15 October 2013
LUNGOS as the National Platform for Non Government Organizations (NGOs) was represented at the 56th session of the United Nations (UN) Convention of the Elimination of Discrimination against Woman (CEDAW) session in Geneva of 7th to 9th October 2013. The representatives of LUNGOS were Mrs Marie Nella Azemia and Mrs Monica Servina the Chairperson and Gender Commissioner of LUNGOS respectively.
The participation of the NGO delegation was fully funded by the ‘International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW Asia Pacific) based in Malaysia. At the 56th session Seychelles presented its report for the first time after 20 years when it ratified the Convention. During the session, the government delegation entered in a constructive dialogue with a team of experts from the UN.
Prior tothe session the NGOs received training organized by IWRAW on how to lobby theexperts to take up with the government priority issues in relation to theimplementation of the Convention. The NGOs presented an oral statement and heldofficial meeting with the panel of experts to give specific information thatcould be used during the constructive dialogue.
Fourpriority issues raised by the LUNGOS delegation included the following;
• The strengthening on the nationalmachinery for the implementation of CEDAW. The argument raised is that thecomposition of the national machinery lacks sufficient strength to influenceall sectors of the society on the implementation of CEDAW
• Stereotyping. There is a need forthe government to introduce temporary special measures to eliminatestereotyping. Justification given was that young girls are given trainingopportunities to move into male dominated, but are handicapped by unavailabilityof structures to facilitate obtaining and staying in employment of the chosenfield
• Prostitution. The LUNGOS delegation felt strongly that the harassment of prostitutes by the police should be stopped and a program be planned so that the former can be channelled into alternative work.
• Sexual harassment. Very little work has been done to create awareness of the situation. There is a need for the development of a Sexual harassment law, whereby sanctions are imposed and preventive measures taken.
LUNGOS now awaits the ‘Concluding Observations’ coming from the UN CEDAW experts so that we can monitor and continue to lobby the government to implement the Convention.