Building towards Eastern European and Central Asia NGOs Coalition on Optional Protocol to CEDAW (2008 – 2009)

Why was it important

Although the significant number of women’s NGOs in Central and Eastern European and Central Asian countries had used the reporting mechanism of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to influence the states’ policies in the area of gender equality, most women’s NGOs in the Region lacked the practical knowledge of Optional Protocol to CEDAW (OP CEDAW) and of how it can be used to counteract the discrimination of women and violation of women’s rights. There was also no specific regional forum to share experiences and information related to this issue. This project aimed at filling these gaps and developing the strategic approach to using OP CEDAW.

What was the effect of project

Due to the project’s implementation we managed to build the greater capacity of women’s NGOs in CEE/CIS to use OP CEDAW to forward women’s rights.


Main activities

  • Creating platform for sharing experiences and information.
  • Trainings for the representatives of women’s NGOs aimed at increasing the understanding of CEDAW Convention, General Recommendations and Optional Protocol as tools for strengthening women’s rights and at developing skills to file a complaint to the CEDAW Committee under the Optional Protocol
  • Media campaigns

The project was coordinated by KARAT Secretariat and was implemented in two steps. During the first step (2008-2009) the women’s NGOs in four countries: Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine were involved. The NGOs from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan joined the project in 2009.


The project’s partners: Karat Coalition  (leading organization), IWRAW Asia Pacific (strategic partner), Women’s Rights Center (Armenia), Azerbaijan Gender Association “Symmetry” (Azerbaijan), Women’s Independent Democratic Movement (Belarus), Women’s Political Resource Center (Georgia), Gender-Center (Moldova), Public Foundation “Panorama” (Tajikistan), Ukrainian Women’s Fund (Ukraina), “Generation of the Future” (Uzbekistan).




The project’s participants took place in a series of regional events (strategic meetings and trainings on OP CEDAW) and national events (trainings, meetings, roundtables)  in Poland, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

OP CEDAW Training, Warsaw 2009


Capacity building trainings on CEDAW, 2009


Capacity buidling training 2009


Strategic meeting, Warsaw 2009



For more information please contact Aleksandra Solik at: