The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), also known as a Women’s Bill of Rights, is the international human rights treaty that focuses on women’s rights and gender equality. Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979, it has been ratified by 189 states. The UK ratified CEDAW in 1986.
The implementation of CEDAW is monitored by a group of 23 independent experts in women’s rights who comprise the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
The UK was last reviewed by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (the Committee) in 2013. Their Concluding Observations raised concerns about many issues relating to gender equality and the implementation of CEDAW in the UK, including women’s access to courts and the gender pay gap.
The Committee is currently involved in their 8th reporting cycle of the UK, with Concluding Observations expected in March 2019. In November 2017, the UK Government submitted their State report which outlines to the Committee the steps they have taken to implement CEDAW since their last review.
The Scottish Government have also released a position statement on CEDAW ahead of the Committee’s pre-sessional meeting which will take place in Geneva in July.
During the reporting process, women’s rights organisations will engage with women across Britain to ensure their concerns are heard by the CEDAW Committee. The organisation responsible for this engagement in Scotland is Engender.
Together will be working with Engender throughout the reporting process to ensure issues that affect the rights of girls in Scotland are highlighted to the Committee during their review.