Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women [CEDAW]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 25, 2022, 13:17

Adopted in 1979 by UN General Assembly, CEDAW is the international bill to uphold women's rights. The bill was instituted in 1981, with 189 states ratifying it. CEDAW's full form is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The bill consists of a Preamble and 30 articles that discuss discrimination against women and what national action is to be taken to end such discrimination.

CEDAW - Overview

How Powerful is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

  • It is built on three important principles: non-discrimination, state obligation, and substantive equality.
  • The convention has six parts, with the number of articles totalling 30. The Parts are:-
  1. Part I Focuses on non-discrimination, sex trafficking, and sex stereotypes.
  2. Part II Outlines the rights of women in the public sphere and
  3. Part III Women's economic and social rights are described in this part about education, employment, and health. It also includes special protection to ensure the rights of rural women.
  4. Part IV describes women's right to equality in family life and marriage and equality before the law.
  5. Part V This part establishes the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and states the procedure of reporting parties.
  6. Part VI - Describes how the convention affects other treaties, state parties' commitment, and the administration of this convention.
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Actions and Measures of CEDAW

  • It is also important to mention here that the convention is the only one to affirm women's reproductive rights their right to attain, change, and keep their nationality and children.
  • By accepting the convention of CEDAW, the states commit themselves to take necessary actions and measures to eliminate discrimination against women in any or all form. The states are to:-
  1. Incorporate the principle of equality between both genders in their legal system. They must abolish the discriminatory laws and, in their place, bring appropriate ones that will aid in prohibiting discrimination against women.
  2. They must set up a tribunal and public institutions that will ensure the protection of women from any form of discrimination.
  3. To ensure that no form of discrimination is practised against women by persons, organizations, or enterprises.

The countries that have ratified the convention are legally bound to take all necessary measures to ensure complete equality for women and girls in all aspects of their life. They are bound to practice its provisions and submit national reports every four years to show how they are abiding by the treaty's obligations.

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Q.1. How is CEDAW Monitored?

The function and performance of CEDAW are supervised by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

Q.2. Where lies the importance of CEDAW?

The importance of CEDAW lies in its international status and that it is a legally binding comprehensive convention on addressing women's human rights, emphasizing non-discrimination.

Q.3. What is the CEDAW Full Form?

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women is a full form of CEDAW.

Q.4. Is India A member of CEWAD?

India has ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination for Women on the 9th of July 1993, but with two statements and a reservation. An India has not ratified the Optional Protocol.