FIDH welcomes establishment of new mechanism on laws that discriminate against women by United Nations Human Rights Council

Press release

FIDH welcomes the recent adoption by the United Nations Human Rights Council of a resolution establishing a Working Group on laws that discriminate against women, as a significant and positive step in the fight against discrimination.

FIDH, which strongly supported the creation of this mechanism [1] , deeply regrets the hostility shown by several countries from the Organisation of Islamic Countries, including Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt and Iran which attempted to undermine the mechanism and to restrict its scope. The former have entered significant reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which seek to justify maintaining discriminatory laws, while Iran is one of the tiny minority of states that has not even ratified CEDAW.

« This new mechanism was created to fulfill a gap within the human rights system and, more importantly, to help States to honour their international commitments. This new mechanism represents an opportunity for all States to promote equality between women and men in a very concrete manner, in eliminating discriminatory laws » said Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President.

This resolution indeed reaffirms the obligation of States to take all measures to eliminate discrimination against women, including States that have not yet ratified the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, or have made reservations incompatible with the Convention.

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