CEDAW Project

 Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

CEDAW Committee consists of 23 experts on women’s rights from around the world.

Countries who have become party to the treaty (States parties) are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights of the Convention are implemented. During its sessions the Committee considers each State party report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of concluding observations.

In accordance with the Optional Protocol to the Convention, the Committee is mandated to : (1) receive communications from individuals or groups of individuals submitting claims of violations of rights protected under the Convention to the Committee and (2) initiate inquiries into situations of grave or systematic violations of women’s rights. These procedures are optional and are only available where the State concerned has accepted them.

The Committee also formulates general recommendations and suggestions. General recommendations are directed to States and concern articles or themes in the Conventions.


Short History of CEDAW Convention

Equality of rights for women is a basic principle of the United Nations.  The Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations sets as one of the Organization’s central goals of the reaffirmation of “faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women”.  Article 1 proclaims that one of the purposes of the United Nations is to achieve international cooperation in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to inter alia, sex.  By the terms of the Charter, the first international instrument to refer specifically to human rights and to the equal right of men and women, all members of the United Nations are legally bound to strive towards the full realization of all human right and fundamental freedoms.  The status of human rights, including the goal of equality between women and men, is thereby elevated:   a matter of ethics becomes a contractual obligation of all Governments and  of the UN.  to read more click here>>>


Recongnizing Rights Promoting Progress The Global Impact of Cedaw

24 pages report by Ann Warner, 2010
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) provides an important tool for countries to use in realizing the potential of women and girls. In the three decades since this convention was adopted by the United Nations and ratified by 186 of 193 nations, countries have incorporated CEDAW principles in their national constitutions, legislation and administrative policies. Countless civil society organizations and individual women have relied on the principles of the convention to improve the lives of women and girls.
This report describes some examples of the impact CEDAW has had around the world and focuses on select cases and countries where CEDAW ratification and implementation have led to concrete changes in the opportunities afforded to women and girls.
The paper focuses on the following areas:

  • Ending violence and trafficking in women and girls
  • Improving conditions for women’s economic opportunity
  • Increasing women’s political participation
  • Advancing human rights of women by promoting equality

Some helpful documents and websites



Framework for Action on CEDAW Report Recommendations 2013

  1. Identify the current situation, using as guidance the reports to the 52nd Pre-session Working Group or the session of CEDAW available at http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/cedaws52.htm
    1. New Zealand’s 7th periodic report
    2. Auckland Coalition for the Safety of Women and Children (for PSWG)
    3. International Disability Alliance submission (for the session)
    4. New Zealand Human Rights Commission (for the session)
    5. Pacific Women’s Watch (for PSWG) Appendix I & II
    6. Pacific Women’s Watch (for the session)
    7. International Disability Alliance submission (for PSWG)
    8. NCWNZ facilitated report Women experiencing discrimination (available from NCWNZ)
  2. What is the CEDAW Monitoring Committee’s criticism of the current situation?
  3. What needs to be done:
    1. Find out from Convener Public Issues  (Beryl Anderson) which arm of government is responsible for responding the recommendation
    2. Contact the responsible official and let them know who you are and the process you will be following until the report is due
  4. Identify the information needed, eg statistics, and where it will be found, as well as reports that will provide information.
    1. Any media reports must be substantiated
    2. All reports need a proper citation (author, title, publisher, date).
  5. Monitor reports of the appropriate government agency, eg annual reports, Statements of Corporate Intent, media reporting, the Budget.
  6. Provide a regular report on progress to the Public Issues Standing Committee, incl
  1. Minutes Action plan mtg 20 March 2013
  2. Confirmed lead groups 8 04 13




Leave a Reply