Bern, 20.10.2022 – Switzerland will meet the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva tomorrow, on the 21st of October 2022, to report on its progress and the challenges it faces in fighting discrimination against women. The Committee will use this meeting as a basis to make recommendations on further action for Switzerland.
Switzerland ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1997. Since then the country has provided regular reports to the Committee on its progress in implementing the Convention. At tomorrow’s discussion with the Committee in Geneva, Switzerland will summarise the progress that has been made and the challenges that remain for gender equality.
Strategies and action plans – two recommendations implemented
Two of the key recommendations that the Committee made in 2016 have since then been implemented. In April 2021, the Federal Council adopted the 2030 Gender Equality Strategy, whose action plan includes over 160 policy measures by the Confederation, cantons and communes. The National Action Plan for the implementation of the Istanbul Convention, which contains 44 measures to address violence against women and domestic violence, was adopted in June this year. Both the strategy and action plan will enable faster progress on remaining challenges. These challenges relate in particular to women’s economic autonomy.
Indeed, in 2018, the gender overall earnings gap at national level was 43.2 %. The difficulty of reconciling family and working life and the cost of childcare push many women to work part-time, which largely explains this high income differences. Violence against women also remains a serious problem. 90 % of victims of intimate partner homicides are women.
New recommendations for Switzerland expected this month
Chaired by Sylvie Durrer, Director of the Federal Office for Gender Equality (FOGE), the delegation consists of experts from various federal offices and a representative of the Swiss Conference of Gender Equality Delegates.
After the report has been discussed, the Committee will formulate new recommendations for Switzerland. The recommendations are expected at the end of October. Non-governmental organisations also use the so-called shadow reports to comment on the status of implementation.
The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is one of the core international agreements for the protection of human rights and the most important instrument protecting women’s rights. The treaty has been ratified by 189 out of 193 member countries.