Fri, Oct 17, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Women’s groups to draft an alternative UN report

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Because the UN refuses to allow Taiwan to be a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), a number of the nation’s women’s groups have decided to write their own alternative report.

CEDAW was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979, and currently has 185 signatory countries.

All signatory countries are required to submit a report on their status of women, gender equality and efforts to eliminate discrimination every four years.

Although former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) signed the convention last year, Taiwan is not a CEDAW member because it is not a member of the UN General Assembly.

Unable to submit a country report, a number of Taiwanese women’s groups have decided to write an alternative report as a non-governmental organization (NGO) instead.

They formally inaugurated a report-writing panel composed of representatives from several women’s groups yesterday.

“Due to the political reality, it’s quite difficult for us to interact with the international society as a country, but we NGOs can always play an alternative role in letting the world sees us,” Cynthia Kao (高小晴), executive director of the Women’s Rescue Foundation and a member of the writing panel, told a press conference.

Garden of Hope Foundation executive director Chi Hui-jung (紀惠容) agreed.

“China cannot and should not boycott activities by NGOs in Taiwan for political reasons,” she said.

Chi pointed out that Taiwan’s first alternative CEDAW report will focus on sexual violence and human trafficking.

While the UN is unlikely to accept the alternative report, Eva Richter, a representative of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women to the UN, praised it as a good move.

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