What is the CEDAW?

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, also known as CEDAW consists of 23 experts on women’s rights worldwide.

It focuses on women’s rights and issues worldwide and recognises that traditional gender roles and stereotypes have to be eliminated.

CEDAW legally binds all States Parties to fulfil, protect and respect women’s human rights

CEDAW is an international document which contains 30 articles. That list an important agreement about equality between girls/women and boys/men.

It reinforces the idea that all discrimination between girls and women MUST end.

Article 1 of the Convention defines discrimination against women. The term discrimination against women shall mean:

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.

If we look at places worldwide, many women and girls are restricted with what they can and cannot do simply because of their gender.

They may not get the education they want, the job they’ve worked for, the right to vote and many other difficulties.

Discrimination against women is deeply rooted in both public and private life.

This can include in the culture, family home, jobs and many more. There are so many patriarchal attitudes about women and how they should behave and act. It’s a problem that is widespread across the region.

As of 2010, 186 countries agreed to do everything they can in their power to guarantee the rights in CEDAW by incorporating equal rights between both men and women.

CEDAW reinforces the rights listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The UDHR clearly says that girls and women and boys and men have the same rights.

Typically, at four-yearly intervals, the Committee, asks the government what progress has been made since the last review.

They discuss many things from women migrant workers, violence against women to trafficking, raising issues that are often not spoken about.

Full details on the Committee can be found on the United Nations Human Rights website here.

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