Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (ICEDAW)
Of 18 December 1979 (Entry into force: 03 September 1981)
Text of Treaty
The UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women obliged contracting parties to exhaust all possible resources to eliminate the discrimination of women.
189 Contracting States (as at 29 September 2015; current count)
Defining «Discrimination against Women»
The convention defines discrimination of women as «any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field».
Obligations of Contracting States
The contracting states are obliged to change or repeal any laws or customs that discriminate against women. Any discrimination based upon sex is to be banned and victims of such discrimination shall be granted access to a court of law. The convention obliges the contracting states to take governmental measures against the role cast that is discriminating against women as well as against women trafficking and the exploitation of prostitutes. The convention contains a list of general human rights whose unrestricted exercise seems to be especially compromised among women.
The contracting parties have the responsibility to give regular account to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women of measures implemented to satisfy the obligations of the convention. The first report is released within one year of entry into force and all four or so years thereafter.
- Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Page on humanrights.ch
Optional Protocol (OP-CEDAW)
The optional protocol of 6 October 1999 opens the opportunity of an individual complaint process at the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in specific cases. The Optional protocol entered into force on 22 December 2000 and so far 106 States have ratified it (as at 29 September 2015; current count).
- Model Form of Submission of Communications to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women under the Optional Protocol of the Convention (English, pdf, 3 p.)