Cameroon lags behind in submitting state report to CEDAW committee

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Cameroon is late in submitting its state report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) after it missed the deadline for the report, thus marking seven years since it submitted its last report. Cameroon must show its commitment to the rights of women and its commitment to eliminating discrimination against women in Cameroon by submitting its report and constructively participating in the review process.

The report was due 1 February 2018, and Contra Nocendi confirmed with the Committee secretariat that the government has still not turned it in. While the government of Cameroon has taken some steps to advance women’s rights, the impact of these efforts as well as any areas for improvement must be reflected upon in an objective and constructive environment. The CEDAW reporting and review process is such an environment.

As per article 18 of the CEDAW, state parties that have acceded to the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women are expected to submit a report on the legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures taken to ensure gender equality and to indicate the progress made on each of those aspects.

As a State Party that ratified the convention on 23 August 1994, Cameroon is obligated to submit a progress report at least every four years or whenever the CEDAW committee so requests.

The CEDAW committee’s goal is to oversee the advancement that the state parties make with respect to the progress of their women. It also carefully monitors how each of these states are implementing national measures to fulfill their legal obligations toward preventing discrimination against women. Finally, the committee makes recommendations on issues affecting women that require more attention from the state parties.

The last report the government of Cameroon submitted to the committee was on 1 December, 2011, and the state party was over three months late in submitting it that reporting cycle. Contra Nocendi calls on the government to submit its state report as expeditiously as possible so that the situation of women can be assessed and necessary measures can be taken to improve their condition.