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Discrimination against women: UN expert group launches first official visit to Spain

GENEVA / MADRID (4 December 2014) – The United Nations Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice will undertake its first official visit to Spain from 9 to 19 December 2014 to assess the progress made towards eliminating discrimination in all aspects of women’s life.

“We will be interested in a broad range of areas concerning women’s life, including political and public participation, economic and social life, family and cultural life, and women’s health and safety,” said Frances Raday, who currently heads the expert group. The experts will review the issue of violence against women and their access to justice in these areas.

“We will pay particular attention to the impact of the economic crisis on the enjoyment of women’s rights,” she added, noting that the Working Group will be looking at good practices as well as remaining challenges for achieving women’s equality in law and in practice.

During its ten-day visit, the group’s delegation, comprised of Ms. Raday and Eleonora Zielinska, will meet with Government officials and state institutions at national and regional levels, representatives of civil society organizations, as well as experts and academics.

The human rights experts will visit Madrid, Seville, Málaga, Bilbao and Pamplona to gather first-hand information on issues related to discrimination against women in different contexts, including situations where women encounter multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination.
Ms. Raday and Ms. Zielinska will give a press conference on Friday 19 December 2014 at 12h00, at HOSPES HOTEL Infinite Places, Plaza de la Independencia, 3 | 28001 Madrid. Interpretation for English and Spanish is available.
Following its visit, the Working Group will present a comprehensive report with its conclusions and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2015.

The UN Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice was created by the Human Rights Council in 2011 to identify, promote and exchange views, in consultation with States and other actors, on good practices related to the elimination of laws that discriminate against women. The Group is also tasked with developing a dialogue with States and other actors on laws that have a discriminatory impact where women are concerned.

The Working Group is composed of five independent experts: the Current Chair-Rapporteur Frances Raday (Israel/United Kingdom), Alda Facio (Costa Rica), Kamala Chandrakirana (Indonesia), Emna Aouij (Tunisia) and Eleonora Zielinska (Poland). Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Women/WGWomen/Pages/WGWomenIndex.aspx

The UN human rights experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN human rights system, is the general name of the Council’s  independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, country page – Spain: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/ESIndex.aspx

For inquiries and media requests, please contact:
In Madrid (during the visit): Hannah Wu (hwu@ohchr.org / +41 792218074) and Bernadette Arditi (barditi@ohchr.org / +41 796183429) or write to wgdiscriminationwomen@ohchr.org
In Geneva: Xabier Celaya (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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Check the Universal Human Rights Index: http://uhri.ohchr.org/en