29 May 2008

Cook Islands praised for full commitment to CEDAW

7:42 pm on 29 May 2008

The Cook Islands government has set up a working group to consider what needs to be done so the country complies with the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, or CEDAW.

Yesterday, the Minister for Internal Affairs said the government was ready to undertake the review.

CEDAW defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to combat it.

The UNDP's representative, Naheed Haque, praises the move by the Cook Islands.

"I think that's absolutely fantastic that they have set up a committee to look at CEDAW and to look at what gaps are in their law and how they can be compliant and I think it's very good progress considering that they ratified CEDAW formally in 2006 but since they ratified it have moved very, very, quickly."

Naheed Haque says while many important advances in gender equality have been made, women continue to face systemic discrimination in the legal, social, political and economic spheres in all Pacific countries.