Treaty-Body Reporting

Musawah has engaged and intervened in the following countries either through submission of oral statements or joint or independent thematic reports, and/or suggested questions for pre-sessional working groups (PSWG) of the CEDAW Committee. For selected countries, Musawah has also submitted reports for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. Select a country to view the thematic reports, oral statements and related country documents.

AFGHANISTAN

In July 2013 – The Musawah Thematic Report on Afghanistan was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 55th Session in Geneva, Switzerland. In this report, Musawah takes a critical look at the status of marriage and family relations in Afghanistan, examining closely the governing legal structure and critical issues such as the equality of spouses, their rights and responsibilities, minimum age of marriage, forced marriage, polygamy, divorce, and the custody and guardianship of children.

ALGERIA

In February 2012 – The Musawah Thematic Report on Jordan and Algeria was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 51st Session. This report by Musawah takes a critical look at the status of marriage and family relations, as encapsulated in Article 16 of the CEDAW Convention. Algeria and Jordan are two member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that reported to the CEDAW Committee at the 51st Session.

BAHRAIN

In February 2014 – The Musawah Thematic Report on Bahrain was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 57th Session in Geneva, Switzerland. Musawah challenged the ways the government used religion to justify non-compliance.

In November 2018 and July 2013 – Musawah submitted recommendations and suggestions for List of Issues and Questions to the Pre-Sessional Working Group on Bahrain.

BRUNEI

In October 2014 – The Musawah Thematic Report on Brunei Darussalam was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 59th Session in Geneva, Switzerland, accompanied by an Oral Statement on Brunei Darussalam. Apart from highlighting key issues under Article 16, Musawah also brought attention to the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013, covered under Article 2.

ETHIOPIA

In February 2019 – the Musawah Brief Report on child marriage and female genital mutilation/circumcision (FGM/C) was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 72nd Session in Geneva, Switzerland.

INDONESIA

In July 2012 – The Musawah Thematic Report on Indonesia was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 52nd Session. In this report, Musawah examines the status of marriage and family relations within the Indonesian context by reviewing the official Indonesian government report to the CEDAW Committee and offering responses to issues and points raised in the review process, as well as recommendations for action. The CEDAW Committee expressed its disappointment with the lack of progress in Indonesia since its last review session. The lack of progress was specifically evident in the way ‘the country continued to allow traditional customs such as female genital mutilation, as well as archaic practices such as stoning and caning, polygamy, child marriages and gender stereotyping’ to continue unabated (UN-NGLS). The Committee’s Concluding observations, particularly in relation to Article 16, were more detailed than usual, specifying areas that needed immediate attention. The Committee’s recommendations included: ‘Repeal, within a clear time frame, all discriminatory laws against women… and repeal, in particular, discriminatory provisions of Marriage Law No. 1/1974.’ (OHCHR)

IRAQ

In November 2019 – Musawah submitted a Thematic Report on Iraq to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 74th Session in Geneva, Switzerland. This report examines Iraqi laws and practices that enforce de jure and de facto discrimination against women in the following areas: discriminatory legal framework, child marriage, forced marriage, temporary marriage, polygamy and violence against women.

In February 2014 – The Musawah Thematic Reports on Iraq was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 57th Session in Geneva, Switzerland. Musawah challenged the ways the government used religion to justify non-compliance.

JORDAN

In February 2017 – Musawah submitted the country overview table on Muslim family laws in Jordan to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 66th CEDAW Session.

In February 2012, the combined Musawah Thematic Report on Jordan and Algeria was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 51st Session. This report by Musawah takes a critical look at the status of marriage and family relations, as encapsulated in Article 16 of the CEDAW Convention. Algeria and Jordan are two member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that reported to the CEDAW Committee at the 51st Session.

KENYA

In October 2017 – Musawah and Advocacy for Women in Peace and Security, Africa (AWAPSA), submitted a Joint Thematic Report on Article 16 for Kenya, to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 68th Session in Geneva, Switzerland. The report examines the necessity for codification of the Muslim family law based on equality between men and women, as well as other issues pertaining to access to justice. It also highlights discrimination faced by Kenyan Muslim women in the following areas: male-only positions in the Kadhi Court system, women’s equal capacity to enter into marriage, child and early marriage, polygamy and divorce. The report highlights positive developments in Muslim family laws with examples of good and better practices from other Muslim contexts, based on Musawah’s research and comparative analysis of family laws and practices in 31 countries.

KUWAIT

In October 2017 – Musawah and Abolish Article 153, submitted a Joint Report on Article 16 for Kuwait, to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 68th Session in Geneva, Switzerland. The report examines Kuwaiti Personal Status Act (KPSA) that enforces discrimination against women in the following areas: equality in marriage, women’s consent and capacity to enter into marriage, child and early marriage, polygamy and divorce rights. The report also specifically highlights issues of gender-based violence in the context of family and discriminatory legal provisions, including Article 153 of the Kuwaiti Penal Code, which effectively gives men regulatory power over their female kin. Additionally the report contains sections on positive developments in Muslim family laws, with examples of good and better practices from other Muslim contexts, based on Musawah’s research and comparative analysis of family laws and practices in 31 countries.

LEBANON

In November 2015 – The Musawah Thematic Report on Lebanon was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 62nd Session in Geneva, Switzerland. The Report highlighted key issues concerning equal rights and responsibilities in marriage, access to divorce, and custody and guardianship of children.

MALAYSIA

In February 2018 – Musawah and Sisters in Islam submitted a Joint Thematic Report on Malaysia, to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 69th Session in Geneva, Switzerland. The report examines Islamic family laws and practices that enforce de jure and de facto discrimination against Muslim women in the following areas: early and child marriage; polygamy; divorce; inheritance; child custody and guardianship. The report also specifically addresses concerns regarding the discriminatory legal frameworks of the Islamic family laws and highlights trends in reform of such laws, which perpetuate injustices against Muslim women in Malaysia.

MALDIVES

In February 2015 – The Musawah Thematic Report on the Maldives was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 60th Session in Geneva, Switzerland. The Report highlighted key issues such as violence against women, early and forced marriage, polygamy and access to divorce. An Oral Statement on the Maldives was submitted jointly with the women’s NGO Hope for Women.

  • Musawah Thematic Report on Maldives
  • Musawah & Hope for Women Joint Oral Statement on Maldives

MALI

In July 2016 – The Musawah Thematic Report on Mali was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 64nd Session in Geneva, Switzerland. Musawah highlighted key issues concerning early, child and forced marriage, polygamy, divorce, violence against women and equality in rights and responsibilities.

  • Musawah Thematic Report on Mali
  • Musawah Oral Statement on Mali

MAURITANIA

In June 2014 – The Musawah Thematic Report on Mauritania was submitted to the CEDAW

Committee for review at its 58th Session in Geneva Switzerland. Musawah highlighted key issues concerning marriage and family relations such as, guardianship, early and forced marriage, equal rights and responsibilities, polygamy, divorce, custody and guardianship of children, and the right to confer nationality to children. The report was accompanied by an Oral Statement on Mauritania and Syria.

MAURITIUS

In October 2018 – Musawah submitted a Thematic Report on Mauritius with substantive inputs from Mauritian family law experts, to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 71st Session. The report examines the lack of a codified legal framework for recognizing and protecting rights in the context of Muslim religious marriages. It also discusses the issues and challenges resulting from the lack of clarity on a legal framework, including marriage registration, polygamy, divorce, survival rights, custody and child marriage. The report was drafted with support from International Human Rights Clinic and Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change at Harvard Law School.

NEPAL

In October 2018 – Musawah submitted a Joint Thematic Report on Nepal, together with Nepal Muslim Women’s Welfare Society (NMWWS), to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 71st Session in Geneva, Switzerland. Despite the application of civil laws on marriage and divorce, Nepalese Muslims continue to practice marriage customs according to their notions of Islamic law. This report examines the community practices in Nepal that discriminate against Muslim women in the realm of marriage and family, including unregistered marriage, child marriage, unilateral talaq, divorce, and dowry.

NIGERIA

In July 2017 – A Thematic Report on Nigeria was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 67th Session in Geneva, Switzerland. Musawah highlighted key Article 16 related issues concerning Muslim family law – including early marriage and polygamy, divorce and violence against women, as well as examples of good and better practices from other Muslim contexts.

  • Musawah Thematic Report on Nigeria

OMAN

In October 2017 – A Thematic Report on Article 16 for Oman was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 68th Session in Geneva, Switzerland. The report examines Omani laws and practices that enforce de jure and de facto discrimination against women in the following areas: Muslim family law based on reciprocity of rights; child and forced marriage; women’s consent and capacity to enter marriage; divorce rights; polygamy; custody and guardianship of children; violence against women; and nationality. The report also contains sections on positive developments in Muslim family laws, with examples of good and better practices from other Muslim contexts, based on Musawah’s research and comparative analysis of family laws and practices in 31 countries.

  • Musawah Thematic Report on Oman
  • Musawah Oral Statement on Oman

In October 2011 – The Musawah Thematic Report on Kuwait and Oman was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 50th Session. This report takes a critical look at marriage and family relations in both Kuwait and Oman, members states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). This is Musawah’s first thematic report on Article 16.

  • Musawah Thematic Report on Kuwait and Oman
  • Musawah Oral Statement on Oman

PALESTINE

In July 2018 – Musawah submitted a Thematic Report on Palestine, to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 70th Session in Geneva, Switzerland. This report examines the Muslim family laws/codes and practices that enforce de jure and de facto discrimination against women in Palestinian territories, in the following areas: the application of multiple personal status laws; reciprocity of rights in marriage; women’s consent and capacity to enter marriage; child and forced marriage; divorce rights; polygamy; custody and guardianship of children; women’s financial rights after divorce; and inheritance.

PHILIPPINES

In July 2016 – The Musawah Thematic Report on the Philippines was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 64nd Session in Geneva, Switzerland. Musawah highlighted key issues concerning equal rights and responsibilities, early and forced marriage, polygamy and divorce, maintenance and child custody

  • Musawah Thematic Report on Philippines

QATAR

In February 2014 The Musawah Thematic Reports on Qatar was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 57th Session in Geneva, Switzerland. Musawah challenged the ways the governments used religion to justify non-compliance.

  • Musawah Thematic Report on Qatar
  • Musawah Oral Statement on Bahrain & Qatar

SAUDI ARABIA

In February 2018 – Musawah submitted a Thematic Report on Saudi Arabia, to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 69th Session in Geneva, Switzerland. This report examines Saudi Arabia’s legal frameworks and practices that enforce de jure and de facto discrimination against women in the following areas: the guardianship framework; reciprocity of rights in marriage; women’s consent and capacity to enter marriage; child and forced marriage; divorce rights; polygamy; custody and guardianship of children; violence against women; and nationality. The report incorporates substantive inputs by Saudi women’s rights activists and lawyers, who provided information and insights on the contemporary lived realities of Saudi women.

SINGAPORE

In October 2017 – A Thematic Report for Singapore was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 68th Session in Geneva, Switzerland. The report examines the necessity for a comprehensive reform of the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA) in order guarantee equality for Singaporean Muslim women. It highlights the issues of male-only positions under AMLA, women’s equal capacity to enter into marriage, child and early marriage, polygamy, divorce and inheritance rights. The report also highlights Positive developments in Muslim family laws with examples of good and better practices from other Muslim contexts.

  • Musawah Thematic Report on Singapore
  • Musawah Oral Statement on Singapore (submitted in written form)

SRI LANKA

In February 2017 – During the 66th session on Sri Lanka, a local lobby group Muslim Personal Law Reforms Action Group (MPLRAG) submitted a specific shadow report on Muslim women’s issues related to Article 16 of the CEDAW Convention. Musawah was consulted in the final draft stage of the report which highlighted discriminatory legal provisions of the 1951 Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) and the impacts on Muslim women and girls in Sri Lanka.

  • MPLRAG Shadow Report on Sri Lanka

SYRIA

In June 2014, during the 58th CEDAW Review Musawah highlighted key issues concerning marriage and family relations in an oral statement on Syria.

THAILAND

In July 2017 – For Thailand, Musawah collaborated with local advocates from PATANI Working Group for Monitoring of International Mechanisms, Thailand (a collective of 12 organizations and networks). The report primarily focused on issues faced by Muslim women in Southern Border Provinces of Thailand. In addition to Article 16 related matters specific to Islamic law applicable to marriages and divorces of Muslims, the report also highlighted gender-based violence and health related issues in the context of conflict faced by religious and ethnic minority women in Southern Border Provinces.

  • PATANI Working Group Shadow Report on Thailand

TANZANIA

In February 2016 – An Oral Statement on Tanzania was submitted on behalf of Musawah by IWRAW-AP to the CEDAW Committee at its 63rd Session in Geneva, Switzerland. Musawah briefly highlighted polygamy as a key area of discrimination, and challenged the assertion that discriminatory laws and practices created in the name of Islam cannot be reformed.

  • Musawah Oral Statement on Tanzania

THE GAMBIA

In July 2015 – The Musawah Thematic Report on the Gambia was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 61st Session in Geneva, Switzerland. Musawah highlighted key issues concerning marriage and family relations such as, early and forced marriage, equal rights and responsibilities, polygamy, divorce, and the custody and guardianship of children.

  • Musawah Thematic Report on The Gambia
  • Musawah Oral Statement on The Gambia

TURKEY

In July 2016 – The Musawah Thematic Report on Turkey was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 64nd Session in Geneva, Switzerland. Musawah highlighted key issues concerning equal rights and responsibilities, early marriage and polygamy, divorce and violence against women.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE)

In November 2015 – The Musawah Thematic Report on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was submitted to the CEDAW Committee for review at its 62nd Session in Geneva, Switzerland. Musawah highlighted key issues concerning equal rights and responsibilities in marriage, male guardianship, early and child marriage, polygamy and temporary marriage, access to divorce, custody and guardianship of children, and the right to confer nationality. The Report was accompanied by an Oral Statement on UAE made on behalf of Musawah by IWRAW-AP.

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