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

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On Wednesday 14th December 2018, our CEO Vivienne Hayes spoke at the Women and Equalities Committee on CEDAW. Read the report here and watch the full video here. This evidence resulted in a crucial intervention by the chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, Rt Hon Maria Miller MP – read her letter to the Chair of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women here.

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.

“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