Today we had the lunchtime briefing to the CEDAW committee. We took our handouts and postcards and we had the Sister of Frida’s banner to decorate the room with. It was a small windowless hot room and we all trooped in – some people had to sit next door.
When the committee all came in Charlotte welcomed them and we introduced ourselves briefly with who we are, our organisation and area expertise. I was taken aback when the first question was on disabled women. I spoke about how the impact of cuts affected every area of disabled woman’s lives – even if it does not specifically mention disability and that some have taken their lives as a result of the cumulative impact. We then went on to other issues in particular legal aid, access to justice, and the need for proof of residence of over 12 months. Hanana Sidiqui of Southall Black Sisters spoke eloquently about the cuts to their services.
We were then told the UK raporteur wanted to meet us at 4pm so we had a bit of a break while Eleanor and I started our information briefing as was required.
At 6pm we went to the brilliant Big Voices exhibit and met a few more committee members and folks. A very full day.