Irish Government’s record on women’s rights under the UN microscope
Published: Friday, January 20, 2017
Ireland’s record on the protection and promotion of women’s rights will be under the microscope of the United Nations in Geneva this February, when the Irish Government will be examined under the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) have today released a Shadow Report, a parallel report to the official State report.
NWCI recognises that significant positive advancements have occurred for women’s equality, but there remain persistent structural inequalities for women in Ireland. An issue of considerable concern is the lack of comprehensive disaggregated data pertaining to a range of areas where women’s rights are engaged, alongside a lack of urgency, prioritisation and resources for key areas such as access to abortion, violence against women, childcare and women’s economic independence.
Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,
“NWCI’s Shadow Report highlights the issues that have not been raised by the State, and it also shines a spotlight on areas which need greater resources and prioritisation. As Director of NWCI, I will present to the CEDAW Committee next month, for Ireland’s first examination in ten years.
“The evidence from this ten year period shows that when the Irish Government prioritises women’s equality, it can have a real impact. This is most obvious from the introduction of gender quotas for political parties in general elections. The cross cutting theme across many issues of women’s equality is a lack of urgency and a lack of resources. In Ireland, one in five women experiencing domestic abuse; we have a situation where the majority of low paid workers are women; we allow 12 women to travel a day for reproductive healthcare; and we still are not close to having equal numbers of women in key decision making positions.”
Orla O’Connor concluded,
“Women want to live free from violence, in a society which values their right to make choices about their future and their own medical decisions, and in an economy rewards their work equally, and values care work. CEDAW should be an important moment for women’s rights in Ireland, where the Irish Government will be held to account, and placed under international pressure to accelerate the pace of change for women’s equality.”
The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) CEDAW Shadow Report is available here.
Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI is available for interviews.
For more information, please contact Sarah Clarkin, Communications Officer, 085 8619087.
Notes to the Editor:
The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is an international treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. It is often described as an international ‘Bill of Rights’ by women.
The National Women’s Council of Ireland will present to the CEDAW Committee on Monday February 13 2017. The Irish Government will be examined by the CEDAW Committee on Wednesday February 15 2017.
As part of this process, the State submitted, on the 15 September 2016, a written response to a list of issues identified by an independent expert body within the United Nations, (the CEDAW Committee). (See here for Ireland’s combined sixth and seventh periodic Report to the UN CEDAW Committee, along with an Annex of statistical data.)