DRAFT: Women’s Rights and International Development Policy

Veröffentlicht am: 4. November 2014|Publikation, Stellungnahme|Themen: |

Proposal for the elaboration of a General Recommendation for the Women’s Convention (CEDAW)
– Second revised draft

(4.11.2014) WIDE Austria has drafted a proposal to serve as a basis for the comprehensive improvement of the monitoring and reporting methods of CEDAW member states in the context of their women- and gender-oriented development cooperation programmes and development policies.

Full text of the proposal (second revised draft): pdf

(18.3.2014) WIDE invites partner organizations and interested NGOs to give feedback to the draft and express their support! In the next step, the proposal will be submitted to the UN CEDAW Committee.

Contents of the draft recommendation

Starting point

In chapter 1 “On the situation of women in the ‘global South’” it is described how women’s poverty is not only caused by local circumstances and social conditions, but also by orientations within international development and economic policies. 

Policy coherence

In chapter 2 “Policy coherence for women’s rights in the context of international development” steps and strategies are highlighted which ensure that the goal of gender justice and social equity are ranking higher in the field of development cooperation as well as in the field of financial, budgetary, economic, trade–relate agricultural, environmental and migration policies.

Development policies in Human Rights instruments

The starting point for the reflection of the recommendations of selected “Human rights instruments on women’s rights and international development” , which are treated in chapter 3, consists in a reference to the “Maastricht Principles” which were presented in 2011 by experts in international law and human rights as the basis for the recognition and implementation  of extraterritorial obligations of states in the field of development cooperation, trade, investment, taxation, finance and environment policies. Subsequently the messages of the “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women” (CEDAW concerning the issue of international development and the commitment for the survival rights of women in rural regions are reflected. In this context a short survey of statements on these problems within other treaties and declarations of the United Nations is given. 

Strengthening women´s rights

In the “Conclusions” (chapter 4) it is pointed out that the commitment to gender equality in the context of international development policy can be articulated very positively and comprehensively, but that these messages can also be non-committal and inconsistent. The conclusion of the paper is that national states should be summoned to take over responsibility for the consequences of their policies for the situation and the rights of women beyond their borders. Consequently, the role of the United Nations concerning the monitoring of the implementation of international obligations in the context of women’s rights and gender justice should and would be strengthened.


The adoption of a pertinent CEDAW General Recommendation on women’s rights – in the context of international development policy and on the basis of international policy  coherence – could be a valuable contribution to these processes.

Full text of the second revised draft: pdf

Annex to the draft: pdf

First draft in English: pdf

First draft in German: pdf

Feedback is welcome! 
Contact: thallmayer@wide-netzwerk.at

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