CEDAW Shadow Reports

Shadow Reports

What is a Shadow Report?

The UN encourages non-governmental groups to submit CEDAW Shadow Reports. They hope to get a more comprehensive picture of the lives and status of women in each country, free of government bias. The report documents the opinions, research, and recommendations of non-government organizations. Thus far, AWARE has submitted three shadow reports, organized by the CEDAW sub-commitee.

Read AWARE’s CEDAW Shadow Report 2011:

Or read individual chapters of AWARE’s CEDAW Shadow Report 2011:

Read AWARE’s CEDAW Shadow Report 2007:

About the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

CEDAW defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination. It provides the basis for ensuring women have equal access to and opportunities in the realms of political and public life, education, health and employment. It is also the only human rights treaty which affirms the reproductive rights of women.

The convention was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly and it is often described as an international Bill of Rights for women. In signing CEDAW, governments commit to undertake a series of measures to end discrimination against women. Every four years, signatories are required to send a report to the UN CEDAW Committee describing the steps they have taken to comply with the convention. Singapore ratified the CEDAW convention in October 1995 and has submitted three reports since then. As of 2011, 187 governments have ratified CEDAW.

After receiving each country’s official report and Shadow Reports, the UN CEDAW Committee submits Concluding Observations to each country. These comments contains the Committee’s principal areas of concern and its recommendations of measures the State should take to ensure the non-discrimination of women in the country.

In its comments to the Singapore government in 2007, the UN expressed concern about “the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men within the family and society at large.” The comments continue, “These stereotypes present a significant obstacle to the implementation of the Convention, are a root cause of violence against women in the private and public spheres, put women in a disadvantaged position in a number of areas, including in the labour market, and limit their access to leadership positions in the political and public life.”

Get 2011 CEDAW updates:

Learn more about CEDAW in Singapore: