Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: concluding observations on the UK’s report

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women released its concluding observations on the UK’s seventh periodic report on 26 July 2013 (advance unedited version).

Concerns raised by the Committee include protection from discrimination under the Public Sector Equality Duty, the impact of austerity measures on women and women’s services, and restrictions on women’s access to legal aid.

Background information

On 17 July 2013, in Geneva, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women examined how the United Kingdom has implemented the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

The Committee, a 23-person expert body, monitors compliance with the treaty. It assesses to what extent each State is meeting its obligations on ending all political, economic, social, cultural, civil or other forms of discrimination against women, and makes recommendations for the implementation of the Convention.

The UK CEDAW Shadow Report – ‘Women’s Equality in the UK: A health check’ – was published in May 2013. It was produced by the CEDAW Working Group, a coalition of 42 women’s and human rights organisations from across the UK. The Shadow Report brings together issues impacting on the realisation of women’s rights under CEDAW in the UK in order to support the Government to make positive change in the future. The report highlights the key areas where Women’s rights in the UK have come to a standstill and in fact some are being reversed.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) published its submission to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women on 1 July 2013.  In its submission the Commission, as a national human rights institution, identifies key issues it believes should be highlighted as actions following the examination and sets out a number of questions the Committee may wish to put to the Government.

Click here for Committee’s concluding observations

Click here for details of the Committee’s consideration of the UK’s report, including presentation of the report by the Government Equalities Office, questions by experts and the delegation’s response

Click here for live webcast of UK session

Click here for link to Shadow Report

Click here for link to EHRC submission

Click here for Touchstone blog by Scarlet Harris, Women’s Equality Officer at the TUC

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