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UN Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women

Volume 479: debated on Monday 29 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his most recent assessment is of the UK’s compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; and if he will make a statement. (204964)

I have been asked to reply

The UK signed the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1981 and ratified it in 1986. In accordance with Article 18 of the Convention, the UK undertakes to submit reports every four years on measures adopted to implement the Convention to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

In May 2007, the UK submitted its sixth periodic report to the UN, which summarises the main legislative, judicial and administrative measures undertaken by the Government since 2003. Countries are called to account on their performance on the Convention and the UK is being examined by the United Nations Committee on its five and six Periodic Reports on 10 July 2008.

The UK’s decision to accede to the CEDAW Optional Protocol enables women in the UK, or their representatives, to appeal to the Committee if they believe there has been an infringement of the Convention. There have been two communications in respect of the United Kingdom to date. Both have been inadmissible.