Govt ‘blocks’ civil society’s report

- Post Report, Kathmandu

May 8, 2016-

The government, which is almost a year late into submitting its report on prevalence of various forms of discrimination and violence against women in Nepal to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women committee, has asked the civil society not to send its shadow report before the country report is sent.

The government was supposed to send its sixth periodic report in June last year but has been seeking excuses citing the devastating earthquakes of April and May last year. In order to put pressure on the government to send the country report, civil society, which has already prepared its report, had warned last month that it would send an alternative report in the absence of the government’s document. The government instead responded by asking the civil society to wait until the government’s report is complete.

CEDAW is an international treaty adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly. Described as an international bill of rights for women, it was 

instituted on September 3, 1981 and has been ratified by 189 states, including Nepal. All signatories to CEDAW should submit their reports every four years. Nepal had submitted its fifth periodic report in 2011.

“Our report is ready. We had planned to submit it at the end of April but the government has asked us to wait for at least a month so that both the reports can be sent together in the best interest of the country,” said Sabin Shrestha, executive director of the Forum for Women, Law and Development, which leads the report drafting process in coordination with nine NGOs.

Shrestha added that the idea behind sending an alternative report was to put pressure on the state. The government, however, denies that it has held the organisations from submitting the shadow report.

“We know we are a bit late in sending the report but the practice is to send the country report first,” said Radhika Aryal, joint-secretary at the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare.  According to Aryal, the ministry has submitted the report to the Prime Minister’s Office for approval. From there the report will be sent to the Cabinet for endorsement, before it is dispatched to the UN.

Published: 08-05-2016 08:13

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