Women’s Rights Now! CEDAW Shadow Report Austria

Forming part of the Austrian NGO forum „Women´s Rights Now!”, WIDE Austria has contributed to a shadow report on the weaknesses in the implementation of women´s human rights in Austria. The report that was sent to the UN CEDAW Committee in June 2012 – covers a range of topics, structured along the Articles 2-16 of the Convention. Claudia Thallmayer from WIDE Austria reports.

The range of topics covered in the shadow report vary from migrant women´s rights, domestic violence; women, peace and security; gender budgeting; gender stereotypes in media and education; sex work; gender pay gap; lesbian, bisexual and trans- women; rights of women with disabilities.

From the perspective of development cooperation and policies and with regard to CEDAW Articles 3 and 14, WIDE focussed on the one hand on the lack of policy coherence and the negative impact on women in developing countries, affected by Austrian and EU policies e.g. in the fields of carbon hydrate emissions and climate change; agro fuels policies; EU trade agreements; promotion of export; banking and financial market policies.

Regarding development policies as such, WIDE Austria criticized the low funding for development cooperation in general – Austria by far did not reach the EU goal of 0,51% ODA in 2010 (the latest data are now 0,27% in 2011). The low budget for development cooperation has a direct impact on the possibilities of support of programs for women´s empowerment.

WIDE also pointed out that, although CEDAW Article 14 requires that women be enabled to participate in the elaboration and implementation process of development plans on all levels, the official Three Year Programs on Austrian Development Policy are developed without any involvement of women’s organizations. Thus, it was decided to abandon the support for former focal countries in Central America and Africa and to establish instead a new focus on countries of the Black Sea region. This new focus of Austria’s development cooperation shows a clear orientation towards economic interests and was agree on without any consultation of (women’s and other) NGOs – a trend that WIDE observes with a lot of concern

Claudia Thallmayer, WIDE Austria

The Austrian CEDAW Shadow Report is available (in English) at: http://www.wide-netzwerk.at/images/publikationen/2012/cedaw-shadow-report-austria-2012.pdf