Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women - CEDAW (Summary)
Definition of discrimination against women: any distinction, exclusion, or restriction, made on the basis of sex, with the purpose or effect of impairing the enjoyment by women of political, economic, social, cultural, or civil human rights on equal footing with men.
States Parties condemn discrimination against women and undertake to pursue a policy of eliminating it in all its forms. States Parties undertake to: include the principles of equality of men and women in national constitutions; adopt legislation prohibiting all discrimination against women; ensure legal protection and effective remedy against discrimination; refrain from any act of discrimination against women and ensure that no public authorities or institutions engage in discrimination; take measures to eliminate discrimination against women by any person, organization or enterprise; take measures to modify or abolish existing laws, customs and practices which constitute discrimination against women.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, especially in the political, social, economic and cultural fields, to ensure the full development and advancement of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them enjoyment of human rights on equal footing with men.
Affirmative action measures shall not be considered discrimination. Special measures protecting pregnancy shall not be considered discriminatory.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures: to modify social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women which are based on ideas of inferiority or superiority or on stereotyped roles for men and women; to ensure that family education includes the recognition of the common responsibility of men and women in raising children.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to suppress traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in political and public life and shall ensure equal rights to vote and be eligible for election; to participate in forming government policy and to hold public office; to participate in NGOs.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure a woman¹s equal right to represent her government at the international level and participate in the work of international organizations.
States Parties shall grant women equal rights to a nationality. Neither marriage nor change of nationality by the husband during marriage shall automatically change the nationality of the wife. Women shall have equal rights with men with respect to their children’s nationality.
States Parties shall ensure to women equal rights in the field of education. States Parties shall ensure the same conditions for career guidance, access to studies, the same teaching staff and equipment. Stereotyped roles of men and women are to be eliminated in all forms of education. States Parties shall ensure that women have the same opportunities to benefit from scholarships and the same access to continuing education. States Parties shall ensure the reduction of female drop-out rates and shall ensure that women have access to educational information to help ensure health and well-being of families, including information on family planning.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in employment and shall ensure, on the basis of equality of men and women, the same rights to work, to the same employment opportunities, to free choice of employment, to promotion, benefits, vocational training, equal remuneration, equal treatment in respect of work of equal value, the right to social security, unemployment, protection of health. States Parties shall prohibit dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy and discrimination in dismissals on the basis of marital status. States Parties shall take measures to introduce maternity leave with pay or social benefits.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of health care and shall ensure women equal access to health care services and appropriate services in connection with pregnancy.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in other areas of economic and social life and shall ensure the same rights to family benefits, to bank loans, mortgages and other forms of credit.
States Parties shall take into account the special problems of rural women and the significant roles they play in the economic survival of their families and shall ensure to them all rights in this convention. States Parties shall ensure equal rights of men and women to participate in and benefit from rural development, and shall ensure to rural women the rights to: participate in development planning; have access to adequate health care facilities and family planning; benefit from social security programs; receive training and education; have access to agricultural credit and loans, marketing, and appropriate technology; receive equal treatment in land reform; and have adequate living conditions, particularly in relation to housing, sanitation, electricity and water supply, transport and communications.
Women shall have equality with men before the law. Women and men shall have the same rights regarding movement of persons and freedom to choose residence.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations and shall ensure equal rights to enter marriage, to choose a spouse, to enter marriage only with full consent, the same rights and responsibilities within marriage and in divorce, the same rights and responsibilities as parents, the same rights to decide on the number and spacing of children, the same rights with regard to ownership of property. A minimum age shall be set for marriage.
Source: The People’s Movement for Human Rights Education http://www.pdhre.org/conventionsum/cedaw.html