ESCR Submission to UN Working Group on the Issue of Discrimination against Women in Law and Practice


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This Submission to UN Working Group on the Issue of Discrimination against Women in Law and Practice to the Report on “Non-Discrimination and Equality in Family and Cultural Life” was compiled by ESCR.

The ESCR-Net Women and ESCR Working Group has collectively developed this submission, which compiles information ​​provided by its members on how laws and practices discriminate against women within the family and cultural life.

A special focus has been put to women’s rights and substantive equality, highlighting the dichotomies that exist in some cases between the formal rights to which women are entitled and the actual situations they face in their daily lives.

It is unfortunate to note that although all the questionnaires emerged from State Parties of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the collected information shows that “all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations” have not been undertaken in these countries.

Seventeen questionnaires were sent by members of the ESCR-Net Women and ESCR Working Group from the following countries: Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mali, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Dominican Republic, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay. We are thankful to the organizations and members who contributed to this document:  Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation, Bulgaria; Cladem (Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Rep, Uruguay); Collectif des Femmes du Mali (COFEM), Mali; Equis, Mexico; Fundacion Qukumatz, Guatemala; Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, Nigeria; Legal Resources Centre, South Africa; National Union of Domestic Employees, Trinidad and Tobago; Patricia Ramírez Parra, Colombia.

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