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CEDAW and monitoring informal mechanisms

Monitoring of women’s rights, including the right of women to be free of violence, in the informal justice sector should relate back to CEDAW provisions on this topic, specifically:

Article 5(a), which obligates States Parties to take all appropriate measures:

To modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudices and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women;

Article 13, which notes that women have an equal right to enjoy all aspects of cultural life;

Article 15, which states that

1. States Parties shall accord to women equality with men before the law.

2. States Parties shall accord to women, in civil matters, a legal capacity identical to that of men and the same opportunities to exercise that capacity. In particular, they shall give women equal rights to conclude contracts and to administer property and shall treat them equally in all stages of procedure in courts and tribunals; and

Article 16, which obligates States parties to take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations,

And, the CEDAW Committee’s General Recommendation 21, which expands upon articles 15 and 16 at length, as well as General Recommendations 12 and 19 on defining violence against women and state responsibilities related to legislation on violence against women.