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.


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

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 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?

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

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.

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

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

CEDAW Examination February 2017

On Monday February 13 IHREC will present 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 will take place.

Both the oral statement and the State examination will be webcast and available to view live on www.ihrec.ie (or http://webtv.un.org/)

Read the Commission’s press release regarding the examination.

Live Screening Event

Please join us on Wednesday February 15 for an all-day screening of the proceedings live from Geneva on the big screen at our offices at 16-22 Green St, Dublin 7. As a hub for the proceedings on the day, there will be opportunities for commentators, media and anyone with an interest in the process to follow and discuss the examination and coordinate and develop responses together.

Please register for this event by emailing rsvp@ihrec.ie

  • Feel free to pop in any time between 9am–4pm to catch the issue that most interests you. There is a break in the proceedings between 12pm2pm when you’re welcome to stay, share a light lunch, discuss the issues and catch up with our team in Geneva

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

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