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UN Committee Strives to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women - 2002-01-15

The 26th session of a United Nations committee dedicated to eliminating discrimination against women has convened in New York. The group aims to chart progress in the fight against gender discrimination.

Eight nations fall under scrutiny this year as the U.N. continues its campaign to eliminate discrimination. Ranging from Estonia to Fiji to Sri Lanka, the eight represent countries from all regions of the world. They are seen as a cross-section of the world's nations and should provide the U.N. with an accurate assessment of whether or not women are encountering more or less discrimination.

The countries are being assessed against The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. This is a U.N. document containing 30 articles which taken together, make up an agenda to encourage equality. It is often referred to as the U.N. Women's Bill of Rights. More than 160 countries have signed on to the terms of the convention. It incorporates a range of measures to ensure parity in political, civil, business, and cultural areas.

Those countries which sign on to the convention are required to take positive action to ensure women are given access to all areas of society on an equal level to men.

The Committee meets at U.N. Headquarters until February 1.