The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women [CEDAW] examined the Second and Third Periodic Report submitted by the Government of India at its 37th Session in New York on 18th January 2007. The NGO delegation led by Ruth Manorama presented the 2nd and 3rd NGO Alternative Report to the Committee. Based on this report, which focussed on the genocidal violence against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002, the UN Committee raised specific queries in its Concluding Comments that underscored the fact that while de jure equality has been achieved, de facto equality continues to be unrealised. Among its several recommendations to the government for positive action were:
- Enactment of Sex Discrimination Act
- National Plan of Action to combat gender based violence holistically
- Enforcement of laws preventing discrimination against Dalit women
- Affirmative Action to increase women’s representation in Judiciary
- Abolition or reform of Armed Forces Special Powers Act and investigation and prosecution of acts of violence by military in disturbed areas and during detention and interrogation
- Review policy of non-interference in personal laws of communities and withdraw reservations to Articles 5 (a) and 16 (1), which contradict CEDAW and Indian Constitutional Guarantees.