#Geneva, October 24, 2018 – Switzerland – A Bahamian delegation headed by the Hon. Frankie Campbell, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, attended the opening session of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Monday, October 22, 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women is a body of 23 independent human rights experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
One hundred and eighty-nine States’ Parties have acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and are reviewed regularly by CEDAW on how they are implementing the Convention.
Countries are obligated to submit regular reports to the Committee every four years on how the rights of the Convention are implemented. During its sessions the Committee considers each State’s report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of concluding observations.
The delegation comprises Dr. Jacinta Higgs, Director, Gender & Family Affairs, Ministry of Social Services; Jewel Smith, Alicia Green, Office of the Attorney General; Celsus Williams, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Sharmaine Sinclair, the Ministry of Education; Lynn Symonette, the Ministry of Social Services; and Sherry Armbrister, the Ministry of Health.
The opening session included, among others, a report of the Chairperson on activities undertaken between the 70th and 71st sessions of the Committee; an opening statement by Ibrahim Salama, Chief, Human Rights Treaties Branch, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and reports of inter-sessional activities since the July 2018 meeting of CEDAW.
Monday’s sessions also included an informal meeting with non-governmental organizations. Three groups, namely Rights Bahamas, The Crisis Centre and Equality Bahamas presented Shadow Reports [civil society critiques of a government] to CEDAW.
Marion Bethel-Sears, the first Bahamian female elected expert to serve on the CEDAW Committee in Geneva, warmly welcomed The Bahamas’ delegation to the opening ceremony and presented her inter-sessional activities.
Mrs. Bethel-Sears outlined the following in her submission:
September 27, 2018 – An address and engagement with four University of The Bahamas students on UN CEDAW and the process of State Parties appearing before the CEDAW Committee.
The students were preparing to participate in a mock CEDAW session with the official Bahamas’ delegation at the University of The Bahamas.
The Bahamas’ delegation will appear before the CEDAW Committee and present its report on Thursday, October 25, 2018. The session can be viewed 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Geneva time; or 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. local time at http://webtv.un.org. Once the session begins, coverage is available under “Live Now”.
Header: The Hon. Frankie Campbell, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development is pictured with Sasha Dixon, Second Secretary, Bahamas Permanent Mission, Geneva, at the Opening Session of the 71st session of UN CEDAW, October 22, 2018.
Insert: The Bahamas delegation is pictured at the Opening Session of the 71st session of UN CEDAW in Geneva, Switzerland, October 22, 2018. Pictured from right: The Hon. Frankie Campbell, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development; Dr. Jacinta Higgs, Director, Gender and Family Affairs; Sasha Dixon, Second Secretary, Bahamas Permanent Mission, Geneva, and other members of the delegation.