Pre-sessional working group

Seventy-eighth session

13–17 July 2020

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

Report of the pre-sessional working group

1.It is the practice of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to convene a pre-sessional working group for five days to prepare lists of issues and questions relating to the initial and periodic reports that will be considered by the Committee at an upcoming session.

2.The Committee decided that, owing to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the pre-sessional working group for the seventy eighth session of the Committee would meet remotely from 13 to 17 July 2020, immediately after the seventy-sixth session, which was also held remotely, in order to ensure that sufficient time would be available to States parties to submit their written replies to the list of issues and questions and to ensure their timely translation.

3.The following experts were designated as members of the pre-sessional working group and attended the session:

Tamader Al-Rammah

Marion Bethel

Esther Eghobamien

Dalia Leinarte

Ana Peláez Narváez

4.The pre-sessional working group elected Ms. Bethel as its Chair.

5.The pre-sessional working group prepared lists of issues and questions with regard to the reports of Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Indonesia, Peru, the Russian Federation, South Sudan and Uzbekistan, in addition to lists of issues prior to reporting for Norway, Slovakia and Slovenia. The pre-sessional working group was guided by Committee decisions 49/IX, 59/IV and 64/II, according to which the Committee decided to limit lists of issues and questions and lists of issues prior to reporting to 20 and 25 paragraphs, respectively. However, in practice and exceptionally, some lists of issues and questions contain a maximum of 23 paragraphs.

6.To assist in the preparation of the lists of issues and questions, the pre-sessional working group had at its disposal electronic versions of the core documents of the States parties listed above. It also had at its disposal the reports of the States parties listed above, with the exception of Norway, Slovakia and Slovenia, which will submit their periodic reports in response to the list of issues prior to reporting; the general recommendations adopted by the Committee; draft lists of issues and questions and lists of issues prior to reporting prepared by the secretariat; and other pertinent information, including concluding observations of the Committee and other treaty bodies, as relevant. In preparing the lists, the pre-sessional working group paid particular attention to the States parties’ follow-up to the concluding observations of the Committee on their previous reports, except in the case of South Sudan, which had submitted an initial report.

7.The pre-sessional working group benefited from written and oral information submitted by entities of the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations, as well as national human rights institutions, with regard to the States parties listed above. For some States parties, the number of submissions received was limited owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

8.The lists of issues and questions and lists of issues prior to reporting adopted by the pre-sessional working group were transmitted to the States parties concerned and are contained in the following documents:

(a)List of issues and questions in relation to the seventh periodic report of the Plurinational State of Bolivia (CEDAW/C/BOL/Q/7);

(b)List of issues and questions in relation to the eighth periodic report of Indonesia (CEDAW/C/IDN/Q/8);

(c)List of issues and questions in relation to the ninth periodic report of Peru (CEDAW/C/PER/Q/9);

(d)List of issues and questions in relation to the ninth periodic report of the Russian Federation (CEDAW/C/RUS/Q/9);

(e)List of issues and questions in relation to the initial report of South Sudan (CEDAW/C/SSD/Q/1);

(f)List of issues and questions in relation to the sixth periodic report of Uzbekistan (CEDAW/C/UZB/Q/6);

(g) List of issues and questions prior to the submission of the tenth periodic report of Norway (CEDAW/C/NOR/QPR/10);

(h)List of issues and questions prior to the submission of the seventh periodic report of Slovakia (CEDAW/C/SVK/QPR/7);

(i)List of issues and questions prior to the submission of the seventh periodic report of Slovenia (CEDAW/C/SVN/QPR/7).

9.In accordance with Committee decisions 22/IV, 25/II and 31/III, the lists of issues and questions focused on themes addressed by the Convention, as well as on the linkages between relevant themes and the Sustainable Development Goals. Those themes include the constitutional and legislative framework; women’s access to justice; women and peace and security, where applicable; national machinery for the advancement of women; national human rights institutions; temporary special measures for the advancement of women; stereotypes and harmful practices; gender based violence against women and girls; trafficking in women and girls and exploitation of prostitution; participation of women in political and public life; nationality; education; employment; health; economic and social life; climate change and disaster risk reduction; rural women; equality in marriage and family relations; the impact of COVID-19 on women’s rights and gender equality; and intersecting forms of discrimination faced by disadvantaged groups of women, such as older women, women with disabilities, women living with HIV/AIDS, women using drugs, women in detention, indigenous women, women human rights defenders, women in poverty, women belonging to ethnic minority groups, migrant women, asylum-seeking and refugee women, lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and girls and intersex persons.