Press release

UK demonstrates progress on eliminating discrimination against women

Key government achievements in advancing gender equality and eliminating discrimination against women highlighted in a new report to the UN.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The UK’s 7th periodic report sets out the progress the government has made on women’s rights under the United Nation’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Home Secretary and minister for women and equalities Theresa May said:

‘The government is committed to equality for women and despite progress over recent decades, there is still a long way to go.

‘That is why the government is taking action to tackle the inequalities that women face in all aspects of their lives. From plans to tackle the gender pay gap with more rights to flexible working and a new system of flexible parental leave, to work to tackle violence against women, we are determined that the next generation of women and girls will have more opportunities than ever before.’

The UK’s report to CEDAW sets out the government’s overarching approach to advancing gender equality and our determination to eliminate discrimination through the first ever cross-government equality strategy, ‘Building a Fairer Britain’, published in December last year.

In particular, the report highlights the government’s ambition to end violence against women and girls both domestically and internationally. The report also explains the changes introduced by the Equality Act 2010 in Great Britain which brought together nine separate pieces of legislation into one single act simplifying the law and reducing the administrative burden on business by making it easier to comply with discrimination law.

Notes to editors

1.      The government published the UK’s 7th periodic progress report to the CEDAW committee today on the government equalities office website for the first time.

2.      CEDAW is an international convention adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly, one of the nine core international human rights conventions. CEDAW provides a framework and mechanism for women’s organisations to challenge countries on their record in eliminating discrimination.  Further information on CEDAW can be accessed here  
3.      The submission of the periodic report is usually followed by an in depth one-day oral examination by the UN’s CEDAW Committee.  This is expected to take place during the early part 2013 in Geneva. NGOs can submit their shadow reports anytime from now up until 2 weeks before the examination date.

Published 14 June 2011