Northern Ireland news

Equality Commission to brief United Nations about gender discrimination in the north

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland will today brief a UN committee on gender discrimination issues

A DELEGATION from the north's Equality Commission will today highlight gender discrimination issues directly to the United Nations.

Roisin Mallon, senior policy officer at the commission, will brief members of the UN Committee responsible for the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva.

The Equality Commision is calling on the committee to hold the UK Government to account for its lack of progress in protecting and extending equality for women in Northern Ireland.

"We have been talking to women across Northern Ireland over the past year," Ms Mallon said.

"We have been listening to their views on issues which affect their lives most directly, and on which they want urgent action taken. A number of issues of concern have come through strongly and we are stressing them in our submission to the committee."

Key issues due to be highlighted today include the lower level of legal protection against sex discrimination for women in Northern Ireland compared to the rest of the UK, the under-representation of women in political life and inequalities experienced by women in the workplace.

"These are just some of the urgent issues which women from all sectors of life and all regions in Northern Ireland have been telling us about over the past year.

"I will be pressing the members of the UN Committee to put searching questions to the UK Government about how it intends to tackle them," Ms Mallon added.

The UN Committee will shortly be holding a formal examination of how the UK is meeting its responsibilities under CEDAW.

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