Women’s group aims to shame Government

A GROUP of Irish women is determined to embarrass the Government over its poor record on women’s rights at the United Nations headquarters in New York later this month.

And the delegation, who will make their case to the UN on Monday July 11, will also be making sure that the Government cannot put a gloss on the situation when they get their chance to respond.

During cross-examination by the UN committee, the women will be able to forward written questions to members to ensure that Government representatives are given a good grilling.

As well as the increase in violence against women recently highlighted by Amnesty International, the delegation will focus on the lack of comprehensive nationwide breast and cervical screening services for all women, the denial of reproductive rights and the lack of women in decision-making positions.

The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) will hold its 33rd session from Tuesday, July 5 until Friday, July 22.

CEDAW was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979 and Ireland signed up to the convention in 1985. It is a legally binding document that defined what constitutes discrimination against women.

“By accepting CEDAW, Ireland committed itself to undertake a series of measures to end discrimination against women in all forms,” said Noirín Clancy from the Women’s Human Rights Alliance (WHRA) who is coordinating the Irish delegation in New York.

“Despite Ireland’s economic progress, our Government has failed to allocate adequate resources to eliminate discrimination against women.

“There is really no excuse for Ireland to have such an appalling record on women’s human rights,” she said.

The Irish delegation is made up of representatives from Women’s Aid, Pavee Point, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA), Banulacht, the National Women’s Council of Ireland and the WHRA.

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