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Discrimination against women: UN expert group undertakes first fact-finding visit to Kuwait


KUWAIT / GENEVA (1 December 2016) – A United Nations expert group on discrimination against women in law and in practice will start on 6 December the first ever official visit by UN independent experts to assess the progress made towards eliminating discrimination against women and the protection and promotion of women’s human rights in Kuwait.

The visiting delegation comprised of human rights experts Alda Facio -who currently heads the expert group- and Kamala Chandrakirana will visit Kuwait City and Jahra from 6 to 15 December to gather first-hand information on issues related to discrimination against women in various contexts, including women enduring multiple forms of discrimination.

“The Working Group is particularly interested in legislative reforms and policies that have been implemented in Kuwait to promote women's rights and substantive equality between men and women,” Ms. Facio said.

“We will look at achievements and good practices to eliminate discrimination against women in all aspects of women’s life. We will also address aspects of law and practice which affect women’s participation in political and public, economic and social, family and cultural life, and health and safety of women,” she added.
During its ten-day visit, the experts will meet with Government officials, representatives of civil society organizations, academics, as well as individual women.

A press conference to share the delegation’s preliminary findings will be held on Thursday 15 December at 3.00 p.m. at the United Nations House, Mishref, Diplomatic Square, Block 7.  Access to the press conference is strictly limited to accredited media.

Following its visit, the Working Group will present a report with its conclusions and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2017.


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 Alda Facio (Costa Rica), Kamala Chandrakirana (Indonesia), Frances Raday (Israel/United Kingdom), Emna Aouij (Tunisia)and  Eleonora Zielinska (Poland9. Learn more, log on to:  http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Women/WGWomen/Pages/WGWomenIndex.aspx

The Working Groups 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. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Kuwait: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/KWIndex.aspx

For inquiries and media requests, please contact:
In Geneva: Hannah Wu (+41 22 917 9152 / hwu@ohchr.org), Bernadette Arditi (+41 22 917 9159 or +41 79 752 0483 / barditi@ohchr.org) or write to wgdiscriminationwomen@ohchr.org

In Kuwait (during the visit): Asmae Aitssi: +965 2530 8000 (Ext. 8112)/ asmae.aitssi@undp.org

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

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