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Professor Barbara Bailey Elected Jamaica’s Representative of CEDAW Committee

The fifteenth meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was convened at the United Nations Headquarters in New York recently to elect new members to serve on the CEDAW Committee.

Nineteen nominees were presented to fill eleven vacancies. Candidates from Cuba, India, France, Finland, China, Brazil, Romania, Kenya, Spain and Afghanistan were elected with Professor Barbara Bailey, University Director of the Centre for Gender and Development Studies and recent recipient of the CARICOM Triennial Award for Women, elected as Jamaica’s representative. The Committee is established under article 17 of the Convention and is composed of 23 independent experts of “high moral standing and competence” who are elected by secret ballot by UN States Parties who are signatories to the Convention.

The committee is charged with monitoring states on their compliance with the CEDAW Convention, which outlines a series of measures to end discrimination against women in all forms, including the maintenance of equality of men and women in the state legal system, in public and in organizations or enterprises. The newly elected members will serve a four-year term beginning January 2009. Other members on the CEDAW Committee include individuals from Bangladesh, Algeria, Thailand, Ghana, Netherlands, Egypt, Israel, Slovenia, Mauritius, Japan and Croatia.

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