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Right folks, we're back online at #cedaw72 #ukcedaw UK govt are answering questions from before the lunch break & then the committee will focus on articles in 2nd half of the convention. Speaker sounds a bit less energetic than before lunch - I guess it's a long day for everyone!
M. Safarov is asking about political participation. What measures are they taking to ensure more equal representation at all levels of local and national govt, judiciary etc? Also BME, disabled & muslim women? #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
He is noting the duty in Section 106 around parties sharing data on candidate selection. This should be enforced but doesn't apply in NI? Also noting particular stats for NI where representation is lower? What are they doing here especially? #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
M. Safarov has asked very good questions on NI: what is the funding like for women's NGOs and what gender disaggregated data is available? Would like to hear @CommunitiesNI answer on this. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
And he has helpfully just highlighted the fact that NI is the only region of the UK that has no Gender Equality Strategy and no Childcare Strategy. Brilliant to hear the committee ask direct questions on these key issues. Look forward to @CommunitiesNI response. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Question from M. Narain about the decision of the UK to revoke Sharmeena Begum's citizenship. Have they left her stateless and what due diligence does the sec. of state undertake before a decision like this? #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Rep from @CommunitiesNI answering on public appointments targets aimed at increasing diversity & under-represented groups. Data is confined to gender at this stage. By end of 2020 there should be equal gender representation in all public appointments. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
The gender equality strategy ended in 2016, none currently in place. @CommunitiesNI gathering information but will not be progressing a strategy until Ministers are in place. This surely is not good enough and leaves no mechanism to implement CEDAW fully in NI #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Disappointing that the NI rep from @CommunitiesNI did not address the key issue of the childcare strategy. Should be commenting on all relevant NI gaps having gathered feedback from all NI departments in preparation for the examination. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Another reference from the UK rep to gender pay gap reporting, this time in relation to promoting women in IT industry. Not in place in NI though so another reminder that we miss out on progressive measures. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Article 10 questions now, relating to education. Impact of austerity on education access, under-resourcing of rural schools, cuts to school transport affecting school access for rural girls, limited internet connectivity in rural areas. @nirwnnews #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Also highlighting high levels of sexual harassment and gender based bullying in ?UK schools. What do the govt intend to do about this? Will they take an intersectional approach to strategies and data collection? #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Important point from M. Nadaraia on lack of coverage of LGBT issues in school in NI. CEDAW committee concerned that so much RSE is delivered in schools by a faith based organisation Love for Life. How will @Education_NI ensure inclusive RSE for LGBT pupils? #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Answer from NI rep on challenging gender based bullying: teacher training prepares student teachers for dealing with diversity, general teaching competences cover issues like relationships & gender. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Addressing bullying in schools act requires recording of types of bullying incidents, reviewing anti-bullying strategies etc. Training on this legal duty is being rolled out. But unless Section 75 is applied to schools pupils can't have protection as a right. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Very concerning response from NI on RSE. They are trying to claim that the lack of mandatory curriculum content is 'adaptable & dynamic' allowing 'flexibility'. This is a deliberate attempt to spin the neglect of LGBT pupils' rights as a good thing! #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
The research that @Education_NI produced themselves shows clearly that very few schools teach LGBT inclusive content in RSE & flexibility amounts to little more than an opt out clause for schools who prioritise their religious ethos over LGBT pupils well-being. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
NI rep outlined some 'priority areas' in the development of RSE curriculum materials for teachers. But @Education_NI research shows many prefer to bring in outside (often faith based) agencies to deliver as they don't feel confident with the subject content. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
As multiple UK reps give long answers that aren't particularly focused on the questions some in the NGO corner are starting to feel like the state reps are 'running down the clock' a little at this point. We're already 30 minutes behind schedule. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Committee member M. Bergeby's comment that more women are in work partly because the UK govt has raised pension age for women goes down well in the NGO quarter. He's noted there are different pay gap policies in place in 4 regions. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
All these questions are focused on employment. Now asking about zero hour contracts & impact on lone parents (mostly women). Looking for info on impact of shared parental leave, will they introduce 'use it or lose it' leave for fathers? #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Very pleased he asked directly about the fact childcare statutory duties and investment in rest of the UK have not been replicated in NI. Wants to know what UK govt will do about this disparity given affordability is worse in NI than rest of UK. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw #childcareforall
I love when @DWP representatives say things like 'Universal Credit is good for women'. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
So we don't get to hear an answer from @CommunitiesNI about childcare, looks like it was mainly because the discussion was timed out by too many inputs from DWP and pensions. Disappointing. But we know the answer would be 'nothing until ministers are in place' #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Now we are on to the urgent issue of abortion in NI. Want assurance that women in NI will get access to services, address barriers including cultural barriers, ensure no women will face prosecution. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Other questions relating to the right to health are mental health and health services for rural women. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Answer on abortion in NI: it is for the devolved administrations to comply. 'It is a matter for them'. So restoring the executive is 'the top priority' for the UK govt. Unacceptable that this is the response to violations from the state party to the convention! #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
UK rep now outlining the process by which NI women can access services in GB. This is no good to people who can't travel, those most marginalised are the least likely to be able to travel. Can't allow this to continue to be the accepted status quo. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Interesting that the UK rep didn't mention the Women & Equalities Committee inquiry. I presume this is because it would suggest the govt might actually be considering doing something about abortion in NI undermining the insistence that it's entirely devolved. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Everyone's favourite committee member M. Safarov says he wants to know more about funding for the women's NGO sector in NI because we have so much work to do on post-conflict participation. @WRDA_team @WSN_NI @WRC_NI #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
UK rep stating again that they won't say anything about Intersex Genital Mutilation until the call for evidence is completed. No data on zero hours contracts. Also needs to follow up on data about connectivity in rural areas. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
NI rep @CommunitiesNI says that there are no published figures for the last assembly election. She needs to talk to @DaniRNI who has excellent data. 30% of MLAs elected were women. No comment on funding for women's sector, despite being the responsible dept. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Committee now challenging the UK govt on Universal Credit, specifically calling out the 2 child cap and rape clause and the impact on women. Calling for intersectional assessment of the impact of welfare reform. Good to hear this addressed given govt's lies. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Another great comment from committee on the failure of NI law to protect from intersectional discrimination as we have no single equality legislation. What will the UK do to harmonise equality protection across UK? #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Committee member now highlighting the range of groups that are more marginalised, rural women, BME, women with disability, older women, migrant women, those in detention, asylum seekers & refugees. Not enough time to detail all the intersectional issues. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Calling on UK govt to amend the Equality Act so that it can protect properly from intersectional discrimination as it currently only deals with discrimination on 2 grounds. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
The chair has also reminded the State Party to address the earlier question about immigration detention when giving the next set of answers. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
DWP rep again reading out Tory propoganda on welfare reform when answering questions on Universal Credit and the 2 child cap & rape clause. I think she's deliberately fluffing her lines so we know she doesn't actually believe this stuff. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Answer on immigration detention: ppl are detained for the minimum amount of time necessary. Most people detained are offenders. Have provisions in place for pregnant women - only as a last resort and for max 72 hrs. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
UK govt claim that the provisions for dual discrimination hasn't commenced yet because they don't think there is need. Ppl can just bring different claims on different grounds. But we know this doesn't work. Multiple identities need to be considered together. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Question on no-fault divorce. Committee want to know when it will be in force & how were women consulted on it? Will the proposed legislative reform also take place in NI and Scotland? Also asks about extending divorce rights to women in muslim marriages. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Also wants to know why there are so few convictions for forced marriage in the UK? Are statutory agencies scared to investigate or challenge on cultural grounds? Claim it should be easier for victims of forced marriage abroad to return to the UK. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Final follow up questions coming from the committee now but due to time constraints they will have to be answered in writing by the UK govt. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Last powerful comments on UC & the 2 child cap from Mme. Reddock 'Is a child responsible for the fact the parent has more than 2 children, or for the fact that their parent is under 25. Do these households not need the support the most?' #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Mme. Reddock has highlighted that these policies reflect and ideological agenda not a needs driven approach. 'It seems to be a shift away from state responsibility for children to a private responsibility by parents.' #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
This concludes the examination folks! The next stage will be the publication of the Concluding Observations week beginning 11th March. There has been a lot of great material covered so lets hope the committee's report reflects that. #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
Thus endeth the thread. Thanks for joining me, especially the women's sector crew back in Belfast 💪 #cedaw72 #ukcedaw
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