On 27 January 2017, a workshop on CEDAW was held in the meeting room of Ninzi Hotel - Kigali.
Participants to the Workshop were 23 Civil Society Organisations as follows:
The Legal Aid Forum (LAF),
Association pour la Défense des Droits de la Personne et des Libertés Publiques (ADL),
Communauté des potiers du Rwanda (COPORWA),
Umusanzu News paper,
Human Rights First Rwanda Association (HRFRA),
Mouvement des Peuples pour l’Education aux Droits Humains au Rwanda (MPDEH),
The Network of Lawyers of Hope in Rwanda (LOH),
Center for the Rule of Law in Rwanda (CERULAR),
Association Rwandaise pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme (ARDHO),
Impamo News Paper, Association Maison de Droit (MDD),
INARA Legal Aid Service (INALAS),
Action pour le Développement du Peuple (ADEPE),
Amahoro News Paper,
No Crime Rwanda (NCR),
Center for Human Rights and Development (CHRD),
Fight Illiteracy Youth Organization (FIYO),
Great Lakes Initiatives for Human Rights and Development (GLIDH),
Ligue Rwandaise pour la Promotion et la Défense des Droits de l’Homme (LIPRODHOR),
Gouvernance for Africa (GFA),
Association de la Jeunesse pour la Promotion des Droits de l’Homme et du Développement (AJPRODHO-JIJUKIRWA),
Ishema News Paper.
1. Opening remarks and introduction to CEDAW
The workshop was opened by Me Andrews Kananga, the Executive Director of the Legal Aid who congratulated participants to the meeting for the time they took to participate in this important event.
In his remarks, he introduced the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) as one of the core human rights treaties adopted by The UN General Assembly on 19th December 1979 and came into force as a treaty on 3rd September 1981.
Me Andrews Kananga opening the Workshop
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women which monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of discrimination against women is established pursuant to the article 17 of the Convention. It is composed of 23 members from States members; These Members are experts and they serve in their personal capacity; having high moral integrity and being competent in the field of women’s rights
Participants were told that Rwanda has already ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women by presidential decree no 431/16 of 10 November 1980.
Me Andrews Kananga also talked about the role that Civil Society organisations play in CEDAW reporting because the Committee on CEDAW greatly relies upon on shadow reports produced by NGO and all participants to workshop agreed to work together on a list of issues and questions that Rwanda replied in December 2016 from the combined seventh to ninth periodic reports submitted by Rwanda in 2015.
2. Presentation of the combined seventh to ninth periodic reports submitted by Rwanda and the draft alternative Report on CEDAW
Briefly, Participants to the workshop were presented with the process of drafting a report on CEDAW and were presented with the combined seventh to ninth periodic reports submitted by Rwanda. After that, they were presented with the draft alternative Report on CEDAW drafted LAF staff and were required to provide their comments and input.
Participants to the Workshop following a presentation
After the presentation of the draft alternative report on CEDAW, participants to the workshop agreed to divide themselves into 3 groups to discuss deeply on the list of issues and to provide their input to the draft alternative report.
3. Group discussions on the list of issues
The discussions on the list of issues were done in 3 groups:
The first group discussed on:
Legal framework and definition of discrimination,
National Machinery for the advancement of women,
Temporary Special measures,
Stereotypes and harmful practices,
The role of Media in promoting women.
The Second group discussed on:
Gender based violence against women in the post genocide;
National Scale up strategy for IOSC
Trafficking and exploitation
Participation in public and political life and decision making
The third group discussed on:
Refugees women and women returnees
One of the Group discussing on the list of issues
After the discussions in groups, the representative of each group took time to present the group comments and input.