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UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
United Kingdom (CEDAW 14-03-2019)
The Committee considered the eighth periodic report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (CEDAW/C/GBR/8) at its 1671st and 1672nd meetings (see CEDAW/C/SR.1671 and CEDAW/C/SR.1672), held on 26 February 2019. The Committee’s list of issues and questions is contained in CEDAW/C/GBR/Q/8, and the responses of the United Kingdom are contained in CEDAW/C/GBR/Q/8/Add.1.
E. Principal areas of concern and recommendations
15. The Committee notes that the Equality Act of 2010 prohibits both direct and indirect discrimination on the basis of sex. It reiterates its previous concern, however, that the applicability of the Equality Act does not extend to Northern Ireland (CEDAW/C/GBR/CO/7, para. 18), and regrets that the State party, invoking the principle of devolution, has not taken any measures to ensure that women in Northern Ireland have at least the same protections with regard to equality as do their counterparts in the other administrations of the State party, notwithstanding the lack of a functioning government in Northern Ireland. The Committee remains concerned about the limitations of the public sector equality duty under the Equality Act to effectively protect women from discrimination, including intersecting forms of discrimination, and regrets the lack of progress made to bring into force the provisions of the Act relating to the public sector duty regarding socioeconomic inequalities (sections 1 to 3 of the Act) and the recognition of “combined discrimination” (section 14 of the Act).
- The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Revise its legislation in Northern Ireland to ensure that it affords protection to women there on an equal basis with women in other administrations of the State party;
(b) Ensure the uniform and effective application of the public sector equality duty, so that all public bodies across its jurisdiction systematically undertake gender equality impact assessments;
(c) Review and amend the public sector equality duty in order to address situations of intersecting forms of discrimination, such as discrimination faced by “Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic” women, older women, women with disabilities, asylum-seeking and refugee women, lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons;
(d) Bring into force the provisions of the Equality Act relating to the public sector duty regarding socioeconomic inequalities (sections 1 to 3 of the Act) and “combined discrimination” (section 14 of the Act).