The state must perform both its "negative duty" to refrain from discrimination against women and its "positive duty" to prevent discrimination against women.
- The state took steps to ensure de facto equality between men and women
- Citizenship rules did not discriminate directly or indirectly against women
- The legal framework for elections included guarantees of equality before the law for men and women
- All citizens received voter education regardless of their race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation or gender identity, property, birth, or other status
- Every woman has the right to the recognition, enjoyment, exercise and protection of all human rights and freedoms embodied in regional and international human rights instruments. These rights include, among others: ...j. The right to have equal access to the public service of her country and to take part in the conduct of public affairs, including decision-making.
- The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights set forth in the present Covenant.
- Under article 2, States parties must address all aspects of their legal obligations under the Convention to respect, protect and fulfil women’s right to non-discrimination and to the enjoyment of equality. The obligation to respect requires that States parties refrain from making laws, policies, regulations, programmes, administrative procedures and institutional structures that directly or indirectly result in the denial of the equal enjoyment by women of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
- States parties have an obligation not to cause discrimination against women through acts or omissions; they are further obliged to react actively against discrimination against women, regardless of whether such acts or omissions are perpetrated by the State or by private actors. Discrimination can occur through the failure of States to take necessary legislative measures to ensure the full realization of women’s rights, the failure to adopt national policies aimed at achieving equality between women and men and the failure to enforce relevant laws.
- The obligation to protect requires that States parties protect women from discrimination by private actors and take steps directly aimed at eliminating customary and all other practices that prejudice and perpetuate the notion of inferiority or superiority of either of the sexes, and of stereotyped roles for men and women.
- Article 18 may not be relied upon to justify discrimination against women by reference to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; States parties should therefore provide information on the status of women as regards their freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and indicate what steps they have taken or intend to take both to eliminate and prevent infringements of these freedoms in respect of women and to protect their right not to be discriminated against.
- Decisions on the choice of electoral systems are important to overcome the traditional gender bias that undermines women’s participation. Substantive progress towards the equal participation of women as candidates and voters as well as the holding of free and fair elections will not be possible unless a number of appropriate measures are taken, including a gender-responsive electoral system and the adoption of temporary special measures to enhance women’s participation as candidates, ensure a proper voter’s registration system and ensure that women voters and female political candidates are not subject to violence either by State or private actors.
- The obligation to fulfil requires that States parties take a wide variety of steps to ensure that women and men enjoy equal rights de jure and de facto, including, where appropriate, the adoption of temporary special measures in line with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and general recommendation No. 25 on article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, on temporary special measures. This entails obligations of means or conduct and obligations of results. States parties should consider that they have to fulfil their legal obligations to all women through designing public policies, programmes and institutional frameworks that are aimed at fulfilling the specific needs of women leading to the full development of their potential on an equal basis with men.
- [Member states should] protect and promote the equal civil and political rights of women and men, including running for office and freedom of association.
- [Member states should] consider adopting legislative reforms to introduce parity thresholds for candidates in elections at local, regional, national and supra-national levels. Where proportional lists exist, consider the introduction of zipper systems.