Ghana’s candidate to the 11-member board of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was today (June 21, 2016) re-elected for another four year term.
Ms Hilary Amesika Gbedemah, lawyer with a 38-year legal experience and gender consultant bagged 95 votes in a keenly contested election that took at the United Nations headquarters in New York during the 19th meeting of the State parties.
In all 25 candidates from the 189 state parties vied for the 11 slots. Those elected will replace current members whose tenure ends on December 31 this year.
The Committee’s mandate is to monitor the progress made by women in the States parties to the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
At each of its sessions, the Committee reviews national reports submitted by the States parties within one year of ratification or accession, and thereafter every four years. These reports, which cover national action taken to improve the situation of women, are presented to the Committee by Government representatives. In discussions with these officials, the CEDAW experts comment on the report and obtain additional information.
The Committee also makes recommendations on any issue affecting women to which it believes the States parties should devote more attention. For example, at the 1989 session, the Committee discussed the high incidence of violence against women, requesting information on this problem from all countries.
The Convention defines discrimination against women as “…any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.”
An elated Ms Gbedemah thanked the Ghanaian leader, President John Mahama for re-nominating her and also praised the staff of the Ghana Mission and other officials for working hard to make her re-election successful.