NGO Forum on Human Rights
Saturday, March 7th 1998
Panel on Women’s Human Rights
Chair: Ursula Barry, Women’s Education, Resource, and Research Centre
Rapporteur: Kerry Lawless, National Council of Women in Ireland
Speakers include:

Brid O’Brien, National Traveller Women’s Forum

Lena Barrett, Irish Refugee Council

Nuala Kelly, Irish Commission for Prisoners Overseas

May McEvoy, Banulacht

Niamh Wilson, Women’s Aid

Niamh Reilly, Global Campaign for Women’s Human Rights

Mary Lawlor, Amnesty International

Speaker from the Ruhama Women’s Project

Contributors to this panel will focus on human rights concerns of women in Ireland and abroad. The particular situation of women refugees and asylum seekers, women prostitutes, trafficked women and women prisoners in Ireland will be highlighted. The importance of equal status legislation in affording greater legal protection to specific groups of women, including Traveller women, lesbian women and disabled women will be considered. In addition the panel will address current urgent cases around the world of gender-based human rights violations.

The panel will underscore the need for the Irish Government to demonstrate a real and practical commitment to women’s human rights concerns by: integrating gender throughout all its work on human rights; developing national plans of action with NGOs to realize its commitments to women’s human rights contained in both the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (1993) and the Beijing Platform for Action (1995); and taking immediate steps to remove existing reservations to the Women’s Convention (CEDAW).