Incorporate CEDAW into domestic legislation

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2022 Virtual National Women's Conference
15 October 2021

2. Incorporate CEDAW into domestic legislation

CEDAW is the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Discrimination Against Women – also called the International Bill of Rights for Women.

CEDAW provides an international framework for States to take responsibility for tackling discrimination against women and achieving substantive equality for women in both the private and public spheres. It outlines a set of rights of women in a variety of areas including civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. It is the first human rights treaty to affirm the reproductive rights of women.

The Convention was adopted by the UN Assembly in 1979 and entered into force as an international treaty in 1981. The UK ratified CEDAW in 1986. By ratifying, the UK committed to the articles, rights and procedures within it. This means that the UK committed to eliminate discrimination against women in all aspects of life and to protect, promote and fulfil the human rights of women under all circumstances.

The Convention is overseen and monitored by a UN committee of 23 experts on women’s rights form around the world. The committee is known as the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (the CEDAW Committee). State Parties must report to the Committee who examine the measures implemented by the country to comply with its obligations under the Convention. The Committee meets twice a year and countries are examined on a rolling basis, approximately every four years.

In 2019, the UK Government attended a hearing in Geneva with the Committee of the Convention on how we are complying with the Convention. Following the hearing, the Committee produced a series of Concluding Observations, listing concerns and recommendations under 17 themes for the UK Government to address until the next monitoring round in March 2023. One of the key recommendations was for the UK to incorporate CEDAW into domestic law throughout all territories under its jurisdiction. This would give CEDAW – the rights of women – more teeth in the UK.

Conference, UNISON is a trade union who’s membership is made up majority of women, we are seeing the rights of women be undermined again and again by our government. We need all the tools available to help us to protect our Human Rights. As the largest female movement in the UK. We should be ones leading this campaign for the vital protection of our women. Conference we call on National Women’s Committee

1) To work with the National Labour Link, NEC and all other structures within Unison

to develop a comprehensive campaign for the implementation of CEDAW into domestic legislation.

2) Work with Laos on developing a training and awareness package on CEDAW around the understanding of CEDAW for our lay members.

3) National Women’s Committee to report back to Women’s conference 2023 on progress made