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Good morning from the .@UN 👋 We had an excellent day yesterday preparing for submissions to the CEDAW Committee and today we are back attending #CEDAW72 as the UK government will be appearing before the Committee to answer questions!
We have started now and the UK government is making its 30 minute opening statement. The #metoo movement has already been mentioned! #CEDAW72
The government delegation are highlighting the steps they have taken to promote equality, such as: doubled entitlement of free childcare; committed to assisting individuals have taken time out for caring to return to work; addressing gender pay gap. #CEDAW72
They have also mentioned the increase in representation of women in parliament, and that they have strengthened the laws relating to violence against women and girls e.g introducing mandatory reporting in #FGM cases. #CEDAW72
And now we’re hearing about why we don’t need to stay in the EU to protect women from abuse and discrimination... 👀 #CEDAW72
Government delegates have acknowledged the concerns relating to #abortion laws in Northern Ireland, that they want to restore a devolved political structure first, and they wouldn’t normally come in on devolved issues but will keep this under review. #CEDAW72
They confirm they are committed to ensuring victims are supported, perpetrators are brought to justice and prevent abuse from happening in the first place. They’ve mentioned a £17 million service transformation fund regarding early intervention. #CEDAW72
#DABill has now been mentioned as an example of strengthening laws, raising awareness and preventing abuse. #CEDAW72
The UK delegation is now being questioned by CEDAW Committee. The first question raises concerns regarding women’s rights post #Brexit and have asked for specific confirmation that rights of women will be protected! Concerns that women’s rights not taken into account. #CEDAW72
Such an important question: The CEDAW convention should be fully transposed now, is the UK government ready for this?! 💪🏽Interested to hear UK response to that! #CEDAW72
YES! UK has also been questioned on #IstanbulConvention - what *is* happening with that? We all want to know! #CEDAW72
UK respond - absolutely our intention to guarantee a “good position” for women post #Brexit. #CEDAW72
UK govt says CEDAW provisions don’t need to be fully incorporated into law because (apparently) existing laws and provisions are sufficient and therefore that is not necessary. #CEDAW72
UK government saying that all govt bodies are already required to consider impact of policies on women’s right and that this is another reason why #CEDAW convention does need to be incorporated into UK law. However *we* know that this doesn’t always happen! #CEDAW72
Govt reiterated commitment to ‘non-regression’ post Brexit and that they are fully committed to Human Rights Act 1998 and ECHR and this will not be affected by #Brexit. #CEDAW72
Regarding #IstanbulConvention, govt confirmed they are absolutely committed to implementing it. #CEDAW72
UK govt is mentioning the funds it has pledged to tackling #VAWG. However, MWNUK’s concern (which we have raised) is that proper funding needs to be dedicated to BAME specialist services including those provided by e.g us, @ApnaHaq1 .@JANTrust & @AngelouCentre1 #CEDAW72
Re. N. Ireland, we’re told they’re working with information they have and preparing options for incoming ministers & part of the process involves engaging with other organisations and devolved administrations so that they can learn from them as to how to address issues. #CEDAW72
The Committee is now raising follow up questions - #CEDAW requires a *real* transpositional approach; clearly CEDAW isn’t fully reflected by existing UK law & provisions so #CEDAW committee need much more from UK Govt. #CEDAW72
Committee want to know how fundamental rights are not being affected by Shariah interpretations? (Though MWNUK must highlight Shariah councils do *not* have legal standing!) #CEDAW72
Question has been asked whether a clear review and plan has been put together to promote equality and women’s diverse security needs (including in context of violent extremism) #CEDAW72
UK respond by stating they are committed to upholding the rule of law and ensuring #ADR mechanisms are not discriminatory - and clarified there is *no* parallel legal system and #ShariahLaw does not apply to UK. Also confirmed has not funded any shariah councils. #CEDAW72
Shariah law does not apply in UK but Shariah councils *do* exist and many are acting in a discriminatory manner, particularly in cases where women seek #Islamicdivorce. This is one of top 5 issues re calls received on #MWNHelpline. #CEDAW72
We have been campaigning for legislative change for years and years regarding #IslamicDivorce & #ShariahCouncils. MWNUK have formally raised these issues with #CEDAW72 committee through a briefing paper, during the briefing session with Experts and with supplementary information.
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