The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is an international treaty adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly. Described as an international bill of rights for women, it was instituted on 3 September 1981 and has been ratified by 189 states (as of January 2018). The UK ratified the Convention in 1986.

Unlike domestic UK and European Community legislation on sex discrimination and equal treatment, the Convention is solely concerned with the position of women rather than discrimination faced by both sexes (which would include discrimination and inequalities faced by men).

State parties agree to take all appropriate measures, including legislation and temporary special measures, so that women can enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Here at WRC, we are very passionate about CEDAW and believe it is one of the key elements in making headway for women.

Other Resources
Latest Reports

Latest updates:

Letter to Victoria Atkins MP (May 2019)

On 1st May 2019, WRC and a number of women’s organisations sent a letter to the Minister for Women, Victoria Atkins MP regarding the UN’s recent review of the UK’s performance on improving the position of women in the UK and the progress made in achieving their rights.

The letter seeks to hear about UK Government’s plans to effectively implement the recommendations for the benefit of all women in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Read it here.

UK’s input to CEDAW (February 2019)

At the end of February 2019, our CEO Vivienne Hayes went to Geneva to lead on WRC’s input to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

After the collaborative efforts of numerous women’s organisations in preparation of the UK government’s examination at the United Nations on their progress in achieving all women’s rights, the UN have released their recommendations. Read them here.

“Now more than ever in the uncertain environment created by Brexit and Austerity, it is critical that we use CEDAW as the universal charter for women’s human rights to protect our hard-won gains and continue to hold our government to account.”

Vivienne Hayes MBE, CEO Women’s Resource Centre