Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women .


The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is an international human rights treaty that was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979. CEDAW is often referred to as the international bill of rights for women as it is considered the most comprehensive international agreement on women’s rights.

CEDAW aims to ensure that women enjoy equal rights with men in all areas of life. It defines discrimination against women as any distinction, exclusion, or restriction made on the basis of sex that has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise of women’s human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The convention covers a wide range of issues related to gender equality, including political and public life, education, employment, healthcare, marriage, family life, and access to justice. It recognizes that discrimination against women not only harms them individually but also hinders the social, economic, and political progress of societies as a whole.

CEDAW requires states parties to take a series of measures to eliminate discrimination against women. These include enacting legislation, establishing institutions, and implementing policies and programs that promote gender equality. States parties are also required to take steps to modify or abolish existing laws, customs, and practices that perpetuate discrimination against women.

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, CEDAW has been ratified by 189 out of 195 countries. Each state party is required to submit regular reports to the CEDAW Committee, an expert body of 23 members, on the measures they have taken to implement the convention. The committee reviews these reports, provides recommendations, and monitors the progress made by states parties in achieving gender equality.

CEDAW has played a crucial role in advancing women’s rights globally and has been instrumental in shaping national laws and policies to promote gender equality. It has also contributed to raising awareness about women’s rights and empowering women to assert their rights at various levels.

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