Maharashtra Civil Society Consultation
CEDAW Alternative Report: On “Women with Disabilities”
8th April 2013, YMCA, Quartergate, Pune
Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre (SMRC) has been working in the field of disability since 1985. It is registered in Odisha since 1985. Started by a person with a high spinal cord injury, most of its work has centered around persons with high support needs. Since 1999 its focus has been women with disabilities.
As part of SMRC’s work with women, a national level work has been done, for the formation of an independent network of women with disabilities. The network has started to function and as part of the work of mainstreaming women with disabilities issues SMRC is in the process of preparing a document to feed into CEDAW Reporting Document by India. A CEDAW Alternate Report is being prepared for review for presentation to the CEDAW Committee. The India Alternate Report (By NAWO) is underway and we need to ensure that issues of disability are included in it. The report provides the CEDAW Committee with insight as to the questions that might be posed to governments as they present their reports. SMRC will co-ordinate the efforts of writing, compiling and presenting the feedback into the report.
In Pune, this consultation is facilitated by the Bapu Trust for Research on Mind & Discourse, an organization committed to working on the human rights of people with psychosocial disabilities. The consultation will be held from 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM at:
Venue: YMCA, 382, New Rasta Peth, Pune 411011
We are also delighted to have with us on this day, Ms. Shantha Rao Barriga, of the International Human Rights Watch, an organization with UN consultative status, and working very closely at the Monitoring Level within UN set up, especially on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
We look forward to highly engaging discussion and enthusiastic inputs from all of you. Please consider this as a special invitation and participate in enhancing the scope of the convention in addressing and promoting women’s rights.
SMRC, 108D MasterCanteenBuilding,
Station Square, Unit III, Bhubaneswar 751001, Orissa, India
Telephone – 0674 2300274 / 2300361, Fax – 0674 2580020
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted in 1979 by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination. For more information on CEDAW, you can visit http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/cedaw.htm.
CEDAW establishes Universal Minimum Standards of Women’s Human Rights, by which all countries must abide; it also provides a mechanism through which the implementation of obligations by state parties (i.e. signatory members) under the Convention can be monitored. By demanding the practical realization of rights, CEDAW promotes the ‘Substantive Model of Equality: Equality of Opportunity, Equality of Access, and Equality of Results’.
Member States including India that have ratified CEDAW are required to report to the CEDAW Committee every four years on progress made in the implementation of CEDAW at national level. Members may like to access the Government of India’s (GoI) II and III Periodic Report on CEDAW at http://wcd.nic.in/cedawrep2005.pdf (PDF; Size: 638KB). The Draft Report of combined Fourth and Fifth Periodic Reports of India to CEDAW can be accessed at http://wcd.nic.in/cedawdraft20nov2011.pdf (PDF; Size: 2.99MB).
Alternative report serves as important complements to the official government report. It provides the CEDAW Committee with insight as to the questions that might be posed to governments as they present their reports. National Alliance of Women (NAWO; http://www.nawoindia.org/main.asp) has been co-coordinating the efforts of writing and presenting the Alternative Report in the previous years (the initial report in 2000; and the II and III report in 2007), while the GoI report was under review by the CEDAW Committee. Previous reports by NAW can be accessed on their website.
WE invite you to join in the meeting and give your specific inputs to the preparation of the IV and V Govt and Alternative Report on the UN CEDAW. While providing your inputs, members may specifically like to share the following in the context of disability:
- Overview and assessment – Prevalence of the problem pertaining to particular article / Special concerns / General Recommendation(the present status of women).
- Cases where human rights of women have been violated – discrimination faced by women which led to deprivation of rights.
- Information on the impact and progress made by the State/GoI in implementing the CEDAW Convention
- Inadequacies and gaps in laws and policies, and their implementation (e.g. obstacles women face in accessing laws or how these obstacles can be addressed)
- Obstacles or contributory factors preventing women from realizing their rights (e.g. social, political, legal, economic rights, etc)
- Suggestions and Recommendations – Policies, Programmes, Legislative measures