Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women: position statement

Our position statement on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Article 2: Obligations to eliminate discrimination

States Parties condemn discrimination against women in all its forms, agree to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination against women and, to this end, undertake:

(a) To embody the principle of the equality of men and women in their national constitutions or other appropriate legislation if not yet incorporated therein and to ensure, through law and other appropriate means, the practical realization of this principle;

(b) To adopt appropriate legislative and other measures, including sanctions where appropriate, prohibiting all discrimination against women;

(c) To establish legal protection of the rights of women on an equal basis with men and to ensure through competent national tribunals and other public institutions the effective protection of women against any act of discrimination;

(d) To refrain from engaging in any act or practice of discrimination against women and to ensure that public authorities and institutions shall act in conformity with this obligation;

(e) To take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women by any person, organisation or enterprise;

(f) To take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices which constitute discrimination against women;

(g) To repeal all national penal provisions which constitute discrimination against women.

The Scottish Government is committed to taking all appropriate and practicable measures to eliminate discrimination against women and girls.

2.1 Removal of fees for employment tribunals

The Scottish Government is pleased that the UK Supreme Court has ruled employment tribunal fees to be unlawful. The Scottish Government will continue to work with stakeholders, to ensure that the new employment tribunal system in Scotland provides access to justice and contributes to the Scottish Government's vision for Fair Work to be embedded in all workplaces in Scotland. This will help ensure that all women can challenge discrimination in the workplace and access justice.

In line with commitments in both the Labour Market Strategy and the 2016 Programme for Government ( PfG), an Employment Tribunals Stakeholders' Forum has been established, which will help frame how the Scottish Government can best use our new powers around employment tribunals to ensure that any new system in Scotland, based on the abolition of fees, will meet the needs of employees, businesses and society.

2.2 Women Offenders

Following a period of consultation in 2015, the Scottish Government announced the decision to build a new national prison for women on the current site of HMP & YOI Cornton Vale and up to five small community based custodial units across Scotland. All aspects of the custodial estate will be run and managed by the Scottish Prison Service but services will be delivered through multi-disciplinary teams working together to provide a consistent and holistic approach to the management of women who are held in custody and, importantly, linking them to the services they will need on their release back into the community.

Healthcare services in custody are provided by NHSScotland, and NHS standards for health care provision, including primary care, apply within the prison setting. The Scottish Government expects health boards to act appropriately to meet these standards.


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