IHREC in national consultation to inform report to UN women’s rights committee

  • Ireland’s compliance with UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) under scrutiny
  • Regional consultations with diverse groups of women across country
  • Invitation to participate in IHREC online survey of views and experiences

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has embarked on a nationwide consultation with diverse groups of women, including women in prisons and direct provision, as part of its assessment of Ireland’s compliance with a UN Treaty on women’s rights.

This consultation will help inform the Commission’s assessment of Ireland’s record under the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Ireland’s record on women’s rights will be scrutinised by the UN’s CEDAW Committee at a hearing in Geneva next spring. The Commission’s report will be submitted to the CEDAW Committee in advance of the hearing to provide the UN an independent analysis of how Ireland upholds the rights of women and girls.

The Commission has begun its consultation work through a series of meetings with women from different walks of life in Ireland. This has included recent visits to women living in direct provision in Killarney and Galway, and women in Limerick Prison and Mountjoy’s Dóchas Centre.

Next month, September, the Commission will hear women’s voices and experiences at meetings in counties Donegal, Mayo, Monaghan, Kerry, Cork and Waterford. The consultation will include attendance at the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore, Co Offaly,from 20th to 22nd September.

Additionally, an online survey is underway to elicit the views of women under the international rights standards outlined in the Convention.  The online survey, which commenced on 26th July, will remain open until 5th September. Written submissions are also invited and guidelines are available on the Commission’s website.

Chief Commissioner Emily Logan said the response from women across the diversity of Irish life has so far been positive.

“This is an opportunity for women and girls in Ireland to highlight their views, their experiences and their opinions on the state of women’s rights in Ireland. Our report to the UN will help to underline gaps in the protection of women’s rights in Ireland, and the continuing barriers that hinder the achievement of gender equality.”

For further information please contact Niamh Connolly on IHREC 01 8589601/ 087 4399022. Twitter: follow us @_ihrec

Note to Editors:

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission’s CEDAW Consultation

  • An online consultation exercise is currently underway. The consultation invites members of the public to submit their observations on women’s rights and equality in Ireland via means of either a formal submission, or online survey. See the IHREC website at http://www.ihrec.ie/news/latest/2016/07/25/cedaw-consultation-2016/
  • Over the course of July and August, the Commission has been engaged in a series of consultation meetings with women in Ireland. This has included visits to two direct provision centres and to Limerick Prison and Mountjoy’s Dóchas Centre.
  • In September 2016 the Commission will be holding a series of regional consultations with women to garner their views and experiences. This will include National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore, Co Offaly, from 20th to 22nd September. The meetings will be held in Donegal, Mayo, Monaghan, Kerry and Waterford.
  • Further information is available at  http://www.ihrec.ie/news/latest/2016/07/25/cedaw-consultation-2016/

What is CEDAW?

The UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women 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 every few years by the UN’s CEDAW Committee.

Ireland will next be examined by the UN CEDAW Committee in spring 2017. This will be the first time the Committee has examined Ireland since 2005. The CEDAW Committee published a ‘List of Issues Prior to Reporting’ in March of 2016, outlining its primary areas of interest as regards Ireland’s record under the Convention. The list can be downloaded HERE.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) was established by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014. The 2014 Act guaranteed the Commission’s institutional independence as a body comprising fifteen independent officers of the State accounting directly to the Houses of the Oireachtas and appointed by President Michael D Higgins. This independence was recognised by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions in November 2015 when it awarded the Commission A-status accreditation.

The Commission has a statutory remit to protect and promote human rights and equality in the State, and to build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding. The IHREC is tasked with reviewing the adequacy and effectiveness of law, policy and practice relating to the protection of human rights and equality and with making recommendations to Government on measures to strengthen, protect and uphold human rights and equality.