Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (499, 500)

Mick Wallace

Question:

513 Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the Government will publish its next report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in view of the fact that the report is now seven years overdue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34547/12]

View answer

Mick Wallace

Question:

514 Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reasons for the delay by Government in submitting its next report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; when he plans to publish this report; if he will enter into a consultation process with civil society organisations in relation to any draft report and give them sufficient time to make comments, observations and contributions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34548/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice and Equality)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 513 and 514 together.

The procedure attached to the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Violence against Women asks State Parties to submit a bi-annual report, although the examining CEDAW Committee only has the capacity to review fewer than 25 reports each year. There are 187 Parties to the Convention. As a result, a number of State Parties submit combined reports covering two and three reporting periods to alleviate the work load of the examining committee and their own work load.

My Department is working on the next report to CEDAW at present but has also been undertaking a comprehensive review of the implementation of the National Women's Strategy 2007 — 2016 which is providing invaluable information for incorporation into the CEDAW report and which is approaching completion.

Preparation of the CEDAW Report requires us to address all aspects of women's human rights, in an "all of Government" context. In preparing the CEDAW Report, and in completing the Review of the National Women's Strategy, consultation takes place with civil society, including representatives of the trade unions, the employers' organisations, the community and voluntary sector and the National Women's Council of Ireland. A further consultation with civil society will take place before the final report is completed. It is also open to civil society to submit shadow reports.

The Department continues to work on this wide-reaching task and will invite the Department of Foreign Affairs to submit the next combined CEDAW Report to the Secretary General of the United Nations at the earliest opportunity.