Expert consultation: Perspectives on CEDAW`s future General Recommendation

This week, the GQUAL Campaign hosted a thematic expert consultation at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington D.C. to inform the drafting process of the UN CEDAW Committee’s future General Recommendation 40 on women’s equal and inclusive participation in decision-making systems, together with Academy of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and American University Washington College of Law, and in collaboration with the CEDAW Committee.

The expert consultation brought together more than 40 global leaders from critical fields —including international and human rights law, peace and security, humanitarianism, foreign policy and diplomacy, and international trade and arbitration, among others—to discuss key substantive, normative, and practical aspects of women’s right to equal and inclusive participation in international representation and decision making.

The two days of discussion shed light on a wealth of approaches and experiences, and advanced key substantive discussions and recommendations. Discussions focused on the importance of addressing State’s obligations regarding women’s equal and inclusive participation in key international decision-making spaces, such as those related to international justice, international trade and arbitration, feminist foreign policies, and peace and security. Participants addressed several areas critical to GR 40’s development, including the scope of Articles 7 and 8 of the CEDAW Convention, the meanings and significance of gender parity as the measure for gender equality in international representation, the critical role of data and institutional changes in promoting inclusive equality and accountability, and the importance of ensuring that intersectionality and structural obstacles to access and effective leadership are addressed in framing equal representation.

“GQUAL is honored to have hosted this expert consultation. The purpose of our campaign is to bring people, movements, and institutions together, to collectively develop information, knowledge, tools, and synergies to escalate our impact towards the common goal of ensuring women’s equal, inclusive, and effective participation in international decision-making spaces—and particularly in those related to international justice. We have no doubt that the future GR 40 will be a game changing contributiont hat will further our collective work . We are incredibly grateful and inspired by the community and the knowledge that was exchanged, and leave absolutely convinced that – together – we are changing the picture of international decision-making spaces.”


GQUAL expresses its thanks to the CEDAW Committee and to the experts who participated in the consultation and remains committed to its efforts to effectively contribute to the CEDAW Committee’s participatory efforts to inform the development of future General Recommendation 40—the first draft of which is expected to be released for public comments, in early 2024.

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