When the CEDAW Committee reviews a country report, governments may not always include all relevant information. So women’s groups often prepare shadow reports and present them to the CEDAW Committee. Shadow reports are a way for women’s groups to bring other women’s issues to the attention of the CEDAW committee.
In 2009-2011 a community review was undertaken to develop a CEDAW Shadow Report, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s CEDAW Shadow Report, and follow-up materials. A large CEDAW Project Advisory Group, comprised of representatives from community and women’s organisations, met throughout the duration of the project. CEDAW Shadow Reports52 and follow-up materials are a valuable resource in preparing for CSW and other advocacy activities.
Since 2008, the CEDAW Committee has also specifically welcomed the input of national human rights institutions to the review process. In 2010, the Australian Human Rights Commission submitted an independent report53 to the CEDAW Committee. This was the first time the Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner has appeared before the Committee as an independent representative.
Since 2008, the CEDAW Committee also began requesting follow-up (otherwise known as interim) reports from governments that provide written information on the steps undertaken to implement recommendations on the two issues identified in the Concluding Observations as most pressing in the field of gender equality. Australia submitted its most recent follow up report in September 2012.