Key Achievements of the CEDAW SEAP Phase II Programme in Timor-Leste

Photo credit: UN Women/Suzette Mitchell
  • UN Women contributed to enhanced knowledge and skills of justice system actors by providing technical and capacity development support to the government and civil society members of the Legal and Gender Working Group in review of legislation from a women’s human rights (WHR) perspectives.   As a result, the Legal and Gender Working Group has made a significant contribution to the engendering of four crucial draft laws by reviewing and providing comprehensive recommendations on compliance with the CEDAW and other human rights treaties.
  • 24 MPs (37% of all MPs) from different Committees demonstrated increased understanding of the importance of reviewing draft laws from a WHR perspective.
  • The Ministry of Justice integrated WHR’s perspective into the draft curriculum of the Legal Training Centre, pending approval  from  the Pedagogical Council. It is a step towards the institutionalization of WHR’s in the justice sector. The modules of the curriculum developed by UN Women for magistrates, prosecutors, public defenders and private lawyers was comprised of  several topics including the application of international human rights law, and the handling of gender-based crimes and specific issues related to crimes against women.
  • UN Women strengthened the capacity of the Government and CSOs in their implementation, monitoring and reporting of CEDAW COs. The Strategic Development Plan (2011 – 2030),  the  Constitutional Government Programme (2012 -2017), and the Parliamentary Resolution on Gender Responsive Budgeting (2009) prioritized gender mainstreaming in Government policies, plans and budgets. In response, SEPI, with UN Women’s technical and capacity development support, has been annually reviewing AAPs from a gender equality and WHR perspective. The annual exercise included the development and adjustment of checklists aimed to support government institutions  by bringing their planning and budgeting processes into compliance with the international and national gender and women’s rights commitments. Trainings for inter-ministerial Gender Working Groups were also conducted, as well the provision of feedback and advice to planning and budget units on how gender-responsive budgeting could be strengthened through the planning process.   Thus, 2015 AAPs were analyzed to ensure compliance with national priorities, the National Action Plan on GBV, and specified international agreements, such as CEDAW and its Concluding Observations.

Key Achievements per Outcome (CEDAW Prodoc Outcomes)

Enhanced skills and knowledge on CEDAW compliance in developing and monitoring new and revised legislative frameworks

  • A pool of experts on women’s human rights based-legal review have been established and its capacities have been increased (Legal and gender working group);
  • 24 MPs (37% of all MPs) from different Committees demonstrated increased understanding of the importance of reviewing draft laws from a WHR perspective.

Increased awareness among formal and informal justice system actors of CEDAW commitments

  • Increased awareness among formal justice system actors of CEDAW commitments by integrating WHR’s perspective in the curriculum of the Legal Training Centre
  • The TLS national component of Regional Research on Women’s Access to Justice in Plural Legal Systems was finalized and translated into the local language and published by CEPAD.   The research, which was presented at a validation workshop, generated interest among key stakeholders. The Ministry of Justice and the Secretariat of State for Land and Property particularly appreciated the relevance of the research findings in the context of the ongoing considerations of a draft Land Law, and the upcoming drafting of the Customary Law

Strengthened monitoring and accountability mechanisms for implementation of CEDAW commitments

  • CEDAW monitoring tools to monitor CEDAW implementation have been developed with TL’s women’s organizations network (Rede feto). The tool has been used by 6 organizations and will be used as an advocacy tool during the budget cycle process, and to collect data for the alternative report for the CEDAW committee.
  • The monitoring and accountability mechanisms for implementation of CEDAW commitments have been strengthened. SEM, with UN Women’s support, analysed 41 AAPs of different line ministries and secretaries of state, and provided recommendations on how best to incorporate gender perspectives and CEDAW CO. Gender Equality Checklists. Similarly,   the comments provided by SEM at the budget review committee, were a practical guidance to government institutions on integrating gender into specific sectors in compliance with CEDAW. As a result, 28 state institutions (12 Ministries and 16 Secretaries of State) included GE activities in their 2015 Annual Action Plans. For example, after receiving feedback from SEM during their budget review committee, the Ministry of Justice included WHR-based legal reviews  for legal drafters in its AAP, and on a similar note, the Ministry of Education  included in its 2015 AAP  an activity to provide transport for children to and from schools in 3 Municipalities.
  • A  simplified version of several General Recommendations and concluding observations was developed and translated into the local language