Global Resources

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

Publisher: United Nations
Publication Date: Dec 1990
The CEDAW Convention is often described as an international bill of rights for women. It was first adopted in December 1979 and in 2005, 180 countries had signed up to the Convention. It describes discrimination against women as ?any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing 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.? The agreement consists of a preamble and 30 articles regarding discrimination against women in areas such as education, employment, health, the economy, the law and in marriage and family life. By accepting the Convention, States are legally bound to put its provisions into practice. These include incorporating the principle of equality of men and women into legal systems, abolishing discriminatory laws and establishing tribunals for the effective protection of women against discrimination.


The CEDAW Convention is often described as an international bill of rights for women. It was first adopted in December 1979 and in 2005, 180 countries had signed up to the Convention. It describes discrimination against women as ?any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing 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.? The agreement consists of a preamble and 30 articles regarding discrimination against women in areas such as education, employment, health, the economy, the law and in marriage and family life. By accepting the Convention, States are legally bound to put its provisions into practice. These include incorporating the principle of equality of men and women into legal systems, abolishing discriminatory laws and establishing tribunals for the effective protection of women against discrimination.