two third periodic reports; and
two combined third and fourth periodic reports.  The Committee also
considered one report submitted on an exceptional basis.

43.  As decided at its thirteenth session, in 1994, the Committee prepared
concluding comments on each report considered.

44.  The Committee's concluding comments on the reports of States parties,
as prepared respectively by the members of the Committee, and a summary of
the introductory presentations by the representatives of the States parties
are provided below.  The summary records provide more detailed information
on the Committee's consideration of the reports of the States parties.


               B.  Consideration of reports of States parties

                             1.  Initial reports

                                   Morocco

45.  The Committee considered the initial report of Morocco (CEDAW/C/MOR/1)
at its 312th, 313th and 320th meetings, on 14 and 20 January 1997 (see
CEDAW/C/SR.312, 313 and 320).

46.  In introducing the report, the representative of Morocco informed the
Committee that Morocco's initial report had been submitted to the
Secretariat in July 1994 in accordance with article 18 of the Convention on
the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, one year
after Morocco had acceded to the Convention.  King Hassan II had taken the
initiative in 1992 and had invited various women's associations to submit
amendments to the existing Personal Status Code in order to eliminate the
obstacles impeding Moroccan women from the enjoyment and exercise of their
rights.  A number of articles of the Personal Status Code were amended
accordingly and in conformity with various international agreements and
instruments, while the Code maintained its respect for the principles of
Islamic law, the shariah.

47.  The representative pointed out that the initial report described
institutional, legal, administrative and other measures taken to promote
and protect the human rights of women within an overall political and legal
framework.  The Government of Morocco linked the status of women to human
rights and recognized the inseparable links between the respect for human
rights, democracy and social, economic and cultural development.  The human
rights protection aspects of the elimination of discrimination against
women and the advancement of women were transferred from the social affairs
ministries to the Ministry of Human Rights, which was working in
cooperation with other ministerial departments on these issues.

48.  The Constitution, revised in 1992 and 1996, now contained provisions
intended to ensure a greater respect for human rights in general and for
the human rights of women in particular.  The revised Constitution
established a bicameral parliament and also allowed for the establishment
of fact-finding commissions to address the elimination of discrimination
against women.  As a result of the reform of Morocco's family law, any case
of discrimination against women could now result in legal proceedings.

49.  The representative then briefed the Committee on legal and
administrative measures that had been taken in his country to achieve
equality between women and men within the framework of promotion and
protection of women's human rights.  The legislation relating to
employment, as well as the Penal Code, had been modified.  Efforts had been
made, especially in the field of education and employment.  The Government
was concerned about the high rate of illiteracy among women, and it
considered women in rural areas the most vulnerable group.  A literacy
campaign had therefore been launched with the goal of reducing the
illiteracy rate to 10 per cent by the year 2010, specifically among rural
women.  However, while all citizens had an equal right to education and
employment, pursuant to article 13 of the Constitution, the representative
acknowledged that there existed a number of statutory exceptions that
excluded women from entering certain professions.

50.  In concluding his presentation, the representative of Morocco
recognized that there were still a number of barriers preventing women from
exercising and enjoying their human rights and participating fully in the
socio-economic development of the country, but he assured the Committee of
his Government's willingness to pursue the task of eliminating all such
obstacles.

Concluding comments of the Committee

     Introduction

51.  The Committee thanked the State party for its report, which had been
submitted on time.  It noted, however, that the format of the written
report had not adhered to the Committee's guidelines.  The State party had
nevertheless established a frank and constructive dialogue with the
Committee through its oral report and its replies.

     Factors and difficulties affecting the implementation of the
Convention

52.  The Committee was of the view that, although the instrument of
ratification of the Convention by the Kingdom of Morocco was in itself an
important event, the fact that it had been accompanied by declarations and
reservations concerning the substance of the Convention seriously hindered
the latter's implementation.

53.  The Committee noted the obvious contradictions between the obligations
deriving from the undertaking made by the State party at the time of
signing the Convention and the persistence of considerable discrimination
against women in Morocco, particularly in the field of family law.

     Positive aspects

54.  The Committee noted with satisfaction the revision of the
Constitution, which strengthened the rule of law in Morocco by solemnly
proclaiming the country's commitment to internationally recognized human
rights.

55.  The Committee believed that that undertaking by the State would
inevitably benefit women, since women's rights were an integral part of
human rights.

56.  The Committee noted with satisfaction that the women's unit set up
within the Ministry of Human Rights was involved in the overall process
initiated by Morocco in that regard.

57.  The Committee welcomed the efforts made by the State party to revise
and amend the Personal Status Code (Moudouana).  Those preliminary efforts
reflected the political determination of the State party, at the highest
level, to further the development of the legal status of women.

58.  The Committee noted with satisfaction the emergence of a women's
movement which had managed to give expression to women's demands and to
give their concerns a national dimension.

     Principal areas of concern

59.  The Committee was deeply concerned at the number and importance of the
reservations made by Morocco, particularly the reservation to article 2,
one of the Convention's central articles.  The Committee considers any
reservation to that article to be contrary to the object and purpose of the
Convention and incompatible with international law.  The Committee was
likewise concerned that the combination of reservations to articles 2 and
15 leave no room for evolving concepts of Islamic law.

60.  The Committee noted with regret that the State party did not envisage
withdrawing any of its reservations.

61.  The Committee also noted that, unlike other international treaties,
the Convention had not been mentioned, publicized or published in the
Official Gazette.

62.  The Committee expressed regret that there was no specific women's
rights machinery that could coordinate and guide activities and projects
for women in order to improve and better inform women of their rights.

63.  The Committee expressed concern that, despite the efforts made in the
political sphere, women's representation at the policy-making level was
minimal.

64.  The Committee emphasized that cultural characteristics could not be
allowed to undermine the principle of the universality of human rights,
which remained inalienable and non-negotiable, nor to prevent the adoption
of appropriate measures in favour of women.  As a result, the Committee
remained concerned at the profound inequalities affecting the status of
women in Morocco.  Considerable discrimination in the areas of marriage,
conjugal relations, divorce and the custody of children still exists.  Laws
regarding the punishment of adultery and the ability to pass on nationality
continue to benefit the husband to the detriment of the wife.

65.  The Committee emphasized that discrimination was not limited to the
private sphere but also affected the public realm.  Blatant inequalities
could be observed in women's recruitment, wages and leave entitlements, as
well as in legal restrictions on women's, but not men's, employment, which
reflected stereotypical attitudes regarding appropriate work for women.

66.  The Committee noted with concern that no legislation was envisaged to
protect women against all forms of violence.  The Committee was also
surprised that the report made no mention of article 6 of the Convention,
which concerned prostitution.

67.  The Committee was concerned at the high rate of female illiteracy,
which affected girls and rural women in particular.

68.  The Committee noted with concern the high rate of maternal mortality
in Morocco, the high number of unattended births, the unavailability of
safe abortion and the need to develop further reproductive and sexual
health services, including family planning.

     Suggestions and recommendations

69.  The Committee recommended that the State party incorporate the
principle of equality between men and women into all spheres of life and
into the Constitution, and that it bring the Constitution into line with
the relevant international norms of the Convention.

70.  The Committee expressed the hope that the Government would envisage,
through the political will of its leaders, the progressive withdrawal of
the many reservations that were seriously undermining the proper
implementation of the Convention.

71.  The Committee strongly recommended that the Government continue its
efforts to amend legislation that was still discriminatory in order to
bring it into line with the provisions of the Convention.  While respecting
the stages in Morocco's political, economic, sociological and cultural
evolution and the need for the population to support any reform concerning
women's rights, the Committee encouraged the Government to persevere in
using ijtihad, which was the evolving interpretation of religious texts so
as to give the necessary impetus to the improvement of the status of women
and thus gradually to change attitudes.

72.  The Committee recommended the establishment of specific machinery
located at the highest policy level, with adequate financial and human
resources, that would coordinate and guide action in favour of women, would
be able to prevent the persistence of attitudes, prejudices and stereotypes
that discriminate against women and would narrow the gap between de jure
and de facto equality.

73.  The Committee further recommended that education in women's rights,
covering national and international legislation, be provided in all schools
and university systems and to women's associations and non-governmental
organizations, as well as in rural areas.

74.  The Committee recommended that the competent national bodies, the
women's sections of the different political parties and associations and
non-governmental organizations do their utmost to bring about as great a
change in men's traditional role in the family and in society as in
women's, so as to ensure genuine equality of opportunity between men and
women in all spheres.  It observed that revising the content and
orientation of school textbooks in order to eliminate stereotypes and
negative images of women could help to speed up a change of mentality and
remove certain obstacles.

75.  The Committee also asked the Government to pay particular attention to
vulnerable groups, women heads of household, abandoned women and disabled
women, and to take the necessary steps to protect them from any form of
exclusion or marginalization.  Overcoming inequality contributed to poverty
reduction and to the country's economic development.

76.  The Committee recommended to the Government that appropriate,
effective measures be taken to reduce both the illiteracy rate and the
maternal mortality rate, which were high in rural areas.

77.  The Committee urged the Government to address the issue of violence
against women, to adopt the necessary measures to overcome this phenomenon
and to establish support services for victims of violence, in both urban
and rural areas, in accordance with general recommendation 19.

78.  The Committee strongly recommended that the Government take special
measures to reduce maternal mortality rates and protect women's right to
life by ensuring full and timely access of all women to emergency obstetric
care.

79.  The Committee recommended that the Government review existing
restrictions on women's access to employment, particularly those based on
stereotypical assumptions concerning women's work.

80.  The Committee requested the Government of Morocco to address the
concerns included in the present concluding comments in its next report, to
include information on the implementation of the Committee's general
recommendations and to follow the Committee's reporting guidelines
carefully, including with regard to the follow-up to the Beijing Platform
for Action.  It requested the Government to provide statistical data
disaggregated by sex with regard to all areas in the Convention in its next
report.  In particular, it requested the wide dissemination of these
comments throughout Morocco.


                                  Slovenia

81.  The Committee considered the initial report of Slovenia
(CEDAW/C/SVN/1) at its 314th, 315th and 321st meetings, on 15 and
20 January 1997 (see CEDAW/C/SR.314, 315 and 321).

82.  The report was introduced by the Permanent Representative of Slovenia,
who emphasized the importance his Government attaches to the international
human rights treaties and in particular to the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and expressed its
support for an early adoption of the optional protocol to the Convention.

83.  The Director of the Office for Women's Policy of Slovenia then
proceeded to provide an update of Slovenia's initial report, submitted to
the Secretariat in 1993 in accordance with article 18 of the Convention. 
She noted that the report had been prepared during a period of economic and
political restructuring by the Office and in cooperation with the
responsible ministries and other institutions, including non-governmental
organizations.  The impact of the transition on women could not yet be
fully assessed, but Slovenia had prepared an updated report as an appendix
to the initial report, which it had submitted to the Committee early in
1997.  The information provided in that document allows some initial
assessment in this regard.

84.  The Committee was informed that the Office for Women's Policy had been
created during the early stage of transition from socialism to
parliamentary democracy.  It had been established by the Government in July
1992 as the central policy coordinating unit of the Government responsible
for implementing the rights of women guaranteed by the Constitution, laws
and international agreements.  The Office was an important step forward in
the integration of the principle of gender equality into government
policies.

85.  The representative of Slovenia outlined the political, economic and
legal situation in Slovenia and its impact on the de facto status of women. 
Slovenia is a country in transition which has preserved a relatively high
degree of social protection in an environment of economic stability and
growth.  Unemployment and other problems of transition have affected women
but to a lesser degree than men.  The Committee took note of the general
circumstances and focused on the specific issues pertaining to the
questions of the rights of women.  The Committee also took note of how the
rights of women were guaranteed and protected by the Constitution, to what
extent Slovene women were involved in political decision-making and how
they had been participating in ongoing democratization.

86.  The Government of Slovenia was particularly concerned about the
prevalence of traditional gender stereotypes and certain forms of de facto
discrimination against women.  With regard to education, it was reported
that while women enjoyed a high level of education in general, there were
clear differences in what women and men preferred to study, with women
concentrated in traditionally female subjects.  Women, especially the young
and educated, were facing difficulties in finding employment.  The Slovene
pension system benefited women and men differently.  Women's generally
lower pensions were a reflection of the lower-paid sectors in which women
were employed and the frequent leave they took in order to care for their
children.  Despite the law that guarantees the right of both parents to
take parental leave, fathers still failed to play an equal role in the care
and education of children.  With regard to women's reproductive health, it
was noted that the right to abortion was guaranteed by the Constitution,
however, the Committee was alerted to the high rate of abortion, despite
the wide and legal availability of contraception and contraceptive advice.

87.  In concluding the presentation, the representative of Slovenia
recognized that much remained to be done to achieve full equality between
women and men, and assured the Committee of the willingness of her
Government to undertake all the necessary measures to achieve the
principles established in the Convention.

Concluding comments of the Committee

     Introduction

88.  The Committee welcomed the high-level representation of the Government
of Slovenia and applauded the fact that, after gaining its independence,
the Government had quickly accepted the international human rights
obligations assumed by the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. 
It commended the Government for its timely submission of a well-structured,
informative and honest report, which followed the reporting guidelines of
the Committee and gave a frank picture of the situation of women in
Slovenia.  It also welcomed the additional collection of statistical data,
which were comprehensive in certain areas and were disaggregated by sex, as
well as the extensive answers to the Committee's questions, which were
given in both oral and written form.  The Committee also took note of the
support of the Government of Slovenia to the formulation of an optional
protocol to the Convention and applauded the fact that an action plan was
being prepared to implement the Beijing Platform for Action.

     Factors and difficulties affecting the implementation of the
Convention

89.  The Committee was aware of the difficulties Slovenia was facing as a
result of the transition towards democracy and a social/market economy and
the need to build a different civil society.  Many of those difficulties
could and did have a negative impact on the situation of women in Slovenia
and thus impeded the legal and practical implementation of the Convention. 
The Committee was also aware that sex-role stereotypes relating to the
nature of women and men and the "appropriate" work for each sex were
pervasive in Slovene society.  Those stereotypes had not been questioned
under the former political system, despite its adherence to formal equality
between women and men.

     Positive aspects

90.  The Committee welcomed the sensitivity towards gender issues expressed
by the Government of Slovenia and by certain sectors of the newly emerging
civil society, in particular in the number of non-governmental
organizations for women.

91.  The Committee noted with satisfaction the extensive human rights
guarantees in the Slovene Constitution, in particular those guarantees
relating to the human rights of women.  It welcomed the fact that the
Convention took precedence over national legislation.  The immediate effect
of the Convention in the Slovene legal system and legislation providing
women with de jure equality were welcomed by the Committee, as was the
integration of human rights principles into its ongoing process of
legislative reform and into its newly formulated policies.

92.  The Committee commended the active role of the women's machinery, the
Office for Women's Policy, founded in 1992, which operated as an
independent government advisory service advising the Government on
legislation, policies and programmes and which, through campaigns and
programmes, sought to improve gender sensitivity in the population.

93.  The Committee welcomed the efforts of the Government to eliminate
stereotyped images of women in the media and in advertising, as well as the
National Programme for Households, which aimed at helping young women and
men to share work and family responsibilities in a non-stereotypical way.

94.  The Committee noted that the Government of Slovenia was aware of the
widespread violence against women in the private sphere and that it was
developing, through its national machinery and by supporting
non-governmental organizations that act on behalf of women, measures to
combat that violence and to assist victims.  It also commended the steps
towards new legislation to protect prostitutes.

95.  The Committee applauded the temporary special efforts of the Office
for Women's Policies to raise public awareness and to introduce measures to
increase women's representation in Parliament.  It noted with satisfaction
the high number of women in the judiciary and the promising figures of
women's enrolment in the faculties of law at Slovene universities.  It also
noted the significant representation of women in high-level administrative
jobs.  It applauded the fact that a large number of non-governmental
organizations for women had been formed in a relatively short time and the
cooperation fostered by the Office for Women's Policies with
non-governmental organizations, in particular during the preparation of the
report and in the formulation of the National Platform of Action, the aim
of which was to implement the Beijing Platform for Action.

96.  The Committee commended the Government on the high level of women's
education in Slovenia, on envisioned educational reforms and on the efforts
that had been made to include human rights education at various levels of
the school curriculum.  It noted with satisfaction that courses in women's
studies were offered at some universities and that research on the impact
of the depiction of women in textbooks was being carried out.

97.  The Committee took note of the existence of a formal day-care system
that provides day care to slightly more than 50 per cent of children up to
the age of six.  The Committee welcomed the revision of the existing labour
legislation and the formulation of new equality provisions in that
legislative area.  It also welcomed the fact that in labour legislation,
the principle of equal pay for equal work and for work of equal value would
be considered.  It noted with satisfaction that a high percentage of women
were employed.  It welcomed the envisioned provisions against sexist
language in job classifications and advertisements and noted with
satisfaction the discussion of a legislative proposal on parental leave
that would give a greater share of responsibility to fathers.

98.  The Committee noted with satisfaction the inclusion of the right to
abortion in the Constitution of Slovenia.

     Principal areas of concern

99.  The Committee was concerned that the Office for Women's Policies had
an advisory role only and was, therefore, dependent on the political will
of the Government.  It was concerned that the human and financial resources
of the Office might be too small considering the tasks it had to tackle.

100. The Committee also noted with concern the pervasiveness and entrenched
nature of sex-role stereotypes and pointed to the risk that such
stereotypes might be strengthened because of the difficult economic, social
and cultural changes the population of Slovenia was facing.  The Committee
was of the view that one of the results of sex-role stereotyping was that
women performed most of the household work and thus had a double burden of
work.

101. Concern was also expressed as to whether the real extent of violence
against women was being discovered and whether the current measures were
sufficient not only to combat it, but also to assist its victims.  The
Committee was concerned that the Government should ensure that victims of
violence receive support from the police, understanding of the dynamics of
violence against women from judges, counselling and placement in shelters
and, in particular, that they be assisted in rebuilding their lives.

102. The Committee noted with great concern that the number of women
represented in politics was falling despite the various measures that had
been undertaken in that sphere.

103. The Committee was concerned about the clustering of female students in
certain disciplines, at both schools and universities, that did not provide
optimum employment opportunities.

104. The Committee was concerned that less than 30 per cent of children
under three years of age and slightly more than half of all children
between three and six were in formal day care, and that the remaining
children, while cared for by family members and other private individuals,
might miss out on educational and social opportunities offered in formal
day-care institutions.

105. The Committee noted with concern that women were clustered in certain
jobs and professions and at certain job levels.  It noted the feminization
of the medical profession and the low wages in that sector.  It was alarmed
by the high number of young unemployed women who were looking for a first
job and was aware that failure to find such employment might confine women
to the role of homemaker.  In that context, the Committee took account of
the unfortunate fact that market economies tended to favour male employees
who, by virtue of traditional roles and work allocation, were deemed to be
unencumbered by family responsibilities.

106. The Committee was concerned that temporary work for women might be
institutionalized and that women would thus be marginalized in the labour
market and become victims of indirect discrimination.  It was also
concerned that occupational health standards for women might result in
discrimination against women in employment.

107. The Committee noted with concern the very high number of abortions and
the corresponding low use of contraception.  Concern was also voiced with
respect to the large numbers of single-parent families, which were usually
headed by women.

     Suggestions and recommendations

108. The Committee recommended that the ongoing revision of laws should
take account of hidden, indirect and structural discrimination and that
sufficient attention should be paid to the formulation of temporary special
measures in the fields of politics, education, employment and the
implementation of de jure and de facto equality for women.  It recommended
that the judiciary be made aware of the meaning of indirect and structural
discrimination, de facto equality and the concept of temporary special
measures.

109. The Committee suggested that the Government of Slovenia, as well as
the non-governmental organizations for women, should be aware that the
concept of privacy of family life and the reproductive role of women could
be utilized to hide violence against women and reinforce sex-role
stereotypes.

110. The Committee recommended the establishment of the proposed gender
equality ombudsperson.

111. It recommended the establishment of a formal complaint procedure and a
formal evaluation board outside the Chamber of Commerce, which would
include all sectors of society, to address sexist advertisements.  That
procedure should incorporate sanctions against offending advertising
agents.

112. The Committee recommended new efforts directed at the political
education of women and men and of political parties in order to ensure more
effective temporary measures that would increase the representation of
women at all levels of political life.

113. The Committee suggested that the Government of Slovenia make
systematic efforts to ensure that women students are encouraged to enter
diverse disciplines so as to overcome the clustering of female students in
certain disciplines at schools and universities.  Such measures could
include special counselling and gender-specific temporary measures with
numerical goals and timetables.  It also recommended that women's studies
be formally established at universities and made part of the school
curriculum.  The Committee suggested that the Government of Slovenia review
its gender-neutral educational framework and develop positive measures to
counteract hidden stereotypical educational messages and practices.

114. The Committee recommended the creation of more formal and
institutionalized child-care establishments for children under three years
of age as well as for those from three to six.

115. The Committee strongly recommended that revised labour legislation
contain equality and anti-discrimination provisions and strong sanctions
for non-compliance.  It also recommended temporary special measures with
concrete numerical goals and timetables in order to overcome employment
segregation.  The Committee strongly recommended the adoption of parental
leave legislation in which part of the leave must be taken by the father.

116. The Committee encouraged the Government to create assistance
programmes for women who wished to start their own businesses, to educate
banks and other relevant institutions about women's capacities in that
area, to create specific government-subsidized employment opportunities for
young women and to address their unemployment with specific measures,
including quotas related to their percentage of the unemployed population.

117. The Committee also recommended measures be put in place to expedite
the collection of data in the health sector so as to provide the basis for
legislation, policies and programmes.

118. The Committee recommended that current efforts to restructure the
financial systems underlying health care and social security benefits,
including pensions, should be designed to avoid detrimental effects on
women as wage earners and beneficiaries in those sectors.

119. The Committee suggested that there was a need to analyse the reasons
for the high rate of abortion among Slovene women.  It strongly recommended
education for women and men on the full range of safe and reliable
contraceptive methods, stressing the mutual responsibility of both sexes
for family planning as well as recommending that such methods be widely
available.

120. The Committee recommended that education for sexual and reproductive
health cover gender relations and violence against women and that health-
care professionals also be trained to identify cases of violence against
women and to treat them appropriately.

121. The Committee recommended increased measures for the early detection
and the preventive treatment of breast cancer.

122. The Committee urged the wide dissemination of the present concluding
comments in Slovenia to make Slovenes aware of the steps that had been
taken to ensure de facto equality for women and the further steps required
in that regard.


           2.  Combined initial, second and third periodic reports

                      Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

123. The Committee considered the combined initial, second and third
periodic reports of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (CEDAW/C/STV/1-3 and
Add.1) at its 316th, 317th and 322nd meetings, on 16 and 21 January 1997
(see CEDAW/C/SR.316, 317 and 322).

124. In introducing the reports, the representative of Saint Vincent and
the Grenadines apologized that the report submitted to the Committee in
1992 (CEDAW/C/STV/1-3) had been sent owing to an administrative error.  The
representative requested that the report submitted to the Committee in 1994
(CEDAW/C/STV/1-3/Add.1) be considered as the principal report.  She further
indicated her willingness to clarify statements in the document dated
4 November 1991 of the International Women's Rights Action Watch.

125. The representative indicated that a number of legislative reforms,
including the Domestic Violence Act and the Equal Pay Act, had been
implemented since the submission of the report in 1994.  A Family Court and
legal aid had been introduced within that period as well.  The
representative indicated that treaties were not self-executing in Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines and, although there was no specific law against
discrimination, a woman who was discriminated against might seek legal
redress in the High Court under section 16 of the Constitution.  The
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
had been seen as a major step in developing legally binding and
internationally accepted principles aimed at achieving equal rights for
women.  Consequently the Government had introduced national legislation
that conformed to the articles of the Convention.

126. The representative briefed the Committee on the administrative
measures that had been taken to advance the status of women, including the
establishment of a women's desk in 1984, which had subsequently been
upgraded to the Department of Women's Affairs.  The Department, along with
the National Council of Women, was focused on establishing equality between
women and men, proposing socially responsive legislation and implementing
policies that favourably affected women.

127. The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines expressed concern
with regard to several important socio-economic issues, including youth
unemployment, the high rate of female migration, decreased export earnings
in the agricultural sector, the high rate of pregnancy among pre-teenagers
and adolescents, traditional socio-cultural attitudes reflecting
stereotyped gender roles and the prevalence of domestic violence.

128. The representative stated that, while all citizens had an equal right
to education, employment, political participation and representation,
obstacles remained for women in tertiary education and there was
occupational segregation in the labour market.  A gender gap also persisted
in public sector employment, particularly at decision-making levels and in
political life.  Women experienced limited access to credit and land
ownership, particularly in the rural areas, despite the fact that they
represented a high percentage of the agricultural labour force.

129. In concluding her presentation, the representative of Saint Vincent
and the Grenadines indicated that she eagerly anticipated questions that
might be raised by the experts on the development of the status of women
and pledged to take appropriate actions on behalf of the women of Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines and in keeping with their needs.

Concluding comments of the Committee

     Introduction

130. The Committee expressed appreciation for the frank presentation of the
combined initial, second and third reports.  The oral presentation
complemented the comprehensive written reports.  The Government of Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines was commended for being one of the first
countries that had ratified the Convention, and had done so without
reservation.  The Committee expressed its satisfaction with the well-
structured reports that followed the reporting guidelines.  The report
format, with full text of the articles, followed by relevant comments, was
a good practice and made the report a very useful educational document. 
The report provided excellent data.  However, the Committee regretted the
lack of focus on how the status of women had progressed since the
ratification in 1981 to date.  It also regretted the delay in the
presentation of the initial report.  The report failed to make any
reference to a follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women or
commitments made.  There was also no information on implementation of the
Committee's general recommendations.

     Factors and difficulties affecting the implementation of the
     Convention

131. Under the legal system of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the
Convention is not self-executing and it was necessary to enact legislation
to give it full effect.  Pervasive traditional, social, and cultural
values, as well as generally accepted behaviour patterns, impede the
advancement of women.

     Positive aspects

132. The Committee appreciated the Government's efforts to conform to the
provisions of the Convention by introducing several legal reforms.  It was
also appreciated that the Government and non-governmental organizations
were collaborating in the implementation of the Convention.

     Principal areas of concern

133. Legal measures that had been taken did not address all aspects of the
Convention.  Some existing domestic laws contravened the Convention.  The
Committee regretted that the Constitution did not specifically refer to the
equality of women.  It also regretted that the Convention had never been
cited in any legal proceedings.

134. The Committee noted with concern that the Government had not made use
of affirmative action measures to accelerate the unequal status of women,
particularly in the areas of employment and public service.

135. The non-availability of shelter homes, which also provided victims
with counselling services, was of concern to the Committee.  Again, the
Committee was very concerned about the persistent traditional,
stereotypical roles and attitudes towards women and girls.  Moreover,
domestic violence was rampant, a fact that was also of great concern to the
Committee.

136. The Committee noted with concern that no research had been undertaken
on the real situation concerning prostitution and trafficking in women.

137. The low participation of women in the political parties and as
candidates for election was of great concern to the Committee.

138. Although the Convention on the Rights of the Child and human rights in
general were part of the school curriculum, the Committee was concerned
that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women was not taught in schools.  The Committee was very concerned
about the high rate of teenage and pre-teen pregnancy, which sometimes
forced children to be mothers with very serious, negative consequences for
their future, in particular, the interruption of their education.

139. The Committee was concerned about the very high rate of unemployment
among women, which increased their vulnerability to domestic violence.  It
noted with concern that the Government had not made use of affirmative
action to redress that problem.  The Committee also expressed its concern
about the feminization of migration.

140. The Committee was concerned that women had to seek spousal consent for
tubal ligation.  That contravened not only article 12, but also article 15
of the Convention.  The Committee was also concerned that the law precluded
safe abortion and prevented women from taking control of their reproductive
health.

141. The Committee was concerned about the high rate of female migration
outside Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the consequences it created in
society.

     Suggestions and recommendations

142. There was a need to review all domestic laws with the aim of
identifying which should be amended and what new laws should be enacted in
order for women to enjoy fully all the rights provided for under the
Convention.

143. Subsequent reports must give information on the implementation of the
Committee's general recommendations and concluding observations and also on
follow-up programmes for the implementation of the Fourth World Conference
on Women.

144. The Committee also wanted to be apprised of the follow-up programmes
to the Conference and the commitments made there by the Government of Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines in relation to the implementation of the
Convention.

145. The next report must indicate special measures that had been taken by
the Government and the political parties to close the gap between de jure
and de facto equality, particularly in the area of political decision-
making and employment.

146. The next report should also provide more detailed information on
prostitution and trafficking.

147. The Government, in collaboration with non-governmental organizations,
churches and all individuals and competent authorities, should introduce
gender-sensitive reproductive and sexual health education, information and
counselling in order to curb the very high rate of pre-teen and teenage
pregnancy and should integrate reproductive and sexual health services,
including family planning, into primary health care.

148. The law on abortion should be reviewed with a view to removing the
penal provisions and in order to guarantee safe abortion and motherhood.

149. Government and the private sector must work towards creating job
opportunities to help keep women in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines so
that they could better contribute to the development of society in general.

150. The Committee urged the wide dissemination of the present concluding
comments in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to make both women and men
aware of the steps that had been taken to ensure de facto equality for
women and the further steps required in that regard.  In addition, the
Committee requested that the next report describe steps taken by the
Government to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.


               3.  Combined second and third periodic reports

                                   Turkey

151. The Committee considered the combined second and third periodic
reports of Turkey (CEDAW/C/TUR/2-3) at its 318th and 319th meetings, on
17 January 1997 (see CEDAW/C/SR.318 and 319).

152. In her introductory statement, the representative of Turkey pointed
out that the report had been prepared in a participatory way and reflected
the contributions of different women's organizations.  She placed women's
status within the framework of globalization, which seemed to offer new
hopes, but also the possibility of growing inequalities, including between
women and men.  She underlined that respect for the human rights of the
individual, without cultural boundaries, and the concept of equal
citizenship in a State governed by the rule of law continued to provide the
most workable framework, as well as new opportunities, for achieving gender
equality.

153. The representative noted that in Turkey, contradictions of
globalization, modernization and traditionalism had an impact on the status
of women in society.  Constraints of underdevelopment and structural
adjustment and of religious fundamentalism and claims based on ethnic
rivalries presented sources of conflict with long-term prospects that may
be unfavourable for the status of women.

154. While acknowledging continuing inequalities and disparities in the
status of women, the representative highlighted progress and pointed to the
development of a gender-sensitive agenda in Turkey.  Supported by growing
feminist and women's movements, women had become visible and had been
expanding their sphere of action.  The most arduous and urgent task facing
the Government now was to respond to the demands of women, particularly the
enhancement of their basic citizenship rights within a secular social
order.

155. In Turkey, a secular country with a predominantly Muslim population,
the equality of men and women was recognized in the Constitution and in
statutes.  While some discriminatory clauses in the Turkish Criminal and
Civil Codes had been repealed in recent years, an overall reform of the
Civil Code remained to be completed.

156. The Directorate General on the Status and Problems of Women had been
established in 1991 and was attached to the Prime Ministry.  Despite its
limited staff and budget, the Directorate acted as the coordinating body
vis-a`-vis government institutions, networked with non-governmental
organizations and supported research and training.  Gender issues were an
integral part of Turkey's five-year development plan.  While a number of
special measures and initiatives had been introduced to strengthen women's
active participation in development, more was needed to reach a larger
number of women.  Currently the establishment of the Under-Secretariat for
Women's Affairs and Family was under way.

157. Among the challenges faced by Turkey in achieving women's equality,
the representative identified the disparities in status and opportunities
for urban middle-class and rural women; violence against women in the
private domain; a strengthening of the contribution of the media to the
advancement of women, including through an increase in the number of female
professionals in this area; and the revision of educational materials,
which continued to portray women in their traditional roles as mothers and
wives.  Likewise, women's participation in politics and in Parliament
remained low, notwithstanding the introduction of quotas by political
parties.

158. Disparities in socio-economic areas remained a great concern and
included women's low literacy rates, their access to education and
opportunities, as well as patterns of employment.  Women's low status also
affected their access to health services.  Particular problems persisted
for Turkey's rural women in eastern and southeastern Anatolia, who
continued to live in traditional social frameworks and were affected by an
ongoing armed conflict and whose access to opportunities and services
remained severely limited.

159. At the Fourth World Conference on Women, Turkey committed itself to
withdrawing all its reservations under articles 15 and 16 of the Convention
by the year 2000, a step which requires the revision of a number of
discriminatory laws contained in the Civil Code.  Turkey also committed
itself to achieving full literacy of women by the year 2000.

Concluding comments of the Committee

     Introduction

160. The Committee expressed its appreciation to the Government of Turkey
for its high-level delegation, which was headed by the Minister of State
responsible for Women's Affairs and the Family, and the exhaustive replies
and information provided by the Government in response to the questions of
the pre-session working group.

161. The frankness of the assessment of the status of women, particularly
in the oral presentation, and the acknowledgment of persisting inequalities
and disparities, indicating the Government's willingness to confront the
critical issues facing women in Turkey, was appreciated by the Committee. 
The Committee also noted with satisfaction that the Government of Turkey
had expressed its support for the adoption of an optional protocol to the
Convention.

162. The Committee also appreciated the well-structured, frank and detailed
report, which followed its guidelines.  The Committee expressed its
satisfaction that, in the course of the dialogue with the Committee, the
representatives of the State party had manifested the determined political
will of the Government to implement the Convention progressively.  At the
same time, and in a self-critical manner, the representatives described the
difficulties encountered in the implementation of policies and programmes
consistent with the Convention.
     Factors and difficulties affecting the implementation of the
Convention

163. The reservations to articles 15 and 16 of the Convention were regarded
by the experts as serious impediments to the full implementation of the
Convention in the State party.

164. The difficulties emanating from globalization, modernization and
deeply rooted traditionalism interplayed strongly in the context of the
status of women in Turkey.  Being a secular country with a predominantly
Muslim population, Turkey was experiencing pressures from various political
groups.  The Committee recognized the serious impact that those pressures
had on the condition of women and that they served to perpetuate the
existing inequality between women and men and hampered the de jure and de
facto implementation of the Convention.

     Positive aspects

165. The Committee noted that the consolidated second and third reports
were prepared with the contributions of governmental institutions,
specialists and academicians working on women's issues, women's groups,
political parties, trade unions, representatives of the media and
non-governmental organizations.

166. The distribution of the previous report to all institutions and
persons concerned with women's human rights and the translation of the
Convention into Turkish was welcomed by the Committee.

167. The Committee welcomed the information, reiterated in the excellent
oral presentation of the delegation of the State party, relating to the
draft law to amend the various articles of the Civil Code pertaining to
family law, which would allow for the withdrawal by Turkey of its
reservations.

168. The Committee also welcomed the information in the report relating to
the Government's intention to revise the Citizenship Law.

169. The Committee further welcomed the decision of the Government of
Turkey to conclude bilateral agreements with other countries that would
permit Turkish citizens, women and men alike, to keep their citizenship
upon marriage to a foreign national.

170. The Committee congratulated the Government for legally guaranteeing
the equal right of girls and boys to free education and training.  It also
welcomed the recommendation of the fifteenth National Council of Education
to increase compulsory and uninterrupted primary education to eight years
and its decision to develop curricula and revise textbooks and teaching
methods to be free of sex-based stereotypes and to eliminate gender-based
prejudices from educational programmes.

171. Taking note of the extensive and detailed information and statistical
data related to the situation of women in the field of employment, the
Committee appreciated the fact that women were entitled to the same
employment opportunities as men.  It also welcomed the participation of
women in the labour force in different economic activities.

172. The Committee took note of the impact of the micro-credit scheme in
promoting women entrepreneurs.

173. The Committee also welcomed the commitments made by Turkey at the
Fourth World Conference on Women to the effect that by the year 2000 it
would:

     (a)  Reduce infant and maternal mortality rates by 50 per cent;

     (b)  Raise compulsory education to eight years;

     (c)  Eradicate female illiteracy;

     (d)  Withdraw the reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

     Principal areas of concern

174. The Committee was deeply concerned about the reservations of Turkey to
article 15, paragraphs 2 and 4, and article 16, paragraphs 1 (c), (d), (f)
and (g).  It was also concerned with the prolonged discussions and the
resistance to the reform of the Civil Code, although it appreciated that
efforts had been made in that context by the General Directorate, women
members of Parliament and the Ministry of Justice.  The Committee urged the
State party to facilitate and hasten that process so that the Law on
Citizenship, the Civil Code and the Criminal Code could be brought into
conformity with the articles of the Convention.

175. The Committee expressed its concern that the General Directorate had
no corresponding bodies at regional and local levels.

176. The Committee was concerned at the lack of an integrated and
systematic approach by the national machinery and the relevant ministries
to all areas covered by the Convention, in particular with regard to women
in rural areas, vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities, young women
and women in prisons.

177. The Committee noted with deep concern various articles of the Penal
Code, including those relating to the abduction of single and married women
and to adultery, which were in contradiction to article 2, paragraph (f) of
the Convention.  In particular, it noted that greater penalties were
imposed for the rape of a woman who was a virgin.

178. The Committee noted with the gravest concern the practice of forced
gynaecological examinations of women in the investigation of allegations of
sexual assault, including of women prisoners while in custody.  The
Committee emphasized that such coercive practices were degrading,
discriminatory and unsafe and constituted a violation by state authorities
of the bodily integrity, person and dignity of women.

179. The Committee was concerned about the provisions of the Penal Code
that allowed less rigorous sanctions or penalties for "honour killings". 
That concept contravened the principle of respect for human life and the
security of all persons, which was protected by all the international human
rights laws.

180. The Committee deeply regretted that no special temporary measures had
been put in place to redress the situation of Kurdish women, who suffered
double discrimination.

181. The Committee was concerned by the pervasive violence, in all its
forms, perpetrated against women and girls and the inadequacy of legal and
educational measures to combat such violence.  The Committee was concerned
that neither its general recommendation 19 on violence against women nor
the Declaration on the

Elimination of Violence against Women, adopted by the General Assembly in
its resolution 48/104 of 20 December 1993, had been taken into
consideration.  The law categorizing violence as "crime against public
decency and public order" contradicted the spirit of the Convention and
contravened the dignity of the person.

182. The Committee was particularly concerned that juridical or educational
measures that may have been undertaken by the State in pursuance of article
5, paragraph (a), in the context of violence within the family, had not
been effective.

183. The Committee was concerned that sufficient appropriate measures had
not yet been taken to prevent and combat the acceptance of male dominance
and violence against women in rural as well as urban areas, as reflected in
such practices as beating women and requiring silent obedience from them. 
Equally, there was a lack of concrete measures to prevent the high number
of suicides among women victims of violence.

184. The Committee expressed its concern that spousal consent was required
for abortion, a requirement it considered to be in contravention of article
15 of the Convention.  The Committee also expressed its disapproval at the
existence of brothels regulated by law and the lack of information and
statistical data about the phenomenon.

185. The Committee was concerned that the Turkish political parties, trade
unions and other public institutions were not sufficiently sensitive to the
importance of the implementation of article 7 of the Convention and the
need for representation in decision-making bodies, including Parliament and
the Government, where the number of women was still very low.

186. The Committee was concerned about the Turkish Citizenship Law, which
provided that a Turkish woman who decided to assume the nationality of her
foreign husband would lose her Turkish nationality.

187. The Committee likewise expressed its concern at the high level of
illiteracy among women and girls, especially in the rural areas, the
drop-out rates of girls in schools owing to family practices, early
marriages and the prioritization of boys in school enrolment and other
gender-discriminatory practices in education.  The clustering of women in
higher education in areas regarded as suitable for women was also noted by
the Committee.

188. The Committee considered with concern the very low minimum age for
employment, which contravened relevant ILO conventions.  The high level of
unemployment of migrant urban female workers, the lack of measures to
integrate them into the labour markets and the persistent occupational
segregation in lower paid jobs impeded their upward mobility and further
reinforced discrimination against women in the labour market.

189. The lack of legal literacy programmes to raise the awareness of rural
women regarding their rights was also a matter of concern.

190. The Committee was particularly concerned at the high number of women
in rural areas working in family enterprises, since their work was not
recognized in the formal economy, they did not receive social security
benefits and their access to health services was limited.

     Suggestions and recommendations

191. The Committee requested the Government of Turkey to take steps to
address the aforementioned principal subjects of concern and to reflect
progress made in its next periodic report.

192. The Committee invited the Government to review the Civil Code,
particularly with regard to family law, with a view to removing the
reservations to the Convention.  It also suggested that the related
provisions of the Penal Code be revised in order to ensure women the full
protection of the law on equal terms with men.

193. The Committee invited the Government of Turkey to educate women and
men towards a culture of shared obligations and responsibilities of family
work and the rearing of children.  In addition, information and training
efforts directed at both sexes were needed to stop the perpetuation of
traditional attitudinal and behavioural patterns and to create awareness of
women's rights as expressed in the Convention.

194. Serious efforts were required to address violence against women,
especially domestic violence, through legislation and comprehensive,
gender-sensitive awareness-raising and education for the public in general
and for law enforcement agencies, such as judges, lawyers and police in
particular.  Battered women's shelters should be established and provided
with adequate financial and human resources.

195. The practice of so-called honour killings, based on customs and
traditions, was a violation of the right to life and security of persons
and therefore must be appropriately addressed under the law.  The
Government was also invited to review in a critical manner the practice of
virginity examinations in cases of alleged rape; likewise, it was invited
to investigate whether coerced virginity examinations had been carried out
on women in the investigation of sexual attacks or abuses or in any other
circumstances.

196. The Committee requested the review of the requirement of spousal
consent for abortion.

197. The media should be mobilized in support of advancing the status and
the rights of women, including through non-sexist and non-stereotypical
portrayal of women in the media and through programmes to address violence
against women.  Efforts to increase the number of women in the media,
particularly in decision-making positions, should be intensified.

198. The situation of minority women needed to be monitored urgently, and a
systematic effort was necessary to ensure for them their full legal rights
guaranteed by the Convention.

199. Temporary special measures with numerical goals and timetables should
be initiated in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention,
in particular in the political sphere and the public sector.

200. Consideration should be given to the revision of the Citizenship Law
in order to give women equal rights with men in all areas of nationality
law.

201. Continuing support should be given to female students in order to
increase the rate of female university graduates and their participation in
non-traditional fields.

202. The Committee urged the Government of Turkey to take adequate measures
to provide skills training, retraining and credit facilities or other
support services that would provide employment opportunities or
self-employment for urban migrant workers, to correct occupational
segregation through concrete measures and to provide the necessary
protection to working women to ensure their safety and healthy conditions
of work.

203. Concrete training programmes aimed at increasing opportunities for
women to make use of micro-credit programmes would also be necessary.

204. The Committee invited the Government of Turkey to take measures to
recognize rural women's work in family enterprises for the purposes of
pension entitlement.  In addition, the Government should disseminate
information in the Convention relating to rural women's rights.

205. The Committee requested the compilation of current data and statistics
on family planning methods, the use of such methods by men and women and
access to contraception disaggregated by age and sex.

206. The Committee urged the Government to disseminate widely copies of the
Convention, the Committee's general recommendations and the present
concluding comments and to translate those documents into local languages
where necessary so as to ensure that all women have access to them.  The
Committee also requested the Government to address the concerns raised in
these comments in its next report.  The next report should likewise contain
information on steps taken by the Government to implement the Beijing
Declaration and Platform for Action.


                         4.  Third periodic reports

                                  Venezuela

207. The Committee considered the third periodic report of Venezuela
(CEDAW/C/VEN/3) at its 323rd and 324th meetings, on 22 January 1997 (see
CEDAW/C/SR.323 and 324).

208. The representative of Venezuela explained that the third periodic
report described implementation of the Convention from 1989 to 1995.  It
had been prepared after the Government was formed in 1994.

209. The representative emphasized that the third periodic report outlined
the progress achieved by women in implementing the Convention during the
period indicated.  However, she stressed that the report did not include
the ninth national plan drawn up by the Government.  The plan guaranteed
equal opportunities for women and men in all areas of public life, as well
as the integration of a gender perspective, and sought the full realization
of the goal of genuine democracy.

210. The representative stated that the process of preparing the report had
provided the Government of Venezuela with the opportunity to assess the
progress achieved in the implementation of the Convention.  She also
acknowledged the role of the Committee in the follow-up to the
implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, and expressed the hope
that the critical views expressed by the Committee would improve the
Government's work.

211. The representative made clear that Venezuela, as well as the rest of
Latin America, was experiencing social, political, economic and cultural
transformations that were having a tremendous impact on society,
particularly on women, who had seen their incomes and traditional sources
of support reduced and their responsibilities expanded.  However, she
pointed out that the economic and political crisis of the 1980s and part of
the 1990s had forced women to demand greater participation in society and
the State.  It was in that context that demands for "participative
representation" were being made by new players, especially women.

212. The representative stressed that Venezuela had one of the highest
rates of population growth in Latin America.  She said that the country was
affected by the end of the revenue-based model, which was causing inflation
and affecting the living conditions of the population, especially women
heads of household.  She said that the "Plan Venezuela" had been put in
place to alleviate, in the short term, the impact of structural adjustment
programmes on the most vulnerable sectors of the population.

213. The representative provided a review of the major achievements with
respect to equality between women and men.  She described various
legislative amendments, in particular the Sexual and Domestic Violence
Bill, the amendments to the Civil Code concerning equality of rights and
responsibilities between spouses in marriage, the principle of solidarity
and sharing of responsibilities within the family, and the right for
teenage mothers to remain in school.  In addition, she indicated that the
National Women's Council was the machinery that monitored the
implementation of the legal reforms and the strategies agreed to in the
Beijing Platform for Action.

214. The representative made clear that, in spite of the progress
indicated, insufficient emphasis was being given to women's access to
training and literacy and to programmes for the empowerment of women, and
that persistent stereotypes, often found in educational texts and cultural
attitudes, remained obstacles to the advancement of women.  She also
informed the Committee that economic inequalities persisted against women,
particularly in the labour force, where their position and remuneration had
placed them at a lower level than men.  In addition, women were still
marginalized in terms of resources, and their political participation was
quite limited owing to the resistance to quotas of political parties.

215. The representative emphasized actions to be taken in the short term,
including amendments to the Equal Opportunities for Women Act, which were
expected to lead to the establishment of an independent women's institute.

216. The representative regretted that the Committee's procedures for
periodic reports, which allowed only a short time for Governments to
respond to written questions, did not enable them to provide deep analysis
and appropriate replies.  She concluded by emphasizing that a State party
should not be subjected to undue pressures as a result of Committee
procedures.


Concluding comments of the Committee

     Introduction

217. Venezuela presented a report covering the period from 1989 to 1995. 
The Committee expressed appreciation to the representative of Venezuela for
the frankness with which she described the social, economic and political
situation of women in her country and the way in which her Government had
tried to implement the Convention.

218. The Committee noted that the report had not been prepared according to
the Committee's guidelines and had not provided statistics on problems
related to each article of the Convention.  Nor did it contain a detailed,
factual description of the policies and programmes being carried out and
their success in meeting the de facto needs of Venezuelan women with a view
to complying with the Convention.

219. Nevertheless, the report contained a large amount of data on the de
jure situation of women in Venezuela; that information had been taken up
again and, in some cases, expanded upon in the oral presentation.  The
Committee thanked the representative for answering most of the 74 questions
put to the Government and noted with understanding the representative's
statement that lack of time had made it difficult to provide the Committee
with more detailed answers or with updated statistics.

     Factors and difficulties affecting the implementation of the
Convention

220. The most serious obstacle to implementing the Convention in Venezuela
was clearly the poverty facing a large percentage of the population (77 per
cent of the urban population and 75 per cent of the rural population were
living in poverty).  That problem had been exacerbated by the fact that
83.99 per cent of the population had moved to urban areas, leaving only
16.01 per cent in the countryside.  Among the population aged 25 to 44
years, the percentage of women migrants was greater than that of men.

221. Another serious problem was what was referred to as the "exhaustion of
the revenue-based development model of the Venezuelan economy", which had
forced the Government to take economic measures to control inflation and
balance the budget, at the cost of social investment.  The severe
restrictions placed on social spending had primarily affected the most
vulnerable population groups, including women, leading to the so-called
feminization of poverty.

222. The country had been unable to revitalize and balance its economy,
although it had implemented a plan to combat poverty in an attempt to
mitigate the social costs of adjustment.  The plan had not been very
successful, as the report indicated.

223. The economic situation was exacerbated by the persistence of
entrenched patriarchal patterns and of stereotypes and prejudices against
women in people's social attitudes.  Such patterns and attitudes were
reinforced by a set of laws that had thus far resisted amendment (for
instance, a proposal for amending the Penal Code had been under
consideration since 1985), despite considerable efforts on the part of
various governmental bodies and non-governmental organizations.

224. Another obstacle to the implementation of the Convention was the lack
of continuity in State policies and programmes for women, which meant that
concepts, methods and mechanisms for solving problems and implementing the
Convention coherently and systematically kept changing.

225. A further problem was that it was difficult to secure passage, by the
legislative branch, of proposals for combating discrimination against
women.

226. The national machinery for implementing the Convention, the National
Women's Council, did not seem to have the resources, decision-making powers
and necessary influence to introduce a gender perspective in the various
government bodies.

     Positive aspects

227. The Committee welcomed the Penal Code Reform Bill and the Sexual and
Domestic Violence Bill.

228. The Committee viewed as very positive the Equal Opportunities for
Women Act, under which an independent women's institute and a national
office for the defence of women's rights were to be established.

229. The incorporation of a gender perspective in the Eighth National Plan
and the preparation of a national programme for women with that perspective
were important achievements.

230. The promulgation of legislation guaranteeing that pregnant teenagers
could complete their education and could not be withdrawn from school
because of their pregnancy was a great success.

231. The cooperation initiated by the National Women's Council with
non-governmental organizations and the creation of seven national women's
networks were extremely positive steps.

     Principal areas of concern 

232. In addition to the poverty in which Venezuela's population was living,
the Committee was extremely concerned at the absence of any policies and
programmes at the grass-roots level for promoting women's interests and at
the fact that it was difficult to secure passage of legislative proposals
for meeting women's needs.

233. The Committee was also concerned that the country had not made much
real progress in implementing the Convention and that, despite its efforts,
it had yet to respond effectively to problems such as domestic violence,
prostitution, early pregnancy, female illiteracy, discrimination in the
workplace in terms of how much women were paid, the high percentage of
women receiving less than the minimum wage and the elimination of
stereotypes.

234. The Committee was concerned that Venezuela had not made the necessary
changes to its legal system and that that continued to reinforce
patriarchal patterns of behaviour.

235. The Government had also failed to set up a national programme for
implementing the strategies set forth in the Platform for Action adopted at
the Fourth World Conference on Women, even strategies in such urgent
priority areas as poverty eradication.

236. Another area of concern was the reduction in health budgets, the rise
in the maternal mortality rate, the lack of and limited access to family-
planning programmes (especially for teenagers), the lack of statistics on
acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and women's limited access to public
health services.  In addition, legislation that criminalized abortion, even
in cases of incest or rape, remained in force.

237. The Committee was concerned that employment opportunities for women
had been lost as a result of cutbacks in the State employment sector,
especially since that was forcing women into the informal economy and into
low-paid service jobs.

238. The Committee was also deeply concerned at the fact that the State had
not prioritized the allocation of funds to social programmes.

239. The Committee was concerned that a Venezuelan man had the right to
confer his nationality on his wife upon marriage, but a Venezuelan woman
did not have the right to confer her citizenship on her husband.  That
constituted a violation of article 9 of the Convention.

     Suggestions and recommendations

240. The Committee especially recommended the implementation of effective
programmes for combating poverty, which affected women in particular.

241. The Committee said that it would welcome early adoption of the
amendments to the Penal Code and of the Sexual and Domestic Violence Bill
and the repeal of the article of the Civil Code concerning citizenship
rights that conflicted with the Convention.

242. The Committee recommended that Venezuela fulfil the commitments it had
made in adopting the Beijing Platform for Action.

243. The Committee suggested that policies and programmes should be
undertaken to halt the rise in the maternal mortality rate and that family-
planning programmes for teenagers should be developed, in both urban and
rural areas.

244. The Committee suggested that the Government should work for early
approval of the establishment of the national machinery with sufficient
integration into the political system and sufficient human and financial
resources.

245. The Committee recommended that the Government undertake broad-based
programmes directed at the entire population, through the mass media and
other possible channels, to combat gender stereotypes.

246. The Committee also recommended that the Government undertake measures
to close the wage gap between women and men under the principle of equal
pay for work of equal value.

247. The Committee requested the Government of Venezuela to address the
concerns raised in the present comments in its next report, including
following the Committee's reporting guidelines.  Information on the
implementation of the Committee's general recommendations and steps to be
taken in regard to the follow-up to the Beijing Platform for Action should
also be included.  It requested the Government to provide statistical data
disaggregated by sex with regard to all areas of the Convention in its next
report.  Finally, the Committee requested the Government to disseminate
these concluding comments widely throughout Venezuela.


                                   Denmark

248. The Committee considered the third periodic report of Denmark
(CEDAW/C/DEN/3) at its 328th and 329th meetings, on 24 January 1997 (see
CEDAW/C/SR.328 and 329).

249. In her introductory statement, the representative noted that the
report had been prepared in a participatory way and included the comments
of various women's organizations in Denmark.  To further strengthen the
outreach of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against
Women, both the Convention and the report had been translated into Danish
and published by women's organizations.

250. The representative pointed out that much had been accomplished in
terms of improving the status of women in Denmark, but the success went
beyond the provision of legal rights.  More importantly, Danish society had
also started to change its attitude towards women.  An understanding of the
concept of gender, including the roles of both men and women, had gained
ground.  Denmark had focused its efforts on changing attitudes towards
women and gender roles in Danish society.  In the follow-up to the Beijing
Platform for Action, Denmark had focused on mainstreaming gender issues in
all levels of society.

251. The representative informed the Committee about recent efforts to
strengthen the institutional framework for the advancement of women that
had not been reflected in the report.  An ad hoc committee had been
established to develop new ideas and strategies to improve national
machinery and to consult equality institutions in other countries. 
Furthermore, the Government of Denmark had increased its support to the
Equal Status Council in terms of personnel and funding.

252. The representative highlighted some recent changes in legislation
designed to advance the status of women further.  For example, Danish
counties were now obliged to report to the national Government on issues
related to equality in employment in their region, and a proposal would be
discussed in Parliament concerning women's right to join the army under
conditions almost equal to those applicable to men.

253. The representative described the special efforts undertaken by Denmark
to encourage fathers to share parental responsibility for the raising of
children.  The legal framework provided unmarried couples with the
possibility of sharing custody and granted both parents the right to
parental leave.  The representative also pointed out that those measures
had to be accompanied by programmes designed to motivate men actually to
use the parental leave schemes.  Therefore, the Minister of Employment was
exploring new models to encourage fathers to make use of their newly
acquired rights.

Concluding comments of the Committee

     Introduction

254. The Committee expressed appreciation for the clear and well-organized
third periodic report of Denmark, which closely followed the Committee's
guidelines.

255. The Committee was pleased to note that the report and Denmark's
answers to the questions of the Committee's pre-session working group
provided relevant and up-to-date statistics.  That allowed the Committee to
discern the evolution of conditions in relation to the majority of the
articles of the Convention.

256. The Committee also commended the Government of Denmark for including
comments of non-governmental organizations in its report and in particular
the fact that those comments responded to the report of the State party. 
The Committee evaluated that practice as a positive innovation.

     Positive aspects

257. Denmark's commitment to high standards of gender equality and its
consistent efforts to create an egalitarian society with respect to gender
were regarded by the Committee as exemplary.

258. The Committee was aware of the legal measures taken by Denmark and the
fact that the statistics on different aspects of gender equality in Denmark
reflected constant improvement over time.  The Committee was pleased to
observe the institutionalized participation of women's non-governmental
organizations in the politics of equality and the mainstreaming of gender
equality through the creation of Equality Commissions in a majority of
ministries in Denmark.

259. The Committee appreciated the Government's holistic approach to the
implementation of the Convention and was pleased to note that conscientious
efforts were already under way for the implementation of the Beijing
Platform for Action.

260. The Committee was also pleased to learn that provisions concerning
persecution on the basis of gender had been incorporated into the laws on
the status of refugees in Denmark.

     Principal areas of concern

261. The Committee noted with concern the challenges currently facing
efforts to implement temporary special measures to hasten gender equality,
such as the removal of quotas by political parties.  Although the
participation of women in politics was at a higher level than in other
countries, Denmark had yet to reach gender parity in the political sphere.

262. The disproportionately low levels of women's participation in academe,
in research positions and in management positions in the public and private
sectors suggested that insufficient systematic and goal-oriented advocacy
and action was taking place in the light of Denmark's leading role in those
areas.

263. The inadequacy of culturally and gender-sensitive measures and
programmes for immigrant and refugee women to enable them to benefit from
legal and social services available in Denmark was noted as an area of
concern by the Committee.

264. The absence of a specific law on violence against women was noted as a
principal deficiency.  The Committee expressed a desire to have fuller
information about the actual incidence of violence, rape and incest and was
concerned about the absence of specific legislation and/or measures to
sensitize the police, the judiciary or the public in general regarding
those issues.

265. The Committee noted with concern that stereotypical perceptions of
gender role continued to exist in society and were related to the
perseverance of attitudes and behaviour that kept women away from decision-
making positions and kept men from assuming an equal share of family
responsibilities.

266. The fact that women, despite their high level of education, were more
seriously affected by unemployment than men was noted with concern by the
Committee.  The Committee was also concerned that women were still paid
less than men, despite efforts to initiate assessments of equal pay for
work of equal value.

     Suggestions and recommendations

267. Temporary special measures should be maintained and strengthened,
particularly in the areas of reducing unemployment among women; ensuring
that women and men receive equal pay for work of equal value; increasing
women's participation in private-sector decision-making; increasing the
number of female university professors and researchers; and encouraging men
to devote more time to child care and housework.  Such initiatives should
include quantitative targets, time limits for their achievement, specific
measures and sufficient budgetary resources.

268. More research should be conducted on the incidence of violence against
women, particularly in vulnerable groups such as immigrants, as well as on
the advantages of enacting legislation specifically directed at reducing
such violence.  The research finding should be included in the next report
submitted in accordance with article 18 of the Convention.

269. In particular, more efforts should be made to determine whether
trafficking in women and exploitation of prostitution are taking place and
whether new communications technologies, especially the Internet, are being
used for such purposes.

270. The gender and culture course, which is currently optional in
pre-university curricula, should be made mandatory in secondary education.

271. In accordance with the Beijing Platform for Action, it is recommended
that the value of non-remunerated work done by both women and men should be
included in national accounts, through satellite accounts.

272. The Committee recommended that Denmark continue to include among the
objectives of its development assistance programmes the promotion of the
rights of women and the elimination of discrimination against women and, in
particular, the implementation of the Convention in beneficiary countries.

273. In addition to information relating to the recommendations above, the
Committee requested that the next report include information on:

     (a)  Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and of the
commitments announced by Denmark at the Fourth World Conference on Women;

     (b)  The number of women and men who work:  (i) part-time; (ii) on a
flexible schedule; and (iii) outside the workplace, using new technologies;

     (c)  The steps taken by trade unions and business organizations to
implement the principle of equal pay for work of equal value;

     (d)  The use, in cases of abortion, of the RU-486 pill;

     (e)  The number of women who use medically assisted reproduction
techniques and the number of children adopted;

     (f)  Disabled women, especially in terms of their access to education
and employment;

     (g)  Concrete results and the de facto impact of policies on and
programmes for women;

     (h)  The economic situation of women, including successful measures to
combat the unemployment of women.

274. The Committee requested the Government of Denmark to address the
concerns included in the present concluding comments in its next report. 
It also requested wide dissemination of these comments throughout the
country to make the people of Denmark aware of the steps that had been
taken to ensure de facto equality for women and the further steps required
in that regard.


               5.  Combined third and fourth periodic reports

                                 Philippines

275. The Committee considered the third and fourth periodic reports of the
Philippines (CEDAW/C/1997/PHI/3 and 4) at its 327th and 328th meetings,
on 27 January 1997 (see CEDAW/C/SR.327 and 328).  The representatives,
including the Chairperson of the National Commission on the Role of
Filipino Women, presented a three-part document containing extensive
responses to the questions of the Committee's pre-session working group. 
The document had been prepared collaboratively by ministerial agencies and
non-governmental organizations. 

276. The Committee was informed of the various measures the Government had
taken in the implementation of the Convention.  A 30-year perspective plan
had been devised containing information on the status of women in every
sector and stipulating measures to be taken to achieve full equality
between women and men.  It was the policy of the Government to pursue a
gender-responsive approach to poverty alleviation.  Moreover, the National
Commission on the Role of Filipino Women had been given direct access to
the highest policy-making level.  The Government's commitment was also
reflected in the secured funding within the national budget for the purpose
of improving women's lives.  The Committee was further informed that
considerable improvements had been made in the fields of women's health and
education.

277. At the same time, the representative of the Philippines acknowledged
that, although much progress had been achieved since the consideration of
the State party's second report, there was still more to be done before the
Convention was fully implemented in the country.  She also noted the lack
of an effective mechanism to monitor the implementation of the Convention. 
She described the major challenge posed by the Government's
decentralization policy to the achievement of the effective implementation
of the Convention.

278. The representative noted that, in spite of the rapid economic
recovery, women in the Philippines suffered disproportionately from
poverty, thus contributing to the continued feminization of overseas
employment.  Rural women were particularly affected, and this had led to
the migration of a large number of rural women to urban areas as well as
overseas.  She reported that that was a major concern of the Government of
the Philippines, which had set up, inter alia, monitoring centres,
counselling services and specific support programmes, as well as providing
welfare assistance.  The Committee was informed that most women migrant
workers were employed as entertainers and domestic helpers.  Those jobs
often put them in a very vulnerable position and exposed them to risks of
violent abuse.  In that respect, the representative recognized that further
efforts were required to establish more effective systems to allow the
particular needs and problems of women migrant workers to be addressed.

279. The representative alerted the Committee to the increasing incidence
of crimes of violence against women.  Various measures had been taken by
the Government to combat such violence, reflecting the Committee's general
recommendation 19 on violence against women.  The Committee was informed
that various support systems had been set up, including women's shelter
homes and a 24-hour helpline.  Several bills had been proposed, for example
on rape and domestic violence, as a result of the lobbying of non-
governmental organizations and government agencies.  However, it remained
to be seen whether they could be effectively implemented.  The Government
was aware that the prevailing gender-stereotyped images had to be
eliminated and that a public awareness-raising campaign needed to be
organized in that regard.

280. The Committee was further informed that prostitution was illegal in
the Philippines.  However, the representative noted that there had been
changes in public opinion on that subject, and much debate had been taking
place in the country in relation to the issue.

281. The representative of the Philippines concluded her presentation by
assuring the Committee of her Government's commitment to advancing the
status of women.

Concluding comments of the Committee

     Introduction

282. The Committee welcomed the presentation by the Government of the
Philippines, and commended it in particular on the high quality of its
fourth periodic report, which contained detailed information on the
implementation of the Convention in accordance with the Committee's
guidelines.  The report gave a comprehensive overview of legal and
administrative measures taken by the Government of the Philippines, and the
analysis indicated a good understanding of the obstacles to the advancement
of women.  At the same time, it lacked factual information, including
statistics, on the actual effect of government programmes and policies. 
The Committee applauded the initiative of the Government to collaborate
with non-governmental organizations in preparing the report.  It was
particularly pleased with the frank and sincere approach of the national
machinery in identifying the major obstacles to the elimination of
discrimination against women.

     Factors and difficulties affecting the implementation of the
Convention

283. The Committee noted the major economic policies undertaken by the
Government, including economic and trade agreements at the regional and
global levels, which will have a profound impact on women.  In particular,
the direction towards economic liberalization and privatization may have
serious implications for the economic position of women and, in particular,
on the economic position of women in the free-trade zones and in rural
areas.  The Committee was concerned that the trend towards feminization of
migration and its attendant problems, including violence against women
migrant workers, might be exacerbated.

     Positive aspects

284. The Committee welcomed the adoption by the Government of the
Philippine Plan for Gender-responsive Development, 1995-2025, and also the
priority policy imperatives set by the national machinery for women to
implement the Beijing Platform for Action and to mainstream gender and
development throughout the  Government.

285. The Committee commended the decision to allocate a given percentage of
all governmental budgets to women's programmes and projects, and encouraged
an increase in the minimum percentage allocated.

286. The Committee noted with satisfaction several measures taken between
the third and fourth periodic reports, such as the provision of credit
assistance to women, legislation prohibiting sexual harassment, raising the
minimum wage for domestic workers and increasing maternity and paternity
benefits for employed persons.

287. The Committee applauded the report on an initial consultation to
measure women's unremunerated work within a satellite account to the
national economic system.

288. The Committee also commended the increase in the number of women's
non-governmental organizations working at the grass-roots level and their
significant contribution to the advancement of women, which was reflected
in the reports of the State party.

289. The Committee was gratified at the exceptionally high level of
literacy (93 per cent) among Filipino women.

     Principal areas of concern

290. The Committee noted with concern the inadequacy of monitoring
mechanisms and indicators to measure the impact of government policies and
programmes, as well as laws and administrative directives and regulations,
especially at the local level.

291. The Committee expressed its grave concern about the economic reforms,
which had resulted in growth in the gross national product, on the one
hand, but in an increasing gap in the rates of employment of women and men
and the economic marginalization of women on the other.  Such damage, even
if short-term, would be increasingly hard to rectify.  It appeared that,
owing to the lack of a livelihood, rural women were migrating to urban
areas, where unemployment was higher than ever, which could account for the
large number of women working as prostitutes and for the high proportion of
women migrating as overseas contract workers.

292. The Committee commented on the discriminatory application of laws
enforced against women prostitutes and not the men involved as traffickers,
pimps and clients, and noted further that forced medical examinations of
the women without similar attention to the male clients was not effective
as a public health measure.

293. The Committee expressed its deep concern about deficiencies in the
legal system with regard to violence against women, in view of the fact
that incest and domestic violence were not specifically penalized by law
and were still shrouded in silence.

294. The Committee noted that the decentralization of population and
development programmes should bring services closer to the people.  The
Committee was concerned that without the requisite resource capacities and
gender sensitivity of officials, such decentralization could deny women
access to those services in contravention of the Convention.

295. The Committee noted with concern that despite the increased
participation of women in decision-making in the public sphere, especially
in non-governmental organizations, there was still very low representation
of women in politics, top levels of Government and the judiciary.

     Suggestions and recommendations

296. The Committee urged the Government of the Philippines to adopt a
top-priority policy of creating safe and protected jobs for women as a
viable economic alternative to the current unemployment of women and their
participation as subcontractors and, in the informal sector, as workers in
free-trade zones, as prostitutes or as overseas contract workers.

297. The Committee suggested that the Government ensure that its economic
policy did not lead to marginalization and exploitation so that women were
encouraged to seek overseas employment to the detriment of society.

298. The Committee strongly recommended that the Government strengthen
agencies that provide information and support services to women before they
depart for overseas work, as well as in the receiving countries in cases of
need.

299. The Committee suggested that measures for dealing with prostitution
should focus on penalizing traffickers and creating alternative job
opportunities for the women.

300. The Committee strongly urged the Government to enact legislation to
combat violence against women and to compile the relevant data.

301. The Committee recommended that reproductive and sexual health
services, including family planning and contraception, be made available
and accessible to all women in all regions.

302. The Committee recommended that temporary special measures be adopted
to increase the participation of women in top-level decision-making
positions in the public sector.

303. The Committee suggested that there was a strong need for developing
gender-disaggregated data in all areas.

304. In order to facilitate the implementation of the Convention, the
Committee recommended that monitoring mechanisms and indicators be
developed to measure the effect of government policies and programmes.

305. The Committee requested the Government of the Philippines to address
the concerns included in the present concluding comments in its next report
and to include information on the implementation of the Committee's general
recommendations, as well as information relating to the follow-up to the
Beijing Platform for Action in accordance with its revised reporting
guidelines.  It also requested wide dissemination of the comments
throughout the Philippines.


                                   Canada

306. The Committee considered the third and fourth periodic reports of
Canada (CEDAW/C/CAN/3 and 4) at its 329th and 330th meetings, on 28 January
1997 (see CEDAW/C/SR.329 and 330).

307. In introducing the reports, the representative placed the
implementation of the Convention and the Platform for Action adopted at the
Fourth World Conference on Women within the framework of the Canadian
federal system.  She noted that in Canada, the federal and
provincial/territorial governments shared legislative authority. 
Responsibility for areas such as education, health and social services was
largely devolved to the provincial/territorial level.  Canada's national
machinery for the advancement of women was well-established at the federal
level, and women's bureaux or agencies existed at the level of all
provincial/territorial governments.

308. Canada's approach to promoting gender equality was based on the
recognition that gender factors influenced political, economic and social
systems.  As a consequence, all social policy must take into account the
differential impact of policies on men and women.  The national machinery
provided gender analysis and policy advice to government entities to ensure
that gender factors were incorporated into legislation, policies and
programmes.

309. The representative stressed that her Government attached great
importance to close cooperation with non-governmental organizations and
civil society as a crucial aspect of the advancement of women.  Various
efforts were undertaken to reflect the views of civil society in policy-
making processes.  Extensive networks existed with non-governmental
organizations, and the Government provided funding to many women's
organizations.

310. Noting that Canada faced new domestic and global socio-economic
challenges, the representative emphasized that Canada had taken decisive
steps to provide women with an effective legal framework against
discrimination.  The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteed
equality before the law and under the law and the equal protection of the
law to women and men.  Individuals and groups could challenge legislation
and practices of the federal or provincial/territorial governments if they
perceived them to be discriminatory.  The Charter provided protection
against intentional discrimination as well as systemic discrimination and
protected women against laws and practices that resulted inadvertently in
unfair treatment of women.  A special programme provided financial support
for groups and individuals seeking the equality protection of the Charter. 
A recent amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act granted protection
against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

311. The representative highlighted a number of recent efforts by her
Government to advance women's equality in the economic and social fields. 
As women's employment and economic autonomy were considered to be key
building blocks for women's equality, improvements were needed with regard
to women's earnings and to deal with persistent occupational segregation. 
A number of recent legislative measures were intended to address those
areas.  Efforts were also ongoing to measure and value women's and men's
unpaid work in the household and to take it into account in policy.

312. The elimination of violence against women and children was another
issue of high priority.  Canada approached the problem in a comprehensive
and holistic way, with particular attention to the underlying causes of
such violence.  In addition to recent amendments to strengthen the Criminal
Code's response to violence, a number of legislative initiatives were
pending.

313. The representative pointed out that special assistance was provided to
women who were multiply disadvantaged, a third area of recent initiatives
by the Government.  Canada recognized that women were disadvantaged not
only because of gender but also because of ethnicity, disability or income. 
The situation of aboriginal women required special attention, and
recommendations contained in a recently completed study by the Royal
Commission on Aboriginal People were expected to play an important role in
future policy-making in that field.

314. A fourth area was to ensure women's equal access to health care. 
Given rising health care costs in Canada, major changes in the Canadian
health care system were expected to be implemented over the next decade. 
The preservation of women's equal access to quality health care would be an
essential concern in that process.

315. In conclusion, the representative recognized that despite the progress
made in many areas, a lot remained to be done.  She assured the Committee
of her Government's willingness to develop innovative solutions to the
remaining problems, working closely with all parts of Canadian society.

Concluding comments of the Committee

     Introduction

316. The Committee commended the Canadian Government for its third and
fourth periodic reports and for the excellent and comprehensive replies to
the numerous written questions prepared by the experts.

317. The Committee also appreciated the high-level delegation, which
included representatives from the provinces.

318. The Committee found the format of the written reports, broken down by
provinces, difficult to analyse and evaluate.  As a result, experts were
unable to appreciate fully the gains and obstacles in implementing the
Convention.

319. The Committee noted the leading role of Canada in promoting gender
equality at the international level through its development cooperation
programmes on gender mainstreaming and violence against women.

320. The Committee also noted that while in the report there was a
comprehensive review of new legislation and jurisprudence on human rights
affecting women, the information provided did not adequately explain the
impact on either women in general or on specific groups of women.

     Factors and difficulties affecting the implementation of the
Convention

321. The restructuring of the economy, a phenomenon occurring in Canada and
other highly industrialized countries, appeared to have had a
disproportionate impact on women.  Although the Government had introduced
many measures designed to improve the status of women, the restructuring
was seriously threatening to erode the significant gains and advances made
by Canadian women.  Given the Government's proud record of leadership on
women's issues globally, those developments would not only have an impact
on Canadian women, but would also be felt by women in other countries.

     Positive aspects

322. The Committee commended the high degree of importance attached to the
promotion and implementation of human rights in Canada emphasized by its
Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as its ratification of international
human rights instruments, including the Convention.

323. The Committee noted that Canada had, by its landmark decision-making
gender-based violence a basis for granting asylum to women, once again led
the way.

324. The Committee noted with appreciation the introduction of the Federal
Plan for Gender Equality, which was Canada's framework and blueprint for
implementing the Beijing Platform for Action.

325. The Committee welcomed Canada's emphasis on the participation of civil
society in promoting gender equality and in providing mechanisms for
cooperation and dialogue, in particular with non-governmental
organizations.  The annual consultation on violence against women conducted
by the Minister of Justice in cooperation with the Council on the Status of
Women was particularly commendable.

326. The Committee also noted with satisfaction that Canada continued to
strengthen and refine its gender mainstreaming efforts at all levels.

     Principal areas of concern

327. While many measures, including laws, were in place to address violence
against women, the incidence of such violence was not diminishing, but had
in fact increased in some areas.

328. The Committee was concerned about the rising teenage pregnancy rate,
with its negative impact on health and education and the resulting increase
in the  poverty and dependency of young women.

329. The Committee expressed its concern about the trend towards the
privatization of health care programmes, which could seriously affect the
accessibility and quality of services available to Canadian women,
especially the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

330. The Committee was concerned that within the framework of economic and
structural changes, including those arising from regional and international
economic arrangements, insufficient attention had been paid to their impact
on women in general and on disadvantaged women in particular.

331. The Committee was concerned about the deepening poverty among women,
particularly among single mothers, aggravated by the withdrawal,
modification or weakening of social assistance programmes.

332. The Committee was concerned that despite the steps taken to implement
the Federal Employment Equity Act in the public sector, it was still too
limited to have a real impact on women's economic position and suffered
from weak enforcement.

333. The Committee was concerned that programmes directed at aboriginal
women might have discriminatory effects.

334. The Committee also expressed its concern that current budget cutbacks
were affecting the continuity of services in women's crisis centres.

     Suggestions and recommendations

335. The level of violence against Canadian women in general and sexually
exploited women and girls, prostitutes and women victims of trafficking in
particular requires urgent action.  Measures to combat violence against
women need to be continuously monitored and evaluated for their impact on
long-term behaviours and attitudes.

336. The Committee suggested that the Government address urgently the
factors responsible for increasing poverty among women and especially women
single parents and that it develop programmes and policies to combat such
poverty.

337. Information on the valuation and qualification of women's unpaid work,
including domestic work, should be provided in future reports.

338. The Committee suggested that in the next report the Government, within
the possibilities of its legal framework, integrate the information from
federal and provincial levels article by article.  The Committee also
recommended that the report include explicit information on the impact of
legislation, policies and programmes on Canadian women in general and
specific groups of women in particular.

339. Methodologies to assess progress made in closing the gap in pay
between men and women and in ensuring equal pay for work of equal value
should be developed.

340. The Federal Plan for Gender Equality should have a specific time-
frame, benchmark and measurable goals to monitor implementation and the
specific resource allocation required.

341. A comprehensive picture of the situation of aboriginal women should be
provided, including their educational situation, their position in the
labour force and a description and evaluation of past and present federal
and provincial programmes for aboriginal women.  Programmes directed at
aboriginal women should be monitored for possible discriminatory effects. 
The plight of aboriginal women in prison is of urgent concern.

342. The Committee recommended that social assistance programmes directed
at women be restored to an adequate level.

343. The Committee urged the wide dissemination of the present concluding
comments in Canada to make Canadians aware of the steps that had been taken
to ensure de facto equality for women and the further steps required in
that regard.


                6.  Report submitted on an exceptional basis

                                    Zaire

344. At its 317th meeting, on 16 January 1997, the Committee, on the
recommendation of its Bureau, considered an oral report presented on an
exceptional basis by the representative of Zaire (see CEDAW/C/SR.317).

345. The Committee had originally scheduled to take the initial report of
Zaire at its sixteenth session.  However, as a result of a breakdown in
communication between New York and Kinshasa, the Government did not inform
the Secretariat that it was ready to present its report.  As a result, the
initial report of Zaire was not included in the Committee's agenda.

346. However, as the representative of Zaire arrived in New York expecting
to present the State party's initial report, the Committee instead agreed
that the representative of Zaire would make an oral report on an
exceptional basis on the situation of women in Zaire.  The Committee agreed
on the understanding that the regular report of Zaire would be rescheduled
for consideration by the Committee at a future date.

347. The representative stated that eastern Zaire was in a state of
rebellion, and as many as 600,000 Zairians, predominantly women and
children, were displaced within the country.  At the same time, Zaire was
host to a significant number of refugees from Rwanda and Burundi.  Many
persons, including women and children, both Zairians and refugees, had
fallen victim to violence, including murder, rape and other abuses.

Comments of the Committee

348. The Committee reiterated that the oral report had been heard on an
exceptional basis and as a matter of courtesy for the delegation of Zaire
and that the regular report would be rescheduled.  It expressed its
particular concern for the situation of Zairian women in those areas where
conflict had occurred and where refugee populations were high.

349. The Committee regretted that the oral report by the State party had
not sufficiently reflected the close link that existed between
discrimination against women, gender-based violence and violation of the
rights and fundamental freedoms of women, particularly in the light of the
current situation in the country.

350. The Committee was of the view that effective and immediate measures
needed to be taken to protect the physical and moral integrity of refugee
and displaced women and of all women victims of armed conflict.

351. The Committee encouraged the State party, when presenting its initial
and subsequent reports, to provide information on the consequences of armed
conflict within Zaire for the lives of Zairian women, as well as for the
lives of refugee women from countries neighbouring Zaire. 


         V.  WAYS AND MEANS OF EXPEDITING THE WORK OF THE COMMITTEE


352. The Committee considered ways and means of expediting the work of the
Committee (agenda item 8) at its 311th and 332nd meetings, on 13 and
31 January 1997.

353. The item was introduced by the Chief of the Women's Rights Unit of the
Division for the Advancement of Women, who introduced the reports of the
Secretariat on reservations to the Convention (CEDAW/C/1997/4) and on ways
and means of expediting the work of the Committee (CEDAW/C/1997/5) and a
working paper containing draft rules of procedure (CEDAW/C/1997/WG.I/WP.1).


       Action taken by the Committee on the report of Working Group I

354. At its 332nd meeting, on 31 January 1997, the Committee considered the
item on the basis of the report of Working Group I (CEDAW/C/1997/WG.I/WP.2
and Add.1).


                           1.  Concluding comments

355. The Committee decided to maintain its practice of designating a main
country rapporteur and back-up rapporteur for each State party report.  It
decided that the expert nominated as the main country rapporteur would
draft the concluding comments and work in close collaboration with the
back-up rapporteur, the general rapporteur of the Committee and the
Secretariat.  The country rapporteur should seek additional information on
both initial and subsequent reports about the country under review.  She
was to present her findings as an introduction to the report at a closed
meeting, before the State party's presentation, but the concluding comments
drafted thereafter would reflect the views expressed at the meetings during
which the report was presented rather than the views of the individual
rapporteur.

356. The Committee decided that concluding comments should follow the
standard pattern elaborated by it at its fifteenth session.  It recommended
that a standard format with five headings should be followed, but some
flexibility would be necessary to meet unusual situations.  The
introduction to the comments should include whether the report had followed
the Committee's guidelines, whether it was sufficient or insufficient,
whether it had incorporated statistical data disaggregated by sex and the
nature and quality of the oral report.  It was suggested that there should
be an objective indication of the strengths of the report and the level of
the delegation, which should be considered in an open fashion, as it was
impossible for some countries to send large or high-level delegations.

357. The section on factors and difficulties affecting the implementation
of the Convention would describe major areas of the Convention that had not
been implemented by States parties.  It would address whether the
Convention was self-executing and whether legislation had been put in place
to give effect to it, as well as overarching social factors, such as
tradition and cultural and behavioural patterns.  That section should also
include general factors such as the impact of structural adjustment and
transition on the women of the State party under review.  Any reservations
to the Convention should be addressed in that section.

358. The section on positive aspects should be organized in the order of
the articles of the Convention.  The section on principal areas of concern
should be organized in the order of the importance of the particular issue
to the country under review.  The suggestions and recommendations should
provide concrete solutions from the Committee to the problems identified in
the rest of the comment.

359. The concluding comments would also include a reference to any
commitments of the State party made at the Fourth World Conference on
Women, and would close with a recommendation relating to the dissemination
of the Convention, the reports and the concluding comments.  Each set of
concluding comments would be internally balanced, and the Committee would
strive to achieve consistency and balance, particularly in terms of praise
and expressions of concern, among the concluding comments elaborated at
each session.

360. The Committee would hold a closed meeting after the close of
constructive dialogue with each State party in order to reflect on the main
issues and tendencies to be discussed in the concluding comments relating
to the report of the State party.

361. The Committee requested that these guidelines for concluding comments
should be provided by the Secretariat to the Committee at each of its
sessions.  For the decision of the Committee, see chap. I, sect. A, above,
decision 16/I.


              2.  Relations with non-governmental organizations

362. The Committee was broadly supportive of the involvement of non-
governmental organizations in its work, its general view being that non-
governmental organization material did not compromise the independence of
the members, who had been selected on the basis of expertise and integrity. 
The Committee welcomed the input of non-governmental organizations and
proposed that their advocacy role be encouraged.  It recommended that, as
from the seventeenth session, the Secretariat should facilitate an informal
meeting with non-governmental organizations, which would include,
inter alia, country-specific information, if possible with interpretation,
during the first and second days of its session.  The Working Group noted
that reports of non-governmental organizations were able to shed light on
the de facto implementation of the Convention in States parties and that
those reports should be made public and shared with, and made widely known
in, the State party concerned.  It was stressed that the input of non-
governmental organizations should not be perceived as clandestine material
given to Committee members.  For the decision of the Committee, see
chap. I, sect. A, above, decision 16/II.


                   3.  Relations with other treaty bodies

363. The practice of nominating Committee members to serve as focal points
to other treaty bodies should continue.  The Secretariat should ensure that
the concluding comments of the Committee are transmitted immediately to
other treaty bodies and that the concluding comments and observations of
the other bodies are made available to the Committee as soon as possible.

364. The Committee welcomed the initiation of meetings between the
Committee and the Committee on the Rights of the Child and called for
further collaboration with other treaty bodies.  In particular, the
Committee should take into account the general comments and recommendations
of other treaty bodies.  The Working Group recommended that those members
with fellow nationals in other treaty bodies should collaborate with them
as much as possible.


                 4.  Specialized agencies and other entities

365. Links between the Committee and specialized agencies and other
entities of the United Nations should be strengthened.  The Secretariat
should ensure that the concluding comments of the Committee are submitted
to the heads of specialized agencies as soon as possible after their
conclusion.  Specialized agencies, particularly those with field-level
offices, should keep in mind the principles and recommendations of the
Committee in defining their work programmes.  The input of specialized
agencies and other entities into the Committee's work within article 22 of
the Convention should be more structured.  Such input should be country-
specific and include information on treaties accepted by the reporting
State party, information from country or regional studies about the State
party, new statistics about the State party collected by the agencies and a
description of the country-level programmes of the agencies in the State
party under review.  The Committee would review its practice of nominating
focal points for specialized agencies and other entities at its next
session.


                         5.  Institutional relations

366. An ongoing formal exchange should be established between the Committee
and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and
consequences.  The Special Rapporteur should be invited to report to the
Committee on general developments within her mandate, as well as on the
results of specific studies undertaken by her which related to States
parties under review by the Committee.

367. The Committee also recommended that relations be maintained with the
Special Rapporteur on traditional practices affecting the health of women
and children, as well as other relevant country-specific and thematic
mechanisms.


                             6.  Analysis report

368. The analysis report prepared by the Secretariat should provide the
text of any reservations entered by the State party, information about
whether those reservations had been withdrawn or modified and the text of
reservations to other treaties.  The report should also include the
reactions of other States parties to reservations to the Convention and
current statistics culled from United Nations sources.  The Secretariat
would also provide an analysis of whether any recommendations in the
concluding comments of the Committee relating to the earlier report of the
State party were addressed in the subsequent report.


                        7.  Pre-session working group

369. On the basis of written observations of members of the Committee as
well as observations of members of the pre-session working group, the pre-
session working group would formulate a short list of questions
concentrating on major areas of concern in regard to implementation of the
Convention by the State party.  The pre-session should be convened at the
session prior to the one at which selected States parties were to report;
written questions would be submitted to the State party, which would be
answered in writing by the State party in advance of the session (see
chap. I, sect. B, above, suggestion 16/2).  The Committee would enter into
a constructive dialogue on the basis of those replies.


         8.  The Committee's practices during constructive dialogue

370. Guidelines should be formulated to guide States parties with regard to
their presentation of subsequent reports.  Those guidelines should be part
of the Committee's existing guidelines for the preparation of reports.  The
guidelines should indicate that the State party presenting its report would
address the Committee for up to one hour with one and a half meetings being
available for consideration by the Committee of the report.

371. Committee members should identify those areas in which they wished to
specialize at the next session.  A group of up to three members would
communicate with each other about their area of specialization and prepare
thematic questions.  Specialization would not preclude members from posing
questions in areas outside their speciality.


                           9.  Rules of procedure

372. A first reading of the revised draft rules of procedure prepared by
Ms. Bernard was begun, and general comments that would be submitted to
Ms. Bernard and reflected in her revised draft for the seventeenth session
were made.  It resolved that any further comments would be sent through the
Secretariat to Ms. Tallawy, who would compile them and submit them through
the Secretariat to Ms. Bernard.  The preparation of rules governing reports
on an exceptional basis was recommended.


                    10.  Technical and advisory services

373. The budget for technical and advisory services of the Centre for Human
Rights should be made available to promote the Convention and the work of
the Committee (see chap. I, sect. B, above, suggestion 16/1).

374. A number of regional and international seminars, concerning,
inter alia, gender sensitivity, de jure and de facto equality and
reservations to the Convention were suggested by the Committee.  A small
working group of Committee members would be convened to conceptualize the
first such seminar and to examine funding requirements for the first such
seminar during 1997 and early 1998.  The Committee recommended that the
expertise of present and past Committee members should be called upon as a
resource for such activities.


             11.  Reports of States parties and overdue reports

375. In order to address the backlog of reports awaiting consideration and
to encourage States parties to report in a timely fashion, the Committee
decided, on an exceptional basis and as a temporary measure, to invite
States parties to combine a maximum of two of the reports required under
article 18 of the Convention (see chap. I, sect. A, above,
decision 16/III).

376. The Secretariat was requested to present a list to the Committee at
future sessions of those States parties whose reports had been overdue for
more than five years.


              12.  Reports to be considered at the seventeenth and
                   eighteenth session

377. The Committee decided that the reports of 10 States parties would be
considered at its seventeenth session, in July 1997, and that the reports
of another 10 States parties would be considered at the eighteenth session,
in January 1998.

378. Bearing in mind the criteria of date of submission, geographical
balance and reports delayed from earlier sessions, the reports of the
following States parties should be considered:


                             Seventeenth session

     Initial reports

     Antigua and Barbuda

     Armenia

     Israel

     Namibia

     Luxembourg

     Second periodic reports

     Dominican Republic

     Argentina

     Italy

     Third periodic reports

     Australia

     Bangladesh

379. In the event that one of the above-mentioned States parties should be
unable to present its report, the Committee decided to consider the
following reports:

     Initial reports

     Azerbaijan

     Belize

     Croatia

     Zimbabwe

     Second periodic reports

     Equatorial Guinea

     Bulgaria

     Republic of Korea


                             Eighteenth session

     Initial reports

     Azerbaijan

     Belize

     Croatia

     Zaire*

     Zimbabwe

     Second periodic reports

     Bulgaria

     Equatorial Guinea

     Indonesia

     Third periodic reports

     Mexico

     Republic of Korea

380. In the event that one of the above-mentioned States parties should be
unable to present its report, the Committee decided to consider the initial
report of the Czech Republic.

*  Effective 17 May 1997, Zaire was renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo.



               13.  United Nations meetings to be attended by the
                    Chairperson or members of the Committee in 1997

381. The Committee recommended that the Chairperson or an alternate should
attend the following meetings (listed in order of priority):

     (a)  Commission on the Status of Women;

     (b)  Commission on Human Rights;

     (c)  Meeting of persons chairing the human rights treaty bodies;

     (d)  General Assembly (Third Committee).


              14.  Members of the pre-session working group for the
                   seventeenth session

382. The Committee decided that the members of the pre-session working
group for the seventeenth session of the Committee and their alternates
should be:

                  Member                                   Alternate

     Ms. Miriam Estrada (Latin America)               Ms. Ai'da Gonza'lez

     Ms. Emna Aouij (Africa)                          Ms. Ahoua Ouedraogo

     Ms. Ayse Feride Acar (Europe)                    Ms. Carlota Bustelo

     Ms. Aurora Javate de Dios (Asia)                 Ms. Salma Khan


           15.  Dates of the seventeenth session of the Committee

383. Consistent with the calendar of conferences for 1997, the seventeenth
session should be held from 7 to 25 July 1997, in New York.  The pre-
session working group would meet from 30 June to 3 July 1997.



             VI.  IMPLEMENTATION OF ARTICLE 21 OF THE CONVENTION


384. The Committee considered the implementation of article 21 of the
Convention (agenda item 7) at its 311th and 332nd meetings, on 13 and
31 January 1997.

385. The item was introduced by the Deputy Director of the Division for the
Advancement of Women, who presented the following documents:

     (a)  Report of the Secretariat on the analysis of articles 7 and 8 of
the Convention (CEDAW/C/1994/4);

     (b)  Note by the Secretary-General on reports of specialized agencies
on the implementation of the Convention in areas falling within the scope
of their activities (CEDAW/C/1997/3);

     (c)  Report of the International Labour Organization
(CEDAW/C/1997/3/Add.2);

     (d)  Report of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (CEDAW/C/1997/3/Add.3);

     (e)  Working paper containing a draft general recommendation on
articles 7 and 8 of the Convention (CEDAW/C/1997/WG.II/WP.1).


               A.  Action taken by the Committee on the report of
                   Working Group II

386. At its 332nd meeting, on 31 January, the Committee considered the item
on the basis of the report of Working Group II (CEDAW/C/1997/WG.II/WP.2 and
Corr.1 and Add.1-3) and took the following action:


                        1.  General recommendation 23

387. The Committee adopted general recommendation 23 on articles 7 and 8 of
the Convention relating to women in public life, and authorized
Ms. Silvia Cartwright, in conjunction with the Secretariat, to edit the
text so that it could be included in final form in the report of the
Committee on its seventeenth session (for the text, see part two, chap. I,
sect. A).


              2.  Open-ended working group on the elaboration of a
                  draft optional protocol to the Convention

388. The Committee designated Ms. Silvia Cartwright to represent the
Committee as a resource person at the meetings of the open-ended working
group of the Commission on the Status of Women on the elaboration of a
draft optional protocol to the Convention to be held during the forty-first
session of the Commission.


              B.  Statements by senior United Nations officials

Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund

389. At the 314th meeting, on 15 January 1997, the Executive Director of
UNFPA addressed the Committee, observing that the work of the Committee had
been ground-breaking, notably in the context of women's health, and in
particular of women's reproductive health.  The guarantee of reproductive
rights was indispensable in achieving gender equality and the improvement
of women, and those goals were essential conditions for achieving
sustainable development.

390. She indicated that UNFPA had been honoured to sponsor, together with
the Division for the Advancement of Women and the Office of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the recent round table on human
rights approaches to women's reproductive and sexual health rights, and
acknowledged the important role played by the Committee in that initiative. 
The round table, which was the first occasion at which experts from all six
human rights bodies as well as representatives of United Nations agencies
and non-governmental organizations had been brought together to address a
thematic issue, made a number of recommendations, in one of which it called
upon treaty bodies, United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations
and others to strengthen their working relationships so as to foster a
gender-integrated human rights perspective in their respective programmes. 
The Executive Director made clear that UNFPA had already sought to
implement a number of the recommendations of the round table and had met
with the Division and the Commissioner to discuss follow-up actions.

391. She also expressed the view that the human rights treaty process was
critical in creating an international standard that transcended culture,
traditions and societal norms.  Although the latter were important forces
binding societies together, they should not be used to force women into a
subordinate role, damage their health and minimize their contributions to
family, the community and their countries.

Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund

392. Also at the 314th meeting, the Committee heard an address by the
Executive Director of UNICEF.  She indicated that 1996 had seen progress
towards a close relationship between the Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women and the Committee on the Rights of the Child,
and noted that the UNICEF Executive Board had designated the rights of
children and women as one of the three areas for follow-up of the Fourth
World Conference on Women.  She emphasized the importance of the first
joint meeting of the two committees, held at Cairo from 16 to
25 November 1996, and described the several subsequent follow-up meetings
to that meeting.  She also observed that, under the UNICEF Mission
Statement, the organization was guided by the Convention on the Rights of
the Child and was committed to the principle of non-discrimination and the
equal rights of women and girls.

Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Director, Bureau for Policy and
Programme Support, United Nations Development Programme

393. At the 331st meeting, on 29 January 1997, the Deputy Assistant
Administrator and Deputy Director, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support,
of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) addressed the Committee
and stressed the commitment of UNDP to the empowerment of women.  She
indicated that the elimination of discrimination against women had two
prongs so as to build country capacity in 134 programme countries to
strengthen the enabling policy and legal framework for gender equality and
to improve women's access to assets and resources, including decision-
making.  She also indicated that UNDP was guided by the primary objective
of eliminating poverty and recognizing that for the majority of the world's
women, overcoming poverty was the greatest challenge that they faced.  She
noted that women predominated in the care economy, which tended to be
unpaid and undervalued.  She also noted that UNDP had taken the first step
in the long journey towards bringing human values into the economic
equation.  She indicated that women must be clear on the value system they
will perpetuate through socialization and their own leadership.  She
emphasized that UNDP would work with the Committee to address
discrimination against women.

Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women

394. Also at the 331st meeting, the Director of UNIFEM addressed the
Committee.  She affirmed the continued interest of UNIFEM in supporting the
work of the Committee.  She acknowledged the work of Ms. Corti, the
outgoing Chairperson, and congratulated the new Chairperson,
Ms. Salma Khan, assuring her of UNIFEM support to her in her new capacity. 
She described the work of UNIFEM to promote the Convention and the
Committee.  In particular, she described the recent initiative of UNIFEM in
collaboration with International Women's Rights Action Watch
(Asia/Pacific), which allowed eight women from six countries who were and
would soon be reporting to the Committee to attend the session and to take
part in an intensive orientation on the Convention.  She indicated that
this had intensified the commitment of UNIFEM to find innovative ways to
support implementation of the Convention.  In that context, she looked
forward to learning the Committee's views on future interaction with women
around the world.



            VII.  PROVISIONAL AGENDA FOR THE SEVENTEENTH SESSION


395. The Committee considered the provisional agenda for its seventeenth
session (agenda 9) at its 333rd meeting, on 31 January 1997.

396. At the same meeting, on the basis of the report of Working Group I,
the Committee decided to approve the following agenda:

     1.   Opening of the session.

     2.   Solemn declaration.

     3.   Adoption of the agenda and organization of work.

     4.   Report of the Chairperson on activities undertaken between the
          sixteenth and seventeenth sessions of the Committee.

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

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

     7.   Ways and means of expediting the work of the Committee.

     8.   Provisional agenda for the eighteenth session.

     9.   Adoption of the report of the Committee on its sixteenth session.



                        VIII.  ADOPTION OF THE REPORT


397. At its 333rd meeting, on 31 January 1997, the Committee adopted the
report on its sixteenth session (CEDAW/C/1997/L.1 and Add.1-12), as orally
amended.



 


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