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April 22, 1998

A status report on women's rights in the countries of the Americas is to be unveiled in Washington on Friday. Special Rapporteur on Women's Rights, Claudio Grossman, prepared the report which is a project of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an agency of the Organization of American States (OAS).

The presentation of the report will take place on April 24 at 12:00 noon at the IACHR offices at 1889 F Street in North West Washington, D.C.

Approved by the Commission's 98th regular session in Washington recently, the report gives an overview of the institutional and legal framework of the inter-American human rights protection system and then goes on to explain the methodology the special rapporteur used in putting the study together. Its preliminary conclusions are based on information gathered on such areas as a study of domestic institutional and legal guarantees; legal capability; the right to take part in the national affairs and public service of one's country; the right to life, to physical safety and to live free from violence; and the right to equality protection under the law and to be free from discrimination.

The report also makes specific recommendations to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on remedying de facto and de jure instances of discrimination preventing women from fully exercising their rights; tackling those discriminations; and working on further initiatives to achieve those objectives at the regional level.

Among its main recommendations, the report calls on member states to immediately identify and amend laws and practices that have the purpose of effect discriminating on the basis of gender, with a view to eradicating the causes and consequences by the year 2000.

Appointment of a special rapporteur by the IACHR, its study of domestic laws and practices and the recommendations it has put forward are part of a concerted effort to build on or reinforce national initiatives and to work with member state governments and civil society at improving women's rights in the Americas.

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