Human Rights Day
In Paraguay, a visual tribute to the CEDAW Committee
09 December 2013
“Todas las Mujeres has shown me once again the importance of exercising my powers of observation. To observe is to observe ourselves. In seeing those women, I saw myself. Making Todas las Mujeres for me meant reconnecting with my world. It was a reconnection with the world,” says Paz Encina, the Director responsible for making the documentary Todas las Mujeres: Un homenaje al Comité de la CEDAW [All Women: a Tribute to the CEDAW Committee]. To coincide with Human Rights Day (10 December), the film’s debut screening is part of a series of joint activities of UN Women, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Centro de Documentación y Estudios (Centre for Documentation and Research), in Paraguay.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), known as the 'Women's Bill of Rights', is the most comprehensive, and unprecedented, international instrument for protecting the human rights of women. The global treaty defines discrimination against women, as well as establishing the legal obligations of States to end it. The Convention also defines standards for gender equality and encourages an environment of zero tolerance towards violations of women's rights, at both international and national levels.
The CEDAW Committee, comprised of experts from all over the world, is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Convention. The documentary details the situation of women in the region through the voice of Line Bareiro, Paraguayan expert on the CEDAW Committee, and includes the testimonies of well-known feminists.
“The documentary pays tribute to the CEDAW Committee’s 30 years of work and includes the Committee’s recommendations to Paraguay in 2011 and substantive articles of the CEDAW Convention,” explains Ms. Bareiro. “But mostly it shows us how the combination of visual language – using photos of great artists of Paraguay combined with the words makes four dedicated women –brought together through the talent of Paz Encina, can effectively allow viewers to understand and digest a set of women’s rights framed in stories and images that call for substantive equality.”
The images used to illustrate the commentary are taken from the photographic exhibition based on Committee recommendations and texts of the Convention, which celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2012. CEDAW has brought radical changes at national level in all regions of the world by providing a basis for judicial decisions and legal, political and constitutional reforms.
Carolina Taborga, UN Women Representative in Paraguay, says: “the release of the documentary Todas las Mujeres is very important as it is part of the efforts to raise the profile of the Paraguayan State's commitments to women's rights. This is a central theme in UN Women's work programme in the country.
“This video will be widely distributed among the three branches of the State, and through civil society organizations, so that everyone will be aware of Paraguay's commitments and be fully able to exercise their rights,” adds Carolina.
The video is available in Spanish, with subtitled versions in Guarani and English.