Recognising the need for an in depth analysis and understanding of equality and non-discrimination, twenty of South Asia’s gender specialists joined the deliberations in Colombo at the South Asia Expert Group Consultation held from the 13 – 15 September 2014.
Organised by Women and Media Collective (Sri Lanka) in partner with North East Network (India) and Forum on Women, Law and Development (India) the consultation focused on the progress made with respect to the equality of women and men as well as women’s human rights in South Asia, taking into consideration the concept of substantive equality developed by CEDAW.
At the consultation experts from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka raised the challenges faced with the implementation of substantive equality in South Asia. They also discussed strategies for the application of CEDAW, substantive equality in the context of post conflict recovery and development and how the dissemination of available knowledge together with a comprehensive legal framework is vital for the effective implementation of substantive equality.
Globally there is a lack of understanding that the interpretation of equality and CEDAW are interconnected approaches introduced to promote women’s rights. It is therefore understood that to achieve CEDAW’s norm of substantive equality a momentum for sustained activism and a continuous process for equality is necessary.