CEDAW Shadow Report

The Women's Foundation submitted a Shadow Report on February 28 to the United Nations Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This report was reviewed in the Committee's pre-sessional hearing from March 3-7 and considered again at the full Committee hearing in October which reviewed the Hong Kong Government's compliance with CEDAW and recommend steps for the Government to implement going forward to strengthen the protections afforded women and girls in Hong Kong.

These include:

  • Institutional mechanisms: The Women’s Commission is under resourced and disadvantageously positioned due to its status as an advisory body rather than as a central mechanism within the Government Secretariat
  • Gender disaggregated data: Gender-segregated data maintained by government departments and bureaus is not comprehensive, consistent or always accessible. 
  • Female representation in leadership positions: Women are under-represented in all levels of political activity, leadership and senior executive and non-executive roles across industry sectors and professions.
  • “Feminisation of poverty”: Women are still disproportionately employed in lower status jobs and earn lower incomes compared to men. There is a lack of specific consideration of women in Government welfare policies including the MPF scheme. 
  • Gender stereotypes: The ease with which media is now accessible through multiple devices makes it critical that the Government and educators adopt measures that ensure consumers are aware of the potential harmful effects of mediated images that objectify women and promote unrealistic body ideals.
  • Life Skills: Many teens are growing up without training in essential life skills and the critical thinking required to challenge gender-based assumptions and to see new possibilities for themselves. Accordingly it is imperative that gender awareness programs reach both boys and girls.
  • Women and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics): Women are under-represented in the STEM subjects in terms of studies and career options which disadvantages women in their employment prospects.