GENEVA, Switzerland– The 67th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women was convened in Geneva, Switzerland from 3 – 21 July, 2017.
Among the countries that came before the Committee pursuant to the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) were Italy, Thailand, Romania, Costa Rica, Montenegro, Barbados, Niger and Nigeria.
Ms. Marion Bethel, Member of the Committee for the term 2017-2020, served as Rapporteur, for the first time since her election, during the consideration of the Report of Barbados.
The delegation of Barbados to the Session was led by the Hon. Steven Blackett, Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development.
Barbados was commended for a number of legislative reforms undertaken in support of women’s rights as well as strengthening of related policy frameworks.
Issues of concern for the Committee during Barbados’ review included weaknesses and gaps in Constitutional provisions against discrimination on the basis of sex, challenges faced by Barbadian women in access to justice, and the potential risks posed by both new fiscal austerity measures and Barbados’ status as an International Financial Centre, to reducing social protection for women, both nationally and internationally.
Ms. Bethel has also been selected to serve on a number of Working Groups within the Committee such as Women, Peace & Security, Sustainable Development Goals and the Right to Education.
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women is the UN body of elected, independent experts on women’s rights who monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women by all countries which are States Parties thereto.
Ms. Bethel is the first Bahamian national to have been elected to serve on a UN Treaty Body.