Directed Study Application
(CEDAW Fall 2012 directed study)
The objective for the directed study course is to help Professor Susan Lee in exploring the effectiveness of CEDAW in achieving gains for women in countries such as Canada, Egypt, Cambodia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. The main country of focus on my part will be doing extensive research on Egypt.
The method by which the research will be done will be by looking at individual countries as case studies and trace CEDAW conversation across time though Country Reports, Shadow Reports, and CEDAW Concluding Comments. We will figure out when each country acceded to CEDAW. Then, beginning with the earliest documents of the country, I will read and take notes and find the prominent issues or questions of the document. I will also see if each document lists concrete goals that can be followed up or if they are very vague on their goals.
The Research Questions
1. What have been the prominent issues in the CEDAW conversation in each country?
2. How have these issues been addressed in the CEDAW documents?
3. How have these countries responded to CEDAW recommendations?
4. Are their measurable gains for women on these issues?
Writing and Field Experience Requirements:
The writing portion of this directed study will consist of two fifteen page papers summarizing and attempting to answer the research questions at hand. Especially in trying to find whether or not Egypt’s acceding to CEDAW has created measurable gains for women. The field portion of this directed study will include a trip to Egypt in order to interview one or two officials associated with CEDAW.
Most often Professor Susan Lee and I will be meeting every other week in the fall semester. We will discuss any issues or concerns that have developed with the research as well as any important findings. In addition, we will be in contact through e-mail and by phone so that we can update each other on the progress of the research.
Timeline of Due Dates:
Directed Study Application: August 24th, 2012
Organized List of Sources for Research: September 14th, 2012
Complete Readings of the Overview of CEDAW: September 28th, 2012
Notes from the 1st Cycle: October 14th, 2012
Notes from the 2nd and 3rd Cycles: October 29th, 2012
Notes from the 4th and 5th Cycles: November 15th, 2012
First Essay: December 6th, 2012
Hand in Last Essay: December 14th, 2012
Bibliography of required Readings:
Baldez, Lisa. 2011. “The UN Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): A New Way to Measure Women’s Interests.” Politics and Gender Vol. 7: 419-423.
Brandt, Michele. 1995-1996. “The Tension Between Women’s Rights and Religious Rights: Reservations to CEDAW by Egypt , Bangladesh, and Tunisia. Journal of Law and Religion Vol. 12: 105-142.
Lee, Susan. 2012. How CEDAW Works: Procedures and Results from the International Women’s Treaty. Boston University.
United Nations. Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women. Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women. http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/text/econvention.htm#article16.
UNIFEM. 1998. Bringing Equality Home: Implementing the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women. Edited by Ilana Landsberg-Lewis. UNIFEM: New York.
United Nations. Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women. 1996. Third periodic reports of state parties: Egypt (CEDAW/C/EGY/3).(Available athttp://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N96/311/67/ PDF/N9631167.pdf?OpenElement).
Weiss, Anita M. 2003. “Interpreting Islam and Women’s Rights: Implementing CEDAW in Pakistan.” International Sociology 2003 18:581-601.
This directed study is going to give me a great opportunity to excel on a variety of levels. First, I have always been interested in how the UN is structured and whether its programs truly make a difference in the world. There has long been a debate on whether or not an international body such as the UN can better the world without having much power to enforce its suggestions. Since the UN can’t violate a country’s sovereignty people may argue that the UN is useless. However, this research will give me hands on experience to discover whether or not programs such as CEDAW can reduce inequality and better the world. Academically, this directed study will improve my writing and note skills. I will improve my skills in how to identify the important issues in long documents and analyzing these documents. Also, this directed study will help with my organizational skills since I will need to follow deadlines and I will be given a lot of reading assignments. I am interested in politics and the international community. This research is perfect for me to gain more knowledge on specific issues that affect people on an international scale. If my final essays are strong enough, I hope to be able to publish my findings on Egypt formally. This will help me in my career goals because I can put it on my resume. However, most important to me, I hope to gain insight on the process of research so that one day I can receive a PhD.