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


GENEVA (1 April 2015) – The United Nations Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice will undertake its first official visit to Senegal from 7 to 17 April to assess the progress made towards achieving gender equality and the protection and promotion of women’s human rights.

“The Working Group is particularly interested in legislative reforms and policies that have been implemented by the Government of Senegal to promote women’s rights and gender equality,” said human rights expert Emna Aouij, who currently heads the expert group.

“We will pay specific attention to women’s rights to health and safety, looking at achievements and good practices to eliminate discrimination against women in these areas. We will also be looking at aspects of law and practice which affect women’s participation in the family and in the cultural life, public and political life as well as their access to justice education, labour and social services,” she added.

During its nine-day visit, Ms. Aouij will meet with Government officials at national and local levels, representatives of civil society organizations and of the UN, as well as experts and academics.

The expert will visit Dakar, Kaolack, Diourbel and Thies to gather first-hand information on issues related to discrimination against women in various contexts, including women victims of multiple forms of discrimination.

A press conference to share the delegation’s preliminary findings will be held Friday 17 April at 11h at OHCHR conference room, Route du King Fahd Palace, 20 Almadies, BP 154 Dakar. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

Following its visit, the Working Group will present a report with its conclusions and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2016.

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 is Ms. Emna Aouij (Tunisia), Vice-President: Ms. Eleonora Zielinska (Poland), Ms. Kamala Chandrakirana (Indonesia), Ms. Alda Facio (Costa Rica) and Ms. Frances Raday (Israel/United Kingdom). Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Women/WGWomen/Pages/WGWomenIndex.aspx

The independent 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 – Senegal: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/SNIndex.aspx

For inquiries and media requests, please contact:
In Dakar: Caroline Ouaffo Wafang (+221 77 740 05 09/ couaffowafang@ohchr.org)
In Geneva: Bernadette Arditi (+41 22 917 9159 / mobile: +41 79 444 4078 / barditi@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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