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Convention for the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

The Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is considered as an international bill of rights for women, CEDAW outlines standards for ratifying countries to meet in the treatment and rights of women.

The treaty was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979. As of October 1, 2009, 186 countries have ratified the Treaty for the Rights of Women. Among the countries that have not yet ratified it are Sudan, Somalia, Iran and the United States. By accepting the Convention, States commit themselves to undertake a series of measures to end discrimination against women in all forms, including:

  • to incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in their legal system, abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women;
  • to establish tribunals and other public institutions to ensure the effective protection of women against discrimination; and
  • to ensure elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by persons, organizations or enterprises.

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