Tuesday, February 23, 2010

CEDAW Committee concluding observations on Ukraine

The UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against women ( the CEDAW Committee) which held its 45th session in Geneva between January 18th and Feb 5th has now listed the Concluding Observations for the 8 countries examined during the session.

They can be downloaded from the OHCHR website

The Concluding Observations are divided according to themes / issues so it is easy to see how the Committee has dealt with each issue. The observations are currently only available in English, but will soon be available in French and Spanish too.

The only European country reporting was Ukraine. The Concluding Observations express CEDAW’s concern with the high rate of abortion in Ukraine and urges more contraception as the solution and sex education for youth.
Moreover, the Committee recommends that the State party intensify its efforts to improve women’s reproductive health and provide adequate family planning services and affordable contraceptives,

It also expresses concern with the high mortality rate among women due to alcohol abuse.
The Committee is also concerned about the little information and data on women’s health, including mortality rates of women and their causes, and the diseases that mostly affect women and girls. It is further concerned about the very high HIV/AIDS infection rates, as well as the increase of the mortality rate for reasons directly linked to alcohol abuse from 3.5 to 14.2 for women.

Research in the US shows that post abortive women often develop self-destructive disorders including alcohol abuse to deal with the grief and loss brought on by their abortion.

The Committee also reiterated its concern about what it calls;
the persistence of traditional stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in the society at large, which represent a significant impediment to the implementation of the Convention and are root causes of women’s disadvantaged position in political life, labour market and other areas. The Committee is also concerned about persistent stereotypes found in school textbooks

One of the few so called traditional stereotypes which CEDAW regularly finds offensive is motherhood