United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
CEDAW is one of the 9 core international human rights instruments. Each of these instruments has established a committee of experts to monitor implementation of the treaty provisions by its States parties. CEDAW, along with the other core instruments, important for persons affected by disability.
Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states:
- States Parties recognize that women and girls with disabilities are subject to multiple discrimination, and in this regard shall take measures to ensure the full and equal enjoyment by them of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
- States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure the full development, advancement and empowerment of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of the human rights and fundamental freedoms set out in the present Convention.
CEDAW was adopted by the UN in December 1979 and came into force in 1981. Guernsey decided not to be included in the UK‟s ratification in 1986.
In December 1993, following the consideration of the Advisory and Finances report titled United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women, the States resolved (inter alia):
1. To condemn discrimination against women in all its forms.
2. (a) To instruct States Committees to take all reasonable steps to identify and eradicate any discrimination against women in legislation or
practice and to present proposals to the State in that regard as and when practicable.
(b) To instruct the States Advisory and Finance Committee to report to the States on the progress being made in respect of Resolution 2 (a) not less than once every three years.
Further States debates followed, and it was decided in September 2003 (Billet d‟État XXI, 2003 p. 1923 States Advisory and Finance Committee – Proposals for Comprehensive Equal Status and Fair Treatment Legislation) and July 2007 (Billet d‟État XVIII, 2007 Policy Council – Government Business Plan 2007 (Policy & Resource Plan)) to prioritise work to allow CEDAW to be extended to Guernsey.
Advice in 2000 stated that existing legislation would be insufficient to meet CEDAW requirements as it did not cover:
- the right to equal pay for work of equal value;
- maternity leave without loss of former employment and maternity pay; and
- protection from discrimination in the field of education and goods, facilities and services.
In February 2012 the States debated the Policy Councils States report on Maternity and Paternity Provisions and the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The main report is Article 6 in the Billet from page 396. The Billet can be reached by clicking here. The resolutions of the States from that meeting were can be read here or are available below as a pdf.
This led to the introduction of The Maternity Leave and Adoption Leave (Guernsey) Ordinance, 2016.
As at 2021 Guernsey has still not had CEDAW extended to it.
Currently work on
- the right to equal pay for work of equal value; and
- protection from discrimination in the field of education and goods, facilities and services
is scheduled for phase 2 of the discrimination legislation.