Our work in Northern Ireland

The 2021 annual report of NIWEP is now available and highlights an intense but strong year. NIWEP held its AGM this week and highlighted plans for 2022, which include a new strategic plan. 



We are devastated to hear of the sudden passing of Emma Ritch, Executive Director of our Scottish sister organisation Engender. Emma was a brilliant and tireless campaigner for women's rights and gender equality, who we had the honour of working alongside on the UK Joint Committee of Women. She was a supportive colleague and friend who was always ready with advice and a kind word, and a fierce champion of women's voices and rights on both the domestic and international stage.

NIWEP is continuing to work as normally as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Work is focusing on supporting a gender sensitive response in Northern Ireland, in particular by sharing evidence and examples of relevant initiatives and models from the UN, European Women's Lobby and NIWEP's sister organisations in England, Scotland and Wales. NIWEP has launched a weekly newsletter on COVID-19 and gender, and is running a webinar series exploring a feminist recovery from COVID-19.

A key role for NIWEP in Northern Ireland is capacity building and advocacy, including contributing to policy making processes on gender equality. In 2019, building on the CEDAW shadow reporting process, NIWEP organised a capacity building programme on using CEDAW for advocacy for gender equality. This programme, which was funded through the Reconciliation Fund managed by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, was very well received and highlighted the need for capacity building on international human rights instruments.


NIWEP submitted an interim shadow report to the CEDAW Committee, focused on key recommendations in the Concluding Observations on gender equality, the impact of Brexit and formal mechanisms for women's engagement in policy making. The report highlights lack of progress and a concern regarding the long standing low priority given to gender equality in policy making in Northern Ireland, and calls for the CEDAW Committee to seek clarification on the lack of progress. 

The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is a central United Nations (UN) human rights treaty, which the UK ratified in 1986. It constitutes a 'Bill of Rights' for women and provides a rights based agenda for action to strengthen gender equality through legislation and policy.

Submission to the Committee on the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)



CEDAW report – Copy 6 Dec 2013

NIWEP have brought together in one document the submission they made to the CEDAW Committee in July 2013, the oral statement that was made on behalf of the women of Northern Ireland and the Concluding Observations from the examination of the UK Government by the CEDAW Committee in July 2013.