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Open Access Just ‘a little UN Committee’ or important policy driver? - The impact and effectiveness of the CEDAW Committee in New Zealand

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This article examines the impact and effectiveness of the process of state reporting under CEDAW in New Zealand. The particular focus is on the effectiveness of the Concluding Observations (COs) of the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee). It concludes that the COs of the CEDAW Committee have not driven policy or legislative changes. This is attributed to the absence of domestic mobilisation in relation to the process of reporting and CEDAW in general, but also to the limited legitimacy and persuasiveness of the CEDAW Committee in the view of Government officials. The experience with several of the COs of the Children’s Rights Committee in New Zealand and some of the COs of the CEDAW Committee in the Netherlands, however, illustrates that COs can be useful. COs can provide additional legitimacy to the demands of domestic actors advocating for change and can, hence, push an issue forward by shifting the terms of the debate.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: PhD researcher and lecturer at the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights in the field of international and European (human rights) law and International Relations

Publication date: March 1, 2013

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  • Het Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies is het forum voor de wetenschappelijke problematisering van sekse in relatie tot andere vormen van discriminatie en uitsluiting zoals etniciteit, seksualiteit, klasse of leeftijd. Er worden artikelen in gepubliceerd over gendervraagstukken vanuit alle relevante disciplines die een wetenschappelijke bijdrage leveren aan debatten over gender en intersectionaliteit in Nederland en Vlaanderen. Het tijdschrift is een interdisciplinair medium op het kruispunt van maatschappij-, cultuur-, geestes-, gezondheids- en natuurwetenschappen. Het verschijnt vier keer per jaar en biedt wetenschappelijke artikelen en daarnaast ook interviews, boekrecensies, discussiedossiers en opiniërende artikelen in het Nederlands en Engels. Artikelen worden dubbelblind beoordeeld door externe deskundigen.

    The Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal of Gender Studies) is a Dutch language forum for the scientific problematisation of gender in relation to ethnicity, sexuality, class, and age. The journal aims to contribute to debates about gender and diversity in the Netherlands and Flanders. The journal is an interdisciplinary medium operating at the intersection of society, culture, the humanities, health and science. The editorial staff is open to articles about gender issues from different disciplines, and also accepts English articles. As well as publishing articles, the journal includes essays, columns (short topical and polemical articles), interviews, reviews, summaries of dissertations and conference reports. Articles are subjected to a double blind peer review process.
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