UN women’s rights committee adopts landmark document on women and conflict

Date: 25th October 2013
Category: General measures of implementation

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) passed a "landmark document" on women and conflict during its 56th session on 18th October 2013.

General Recommendation No. 30 gives guidance on how States can ensure women's rights are protected before, during and after conflicts, including due diligence on non-State actors such as armed groups and private security contractors.

"Women's experiences are regularly dismissed as irrelevant for predicting conflict, and women's participation in conflict prevention has historically been low," said CEDAW Chair Nicole Ameline. "But in reality, there is a strong correlation between an increase in gender-based violence and the outbreak of conflict. No longer is it enough to say that such acts are outside the scope of state responsibility of the Convention."

General Recommendation No 30 is a document that gives authoritative guidance to countries that have ratified CEDAW, on measures they need to take to ensure women's rights are protected in conflict prevention, conflict and post conflict situations.

The General Recommendation, the drafting of which was led over a three-year period by Committee Vice-Chair Pramila Patten of Mauritius, spells out States' obligations under the Convention, including due diligence obligations to prevent, investigate, punish and ensure redress for crimes against women by non-State actors.
The General Recommendation highlights the need for a concerted and integrated approach that places the Security Council agenda into the broader framework of the implementation of the UN Women's Rights Convention.

  • Download General Comment 30 here.
  • Find out more about CEDAW here.