CEDAW Submission to the LWB
On May 31, The Women's Foundation submitted a response to the Labour & Welfare Bureau's Public Consultation to the United Nations Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This response will be reviewed by the Government and recommendations will be taken under consideration for integration in the official report to be submitted in Fall 2018. Hong Kong’s reporting to CEDAW provides an opportunity to particularly focus on some of the areas that can be improved and strengthened to better serve women and girls. In particular, there are five specific areas of the current outline of topics for the CEDAW report that we feel should garner greater government attention:
- Lack of gender disaggregated data: Gender segregated data maintained by government departments and bureaus are not comprehensive, consistent or always accessible.
- Insufficient protections and preventative measures around sexual harassment and sexual assault: Laws provide insufficient protection, sexual education curricula are outdated and there are many inhibiting factors for women to utilise existing services.
- Inadequate provisions for caregivers: A large proportion of women still shoulder both childcare and eldercare, and current provisions are not providing adequate support.
- Female representation in leadership positions: Women are under-represented in all levels of political activity, and senior executive and non-executive roles across industry sectors and professions.
- The 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.