Webinar: COVID-19, CEDAW and Women’s Human Rights


This Webinar was live broadcast on June 16, 2020.  The recording is now available here:


The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the deeply entrenched inequalities that have shaped the impact of the virus.  Where there was violence, violence has increased.  Where there was marginality, the impacts of the crisis have been amplified.  Where inequalities festered, COVID-19 has flourished.

This Webinar brings together three international women’s human rights experts to discuss the particular impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on half of humanity: women of all ethnicities, nationalities, ages, sexualities, abilities, identities and statuses. The discussion will explore the importance of CEDAW, the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, for understanding, combating and transforming this crisis.   

If CEDAW, the intersectional legal framework for ending discrimination against women in all its forms, had been implemented, the COVID-19 crisis would have unfolded very differently.  International women’s human rights frameworks and mechanisms offer women’s movements crucial tools for analysis and advocacy to transform the underlying discrimination that continues to shape the ways that crises of all forms disproportionately impact women.

Related resources:

COVID-19 Statement by the UN Working Group on discrimination against women and girls: “Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic must not discount women and girls”

COVID-19 Guidance Note Issued by the CEDAW Committee

COVID-19 and UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies – collection of data from across the human rights system


Hilary Gbedemah (Ghana)

Chair, CEDAW Committee

Hilary Gbedemah is a lawyer, researcher, writer and women’s rights activist. She is the Rector and lecturer at the Law Institute, Ghana’s premier vocational law training institute in Accra. She advocates for human rights issues including inheritance, property rights of spouses; affirmative action and women’s equal representation; education, economic rights; and access to, and management of natural resources – water, forestry, mining.


Alda Facio (Costa Rica)

Expert Member,  UN Working Group on discrimination against women and girls

Alda Facio is a feminist human rights activist, jurist and writer.  She is the Director of the Women, Gender and Justice Program of the UN Latin American Institute for Crime Prevention (ILANUD), and one of the founders of the Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice of the International Criminal Court (ICC).


Dr. Amanda Dale (Canada)

Amanda Dale is an international human rights scholar and activist with a specialization in access to justice and women’s human rights.  She is the Chair of the Board of Inter Pares, Expert Panel Advisory Member of the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability and Advisory Panel Member of the Canadian Centre for Legal Innovation in Sexual Assault Law.




Angela Lytle & Lakshya Dhungana, Women’s Human Rights Education Institute