Commission welcomes UN recommendations on women’s rights

The Scottish Human Rights Commission welcomes new recommendations made by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Following our submission in July, the Committee has now published a list of issues in relation to their examination of the UK. Alongside our submission, their new report highlights concerns over the possible negative impact of the UK withdrawal from the EU and action to mitigate the influence of UK austerity measures on women’s rights in Scotland.

Both reports note the lack of available and affordable childcare in Scotland and recommend the splitting of universal credit payments to protect women against domestic violence. They also highlight the promotion of gender equality in a range of careers including academia, the judiciary and police and cite issues surrounding access to legal aid and for women in detention.

The full UN report goes on to call for more information and support for women in Scotland wishing to exit prostitution, better services and protection against sexual violence for disabled and the gypsy traveller community and progress on support for women and girls who are victims of female genital mutilation (FGM).

The report asks about mental health services for women in prison and measures to combat gender based harassment, particularly against lesbian, bisexual and trans-gender women or girls. The UN would also like to see rural women having better access to health, education and employment, transport and ownership of land to promote decision-making.

Judith Robertson, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission said:

“The UN has highlighted a number of areas where women’s rights in Scotland need further attention and effort. The need to make progress in these areas is important and urgent, and we look forward to renewed commitment from government to doing that.”