Understanding CEDAW

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979 and ratified in September 1981. It aims to highlight all areas in which women are denied equality with men and monitor the progression of women’s rights around the world.

CEDAW seeks to improve the rights of women by focusing on the legal status of women, their reproductive rights and any issues which may prohibit women from enjoying their human rights, this includes any gendered traditions or stereotypes that may exist within countries.

The Convention contains 30 Articles which define discrimination against women and the rights of women in areas of health, economic involvement, education, and marriage, amongst other issues. The Articles also set out the commitments of member states and reporting procedures.