UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

The UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is an international treaty on the human rights of women and girls, which defines discrimination against women, and lists what states need to do to end discrimination.

Ireland signed and ratified CEDAW in 1985. In so doing, Ireland committed itself to achieving equality between men and women in Ireland, including in the areas of political and public life, health, education and employment. Ireland also committed to having its record under the Convention reviewed periodically by the UN’s CEDAW Committee. Ireland was examined by the CEDAW Committee in February 2017. This was the first time the Committee examined Ireland since 2005.

Following its examination, the CEDAW Committee published its Concluding Observations which provide the first evaluation in over a decade of the State’s progress in complying with the Convention.
Read the Concluding observations on the combined sixth and seventh periodic reports of Ireland

Chief Commissioner Emily Logan and members of Future Voices Ireland who contributed to CEDAW report


The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission prepared a detailed report on Ireland’s record under the Convention to help inform the CEDAW Committee’s assessment of Ireland, and to highlight gaps in the protection of women’s rights in Ireland. This report was submitted to the Committee in advance of the State examination.

Download the report here: Ireland and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

Download an overview of issues and recommendations here: Overview – Ireland and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

Read an accessible version of the report which was produced in partnership with Inclusion Ireland: Easy to read summary of IHREC CEDAW Report

In advance of the examination and the submission of the Commission’s completed report, the Commission sent a submission to to inform the List of Issues Prior to Reporting. This phase sees the Committee set out a number of issues that it intends to focus on during the examination. Read the submission: IHREC Submission to the UN CEDAW on the List of Issues Prior to Reporting on Ireland’s Combined 6th and 7th Report under CEDAW, October 2015

Ireland and the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women_Cover Image What is life like for women in Ireland in 2016_Cover ImageIreland and CEADW Overview of Issues and Recommendations_Cover Image

The CEDAW Committee published a ‘List of Issues Prior to Reporting’ in March 2016 which outlined its primary areas of interest for Ireland. The list can be downloaded here.

IHREC’s CEDAW Consultation

To inform the Commission’s report to the CEDAW committee a national public consultation on women’s rights and gender equality was undertaken in summer 2016.

Read more about where we went, the people we met and the issues they raised in the story of our CEDAW consultation: What is life like for women in Ireland in 2016?

CEDAW Examination February 2017

On Monday February 13, IHREC presented an oral statement to the UN CEDAW Committee in Geneva, outlining the key issues and recommendations contained in our report. On Wednesday February 15, the day-long State examination of Ireland took place.

On the day of the State’s examination, the Commission hosted an all-day screening of the proceedings live from Geneva at our offices in Dublin 7. As a hub for the proceedings on the day, there were opportunities for commentators, media and anyone with an interest in the process to follow and discuss the examination and coordinate and develop responses together.

Read the Commission’s press release regarding the examination.

CEDAW Factsheets

Download our CEDAW factsheets which highlight some of the issues and recommendations contained in the report. Areas include:

  • Traveller Women
  • Women with Disabilities
  • Women in Prison
  • Employment
  • Gender-Based Violence
  • Access to Justice
  • Women in Direct Provision
  • Austerity, Poverty and Social Exclusion

Cover image of CEDAW factsheets