In 2004, FAO, IFAD, and the International Land Coalition (ILC) jointly published a report on progress towards the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), with respect to the status of rural women. This report provided an historical background to CEDAW and its Optional Protocol (OP 1999) as well as an overview on land issues as reflected in the reports submitted by States Parties.
Specific attention was given to discrepancies between de jure (what is contained in law) and de facto (what happens in reality) equality, to statistics on rural women, and to institutional mechanisms for enforcing gender justice in rural areas. This information was summarised in three tables: a list of States Parties’ initial and periodic reports (Table 1), reference to rural women within CEDAW Committee’s Concluding Observations (CO) (Table 2), and reference to rural women within States Parties’ reports (Table 3).
Since 2004, monitoring the implementation of provisions contained in CEDAW has become increasingly important. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have started to engage more proactively with CEDAW through “shadow reporting” (See the Infonote and Q&A on how to use CEDAW as an advocacy tool, providing basic information on how to access the CEDAW Committee and encouraging country-level alliances for monitoring).
Though most of the information in the 2004 report continues to be relevant to an understanding of CEDAW, ILC has now updated the information in the tables, to have a new basis to work through the Convention to promote women’s land rights. This update not only includes new information, but gives more visibility to the Concluding Observations of the CEDAW Committee (Table 2). The combination of Table 2 and Table 3 now offers a more comprehensive, if preliminary, overview of the situation of rural women in each selected country.
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The International Land Coalition (ILC) is a coalition of civil society and intergovernmental organizations promoting secure and equitable access to and control over land for poor women and men thro