Question of Palestine home
28 October 1996
13-31 January 1997
Item 7 of the provisional agenda*
COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF
DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN
IMPLEMENTATION OF ARTICLE 21 OF THE CONVENTION ON THE
ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN
Reports provided by specialized agencies of the United Nations
on the implementation of the Convention in areas falling within
the scope of their activities
Note by the Secretary-General
UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION
1. On behalf of the Committee, the Secretariat invited the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 7 May 1996 to submit to the Committee by 1 September 1996, a report on information provided by States to UNESCO on the implementation of article 10 and related articles of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which would supplement the information contained in the reports of those States to the Convention that will be considered at the sixteenth session of the Committee. These are the latest reports of Canada, Morocco, the Philippines, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Slovenia and Turkey.
2. Other information sought by the Committee refers to the activities, programmes and policy decisions undertaken by UNESCO to promote the implementation of article 10 and related articles of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
3. The report annexed hereto has been submitted in compliance with the Committee's request.
Articles 7 and 8
34. Articles 7 and 8 of the Convention concern the access to, and participation of, women in political and public life on equal terms with men. Article 7 deals with public and political life at the national level. Article 8 deals with political and public life at the international level.
UNESCO activities to promote equality of opportunity
in political and public life at the national and
Mission to observe the Palestine elections
37. Following a request by Mme. Leila Shahid, Ambassador of the Palestinian Authority in Paris, the Director-General decided to send a mission to observe the elections in Palestine from 19 to 22 February 1996. Its task was to observe and gather information on the electoral process in the autonomous Arab territories, especially as regards female candidates and electors. This mission was organized in close cooperation with the Women's Affairs Technical Committee (WATC) of Ramalla (Palestine), the official body dealing with women's questions. Out of 680 candidates for 88 seats there were 28 female candidates. Four women were elected. The turnout was big, among women also (in spite of many negative pressures noted by the mission). But the question of the representation of women and of the establishment of a Ministry of Women's Rights remains. The WATC militants demanded a Ministry of Women but, whereas the different technical committees became Ministries after the elections, the women's technical committee became a non-governmental organization. As a result of this mission, UNESCO recommends that WATC should be supported, especially because of its organizing abilities, which make it the ideal partner for timely action in the fields of education, science and technology. UNESCO also suggested that WATC should form part of the Mediterranean networks and should benefit from the follow-up of Euromed. Finally, UNESCO stressed the importance of women in the establishment of Palestinian democratic institutions and of peace. Consequently, the mission urged that the international community should undertake, with financial resources, to uphold and protect the political rights of Palestinian women.