Evidence on civil society’s perspective of women’s rights

The UK’s response to its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is currently being examined.

In the lead up to the UN review of the status of women’s rights in the UK, and in particular the implementation of CEDAW across the UK, Engender is seeking evidence from women and equalities organisations across Scotland to inform our shadow report. Shadow reporting is an essential tool for non-governmental organisations supporting women’s rights. By submitting a shadow report to the UN CEDAW Committee, Engender – and women’s organisation in the remaining three nations – can share civil society’s perspective of women’s rights across the UK.

The evidence that Engender receives from its call for evidence will be analysed and incorporated into the shadow report, which is expected to be submitted to the UN CEDAW Committee in summer 2018.

In its last concluding observations, the UN CEDAW Committee noted the following areas of concern:

• Violence against women including FGM and trafficking
• Access to legal aid and justice
• Women in prison
• Participation in public and political life
• Women’s underrepresentation in decision-making positions
• Education
• Employment and economic development
• Gender stereotyping
• National machinery for the advancement of women
• Legal status and implementation of CEDAW

Engender is seeking views on the following:

• What is the current status of the concerns identified by the UN CEDAW Committee in its last report on the UK? In other words, what are your outstanding concerns with women’s rights in these areas in Scotland?

• Thinking about the policy development process (i.e., from generating an idea to the coming into force of a Bill, strategy or programme) where has this not been aligned with the ambitions of CEDAW (e.g., not taken account of CEDAW)?

• In the last five years, are you aware of any legislative initiatives and/or policy reforms put in place to promote women’s rights and gender equality in Scotland?

• Is there anything else you would like to share with the UN CEDAW Committee in respect of women’s rights in Scotland?

You can contribute to this review for evidence by sending Engender reports, comments, or bullet points about women’s rights and/or CEDAW itself, or ask for more information, by email to jill.wood@engender.org.uk.