This module is a resource for lecturers
This section provides suggestions for a post-class assignment for the purpose of assessing student understanding of the Module. Suggestions for pre-class or in-class assignments are provided in the Exercises section.
Ask students to choose one of the following questions, on which they are to conduct thorough research and provide a written essay.
a) Consider the following statement:
The Committee recommends that States parties ... abolish discriminatory criminalization and review and monitor all criminal procedures to ensure that they do not directly or indirectly discriminate against women; decriminalize forms of behaviour that are not criminalized or punished as harshly if they are performed by men; decriminalize forms of behaviour that can be performed only by women, such as abortion; and act with due diligence to prevent and provide redress for crimes that disproportionately or solely affect women, whether perpetrated by State or non-State actors. (CEDAW Committee, General Recommendation 33, para. 51(l))
From the range of issues specified in this passage choose the one that is most relevant to your own jurisdiction (or a jurisdiction that you know well). It may be that recent reform has brought law or practice into closer alignment with CEDAW's recommendation. It might be that reform of this kind is urgently required in the jurisdiction chosen for study. Or perhaps there are inquiry and/or research and evaluation initiatives underway to assess the ways in which women are affected by discriminatory criminalization (or the reform of discriminatory laws/procedures of this kind). Write an essay that provides a critical assessment of the legal, procedural and/or public policy relevant to your chosen issue, within the jurisdiction selected for study. Be sure to engage closely with CEDAW Committee General Recommendation 33 in developing your understanding of your chosen issue.
b) Discuss the following statement, referring to specific legislation, and relevant CEDAW Concluding Observations.
"[D]iscriminatory procedural and evidentiary rules and a lack of due diligence in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, punishment and provision of remedies for violations of women's rights result in contempt of obligations to ensure that women have equal access to justice" (CEDAW Committee, General Recommendation 33, para. 23).