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Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) on 18 December 1979. The objective of the Convention is to end discrimination against women in all areas of life.
- defines discrimination against women
- obliges states parties to eliminate discrimination on the basis of sex in their own actions
- obliges the states parties to adopt measures to achieve equality between men and women in all areas of life
- guarantees that women will have the same rights as men in public and political life, in acquiring nationality, in education, employment and healthcare and in matrimonial and family law
A Committee monitors implementation in the states parties. These undertake to submit reports to the Committee at regular intervals on the actions they have taken.
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women of 6 October 1999 allows individual women to submit complaints to the Committee. The Protocol also enables the Committee to initiate enquiries into situations of grave cases of discrimination.
At present, there are 185 states parties to the Convention. Switzerland acceded to the Convention on 27 March 1997.