The convention on elimination of all forms of discrimination against women
was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 18th December 1979. The
convention came into force in the year 1981 and it was approved by 180 states.
It was on the basis of internationally accepted principles and measures to
achieve equal rights for women all around the globe.
The main object of the convention on the elimination of all forms of
discrimination against women is to eliminate discrimination against women in
every field. This is the first international convention to define
discrimination against women comprehensively in all dimensions.
In the beginning when 20 countries ratified, this conversion came into force, as
of now around 189 countries have ratified it. All these countries have promised
equal freedom and opportunity for women and girls as the men and boys. The women
and girls in the nations that ratified this convention enjoy the rights and its
This convention has its importance as this supports the women largely. Many
human rights conventions are adopted by the United Nations and ratified by many
countries but among those this convention has special power. This convention
plays a major role in addressing the women's human rights issue and finding ways
to solve those issues globally. It also monitors each State and also ensures how
each Sate work in order to protect the women's rights. The conventions ultimate
goal is to achieve sustainable equality.
This convention has totally 30 Articles:
- Article 1-4: these articles deals with the nature and scope of the
convention and the motive of the nations for adopting this conversion
- Article 5-16: these articles discuss the forms and discrimination
against women that has to be stopped
- Article 17-30: these discuss the process by which the CEDAW is formed,
works and monitored.
Articles of CEDAW:
- Article 1- Definition of discrimination against Women and Girls
- Article 2- Obligations to eliminate discrimination
- Article 3- Appropriate measures
- Article 4- Temporary measures
- Article 5- Gender stereotypes
- Article 6- Trafficking and Exploitation of prostitution
- Article 7- Political and Public life
- Article 8- Participation at International Level
- Article 9- Nationality
- Article 10- Education
- Article 11- Employment
- Article 12- Health care and Family planning
- Article 13- Economic and social life
- Article 14- Rural women and girls
- Article 15- Equality before law
- Article 16 - Marriage and family life
- Article 17 to Article 22 deals with the working of CEDAW committee
- Article 23 to Article 30 deals with administration of CEDAW
- Articles 17- 22 deals with the working of CEDAW.
- This committee has 23 experts in charged with oversight of compliance by
- Once after the ratification and enforcement the state has to send an
initial review within one year after that the state has to send a periodic
review every four years.
- The committee organizes two sessions annually to consider the progress
by the member states.
- The CEDAW Committee will raise concerns and make recommendations to
speed up progress and steps based on the report and the observations
- The committee has the authority to investigate violations and make
- On thematic and other issues the CEDAW committee can make general
Administration of CEDAW:
Articles 23-30 deals with the administration of CEDAW, including the possibility
to accept CEDAW subject to reservations and how to resolve any disputes between
countries concerning the interpretation or application of CEDAW.
The Optional Protocol:
- This is an additional mechanism for adopting CEDAW.
- This came into force in the year 2000 and was approved by 71 states
- It is done by the third party complaints of the state violation.
- They conduct independent investigation of grave or systematic
The Main Principles or State's Obligations:
- Obligation to Respect: this is a public sphere. This means the principle
of equality. That is women have to be treated equally.
- Obligation to Protect: this is a private sphere. This means the motive
is to eliminate discrimination against women and women has to be protected
from all sort of violations.
- Obligation to Fulfil: this is cultural sphere. This means that in
order to achieve the objectives there should be modifications in the social and
Thus the ultimate goal of CEDAW is to uplift the women's rights. in other words
the CEDAW framework itself is to deliver justice for women and ensure the women
the equal rights as to men as this is a basic human rights.