Title page for ETD etd-06062011-161049

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Ibadin, Sonia Iyayi
URN etd-06062011-161049
Document Title A critical evaluation of CEDAW Committee jurisprudence and its relevance to African women
Degree LLM
Department Centre for Human Rights
Advisor Name Title
Prof M Hansungule Supervisor
  • CEDAW Committee
  • African women
Date 2011-04-11
Availability unrestricted

In the mini-dissertation, we consider the potential effectiveness of CEDAW in reaching its stated goal of eliminating discrimination against women.

We consider and analyse the potential impact of the Convention in the fight against inequality and discrimination against women, and the research examined CEDAW Committee decisions critically to find out its potential impacts and relevance to African women. This mini-dissertation analyses specific forms of discrimination in three selected African states and, found that: (1) women still suffer discrimination in access to education through low female enrolment and, the restriction on particular areas of study, (3) that in employment, women are discriminated against through inequality in payment, restriction of women from some sectors of the economy and; in lower opportunities for women as compared to men, (4) that in relation to politics and public life, women still are discriminated against and; they cannot easily access public office and are, underrepresented in parliament, cabinet and in the private sector, except in Rwanda where women are well represented, (5) that women are discriminated against in access to health care services including reproductive care which is characterized by lower female life expectancy, lower access to health care services especially in rural areas and; high mortality rate amongst female infants, (6) and that women in marriages and families are still not treated equally with men on issues of divorce proceedings, child support, polygamy and early marriage.

We discuss and analyse the instruments protecting women against discrimination at the global and regional levels. We illustrated that the instruments effectively protects women against discrimination but were, inadequately implemented or utilised by women. We concluded as follows; (1) that the instruments effectively protected women from discrimination in education, employment, health care services, family and marital life and; in politics and public life. The issue is the implementation of the instruments by states parties and, (2) that in terms of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women, that the problem of reservations by states parties have greatly affected the effectiveness of the Convention. As to the CEDAW Committee jurisprudence, we discovered: (1) that the CEDAW Committee has done enough to protect women against discrimination in all spheres of life with groundbreaking decisions and; all that is required now is proper implementation of decisions, (2) that there are presently no communications to the CEDAW Committee from African women yet, (3) that most communications submitted to the Committee have been declared inadmissible for reasons ranging from non-exhaustion of domestic remedies to the facts occurring prior to the entering into force of the Optional Protocol in the state party complained against and, that most cases were lost on procedural errors, (4) that the Committee is very strong in cases of domestic violence and discrimination in access to health care services. In conclusion, the research identifies a number of weaknesses in the Convention and proposes a range of amendments that would facilities the use of the CEDAW Committee by African women. We also identified the implications of the CEDAW Committee jurisprudence on Africa.

2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Ibadin, SI 2011, A critical evaluation of CEDAW Committee jurisprudence and its relevance to African women, LLM dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06062011-161049 / >


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