Complying with articles 1 and 2 of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women : the case of Ghana and the United Kingdom

Attakora, Kofi Sefa (2015) Complying with articles 1 and 2 of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women : the case of Ghana and the United Kingdom. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .

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Abstract

This is a comparative legal study of compliance with UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) by Ghana and the United Kingdom. The 30 articles of the CEDAW cover many aspects of discrimination against women and the need for State Parties to take concrete steps to eliminate the menace of all forms of discrimination against women. This research is about the conceptual understanding of the law of discrimination (article 1) and states' responsibilities to take appropriate measures to comply with the law and ensure practical realisation of the enjoyments of human rights by women (article 2). Our literature review brings together some of the salient debates on the conceptual understanding of discrimination as expressed in the language of CEDAW and other UN Conventions on Human Rights, and what is to be considered as appropriate responses to combat discrimination against women. It is argued that since we seek to examine legal and practical responses by two historically linked jurisdictions, but separated at the same time by a considerable gap of legislative and practical experiences on the issue of discrimination, the preferred overarching methodology to explore the many interrelated issues is a comparative, functional and qualitative legal research approach. Our data source is documentary evidence in the form of national legislation, constitutional provisions, UN, EU and Africa Union Treaties on human rights as well as scholarship on the law of discrimination. To analysis the data, we developed nine indicators of compliance to test the level of qualitative compliance. For evidence of practical and progressive improvement in the fortunes of women, we rely on materials on representation of women in a variety of institutions, and the level of continued violence and human rights abuses from the records on national human rights institutions and NGOs. Whilst the level of legislative and constitutional compliance with the nine indicators on article 1 and 2 is commendable, there is significant level of continued violation of human rights of women in both jurisdictions. Institutional representation of women in both countries remains at an unacceptable level. In the UK the driving force on the level of improvement experience is the combined influence of EU law, robust judicial interpretation of EU law by ECJ and ECtHR, internal academic scholarship, civil society and political engagement with the issue of discrimination against women for a considerable length of time, and not the CEDAW. In Ghana, the drive to comply with CEDAW and the African Charter on People's and Human Rights has played a significant role in influencing change. In both jurisdictions, the most retarding factors have been and remain harmful cultural practices and prejudices against women. We offer some practical steps towards the elimination of such practices.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Physical Location: This item is held in stock at Kingston University library.
Research Area: Law
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Business and Law (until 2017)
Faculty of Business and Law (until 2017) > Kingston Law School
Depositing User: Jennifer May
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2017 14:24
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2018 10:16
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/39277

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