CEDAW’s Article 18

Article 18

1. States Parties undertake to submit to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, for consideration by the Committee, a report on the legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures which they have adopted to give effect to the provisions of the present Convention and on the progress made in this respect:

(a) Within one year after the entry into force for the State concerned;

(b) Thereafter at least every four years and further whenever the Committee so requests.

2. Reports may indicate factors and difficulties affecting the degree of fulfilment of obligations under the present Convention.

Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979)

The Convention or the CEDAW gives a basis for the equality of the sexes in modern times. Many codes of ethics instantiated decent attempts at equality throughout the historical record. Some have simply been a code of ethics including the Code of Hammurabi, the Ten Commandments in Exodus, the Magna Carta including the Charter of the Forest, and others.

As far as I know, few required reports on activities as part of their stipulations. Article 18 of the Convention, or the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, speak to the need for the member states to submit a report to the highest officer of the United Nations, the Secretary-General.

The report covers a variety of areas covered in some of the former articles of this educational and commentary series. With respect to the legislative and judicial sectors, these remain some of the most important parts of the equal rights movements for there to be equality of the sexes.

Many nations around the world do not have the legislation or the judicial force in place for the equality of the sexes. As this includes women around the world, in numerous nations in history and right into the present, our ideas about equality should come into the fore here. No reportage of progress in these areas can leave questions.

Two main concerns come up. One is if a violation of a set of rights is allowed to be set into motion then the violations will continue, as has been for the most part historically the case. because rights require the force of potential punishment for violation or if positive then identification for possible areas of improvement.

The other is the need to document what has and has not been done regarding the reality on the ground in a particular country and the ideals set forth in the Convention. It is incumbent on the States Parties or the members bound to the Convention to enforce the ideals in their nation. Iceland has been an exemplar, as noted recently by Margaret Atwood, in gender equality.

Beyond most others, they continue to move forward and beyond many others. Other areas of the progressive movement reportage for the Convention are in administrative and “other measures.” It equates to the periodic table of elements portion of all the small bits of a human being and the universe, what they have in common: “other.”

It provides a foundation for consideration across the board in which the States Parties shall document their progress towards and adherence to the Convention. This becomes of utmost importance for the identification of problem areas. Big ones like lack of rights to vote or reproductive health rights, neither trivial. Small ones like certain social customs.

The report’s timing is stipulated as needing to be in place only one year after being enforced within the nation. Nations’ representatives sign onto the document, so now they must adhere to it. They have to prove this or provide evidence in favor of their progress towards these gender equality ideals.

Following this first-year reportage, there will be reports sent in once every four years. These reports the provide a firmer foundation upon which to consider the adherence to the Convention by the member state. If the state, presumably, does not adhere to the document or implement the CEDAW as well as it could, then there could be penalties.

Then the same could be said for the case of a nation-state declining to report or showing no precision in adherence to the Convention. It becomes another protective means to ensure the implementation of the Convention.

Do not take these individuals who fought for equal rights and set these documents in order for fools; also, do not take for fools those who want to take down the possibility of an equitable world through the reinstantiation of magical thinking in the public and the redirection of needed activist attention towards the items that matter most to people, towards the trivial rather than the meaningful and lasting.

One can find similar statements in other documents, conventions, declarations and so on, with the subsequent statements of equality or women’s rights:

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