‘Mother law’ on women’s rights planned

National

The Constitutional and Law Reform Commission and United Nations Women are working on a project to develop a “mother law” to help govern the rights of women in Bougainville.
Commission secretary Dr Eric Kwa said the mother law, which he described as one-stop-shop law, would be a single law that covered anything to do with the rights of women.
He said the law, among others, would cover child protection, family, marriage, divorce, property succession and women’s rights.
“We are suggesting it for Bougainville that all these (legislations) be captured in one law,” Kwa said.
Law-reform projects that would be carried out in Bougainville was part of an agreement between the commission and UN Women to involve in reviewing and reporting on legislation in compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Kwa said CEDAW was an important international legal framework that had been around for some years and the country was lagging behind in terms of submitting reports into the framework.
He said since the country agreed to CEDAW’s platform in 1995, only one report was submitted – in 2010.
He said the partnership with UN Women was important as it would provide a way for reports to be submitted to the council so that they could get a real taste
of what was happening in the country.
UN Women deputy country representative Adekemi Ndieli pledged its support to the government as well as the commission in advancing the rights of women for gender equality and women’s empowerment in the country and Bougainville.
The director of the national co-ordination office for Bougainville affairs director John Avira, guaranteed the constitutional and law reform commission and UN Women that the government
of Bougainville would support the project.

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