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Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Discrimination Against Women in Law and Practice
June 9, 2017

Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Discrimination Against Women in Law and Practice

Thursday, June 8, 2017

U.S. Statement
As Delivered by Michele Roulbet


Thank you Mr. Vice President.  The United States thanks the Working Group for its work and the presentation.  The Working Group’s report on good practices emphasizes that laws are essential in addressing discrimination against women.  But they need to be accompanied by sustained implementation efforts, robust civil society advocacy, gender-sensitive discrimination education, and attitudinal and behavioral change to result in real improvements.  Even quotas and other temporary measures meant to eliminate discrimination against women have their limitations in the absence of these factors, as explored in the report’s selected case studies.

On the report on Hungary, we appreciate the attention to institutional structures to improve the situation of women, women’s political participation, work-life balance and policies related to women in the workplace, gender stereotypes; women’s health needs; and its focus to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.  We are pleased that Hungary has made progress in these areas, and welcome the government’s targeted measures to address discrimination against Roma women.  The report mentions several government entities and mechanisms which exist to empower women, yet fall short because they do not regularly convene or dialogue with civil society.  What best practices can the working group recommend to states to improve dialogue with civil society on these important issues?

The report on Kuwait recognizes improvements in the country’s legal framework for protecting women’s human rights, including their rights to vote, stand for election, obtain primary and secondary education, and receive equal pay to men.  It notes, however, that women still suffer discrimination with respect to laws on marriage, maternity leave, child custody, inheritance, nationality rights, and domestic violence.  The report recommends formulating and implementing sustainable strategies to bring family law in Kuwait in line with international human rights standards.  Does the Working Group have suggestions for what some of these strategies would be?