Tuesday, December 1, 2015

UN expert group on discrimination against women in law and in practice visits the U.S.

CONTACT: Jess St. Louis, USHRN, jstlouis@ushrnetwork.org, 404-588-9761 x104 (work)
WASHINGTON, DC - From November 30–December 11, the United Nations Expert Group on Discrimination Against Women in Law and in Practice (UN WGDAW) will be in the United States for an official fact-finding visit upon the invitation of the Government. The Group is made up of five independent human rights experts mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to assist countries in improving women’s human rights around the world.
The group will begin and conclude their trip in Washington, DC where they will be meeting with several US Government officials as well as members of civil society, academics, and groups of women. In addition to visiting Washington, DC, the group will also visit Texas, Alabama, and Oregon. The US Human Rights Network expects the Working Group to examine reproductive justice issues, lack of health services for migrant women, the issues facing rural Black women, as well as best practices in these respective locations. Women of color and other women who experience multiple forms of discrimination will also be a focus during their visit, as well as the four thematic priorities of the working group: 1) political and public life, 2) economic and social life, 3) family and cultural life, and 4) health and safety. At the conclusion of their visit, the group will hold a press conference—on Friday, December 11, at 1pm at the United Nations Information Center, Washington, DC,—where they will deliver their preliminary findings and recommendations. Their findings will later be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2016.
This is the first time that this Expert Group—a relatively new body—will visit the United States. “This visit will be an opportunity to honestly assess the conditions of discrimination against women in this country; and will hopefully generate constructive dialogue as well as political pressure, both within the US and internationally, for concrete and comprehensive action to defend the human rights of women in the US.” said Ejim Dike, Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network.
The expert group members who are participating in this official visit are: Chairperson-Rapporteur Ms. Eleonora Zielinska, (Poland), Vice-chairperson Ms. Alda Facio (Costa Rica), and Ms. Frances Raday (Israel/United Kingdom). Plus two UN staff members supporting the work of the experts, Bernadette Arditi and Hannah Wu, Human Rights Officers, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Special Procedures Branch, Human Rights Council Mechanisms Division.
Throughout the visit, the Working Group will meet with federal, state, and local government officials, as well as over 40 national, regional, and local civil society organizations working on a wide variety of issues as they relate to discrimination against women. The US Human Rights Network is pleased to be helping the Working Group coordinate this visit.
For more information: bit.ly/USHRNUNWGDAWProject
Read the UN office of the High Commissioner Human Rights Release here: www.ushrnetwork.org/sites/ushrnetwork.org/files/ohchr_press_release_on_unwgdaw_visit.pdf

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