Women's Human Rights Resources Database


Your search for the subject "CEDAW Convention" found 54 records.

[ Articles Documents Links ]

Click each title for item details
Boerefign, Ineke, Establishing State Responsibility for Breaching Human Rights Treaty Obligations: Avenues Under UN Human Rights Treaties, 56(2) Netherlands International Law Review, 167-205 (2009)

This article examines States' responsibility under international law to implement treaty obligations, and to withdraw legislation that is in incompatible with treaty obligations. The article uses the International Law Commission's Articles on State Responsibility to define the notion of breaching obligations. The article examines the powers and mandates of various United Nations monitoring bodies, and, under section 5.3, focuses specifically on violations of the "Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The article outlines the inquiry procedures included in many treaties, which allow the treaty bodies to investigate systemic and/or grave violations of human rights. Finally, examples of domestic laws that are in violation of various conventions, including CEDAW, are provided.

Burrows, Noreen, The 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 32 NETHERLAND INTERNATIONAL REVIEW, 419-60 (1985).

This article is devoted to an analysis of the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (the "Women's Convention"). The author places the Women's Convention in the context of United Nations efforts to establish a body of human rights law. The article draws parallels with other international conventions in the human rights field and analyses the meaning and importance of the various articles. The author argues that, in many ways, the Convention overlaps with existing international conventions but in certain important respects it goes beyond the protection offered by them.

Byrnes, Andrew, The "Other" Human Rights Treaty Body: The Work of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, 14 YALE JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 1-67(1989).

"Despite broad support for the Women's Convention, the Convention and the Committee have attracted considerably less attention than the other human rights treaties and their respective committees among those active in the field of international human rights. The women's rights community and, to a lesser extent, the human rights community, have made efforts to integrate women's rights issues into the human rights agenda, but progress has been slow. The purpose of this article is to fill some of the informational void about CEDAW by reviewing its work, to identify the major problems and challenges facing the Committee, and to suggest ways in which it can be more effective."

Byrnes, Andrew, Bath, Eleanor, Violence against Women, the Obligation of Due Diligence, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Recent Developments, 8(3) OXFORD HUMAN RIGHTS LAW REVIEW, 517-533 (2008).

This article examines three cases decided under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW-OP), two of which concerned domestic violence, and the third of which dealt with forced sterilization. The cases illustrate the Committee's position on the obligation of due diligence to prevent and punish violence against women, as well as its position on reproductive choice and admissibility.

Andrew Byrnes & Eleanor Bath, Violence against Women, the Obligation of Due Diligence, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women  Recent Developments (2008) 8:3 Oxford Human Rights Law Review 517.

Byrnes, Andrew, Connors, Jane, Enforcing the Human Rights of Women: A Complaints Procedure for the Women's Convention, 21(3) BROOKLYN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 679-797. (1996).

"In recent years, calls have been made, particularly from within the non-governmental organization community, to strengthen the mechanisms which currently exist for the protection and enforcement of the human rights of women. One of the demands made is that the Women's Convention be strengthened by the addition of a complaints mechanism, in the form of an optional protocol, which would allow individual women to bring complaints before the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. Moves to elaborate a complaints procedure for the Convention have gained considerable momentum over the last few years and the eventual adoption of an optional protocol incorporating such a procedure seems likely. In this article we examine the background to demands for such an optional protocol and its desirability and feasibility. We consider the major legal issues that might arise in the elaboration of such a protocol and the form it might take. We also review current proposals for such a protocol." [Article Abstract.] [Please Note: An Optional Protocol to the Women's Convention was adopted by the General Assembly in 1999 and came into force in December 2000.]

View Article - [HTML Format]

Chen, Mai, Protective Laws and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 15 WOMEN'S RIGHTS LAW REPORTER, 2-36 (1993).

"Part I of this article gives a brief description of the Women's Convention and explains the confusion over what protective laws it allows, and the significance of that confusion. Part II determines whether the Convention should have included provisions allowing different treatment laws for women. Concluding that different treatment laws are essential for the achievement of gender equality, Part III discusses whether a rational principle can be established which distinguishes between beneficial and detrimental types of protective laws. Part IV analyzes the specific articles of the Convention that allow, or require, protective laws, and determines whether these provisions can be interpreted consistently with the principle formulated in Part III to distinguish beneficial from detrimental protective laws. Part V focuses on the Women's Committee's stance on protective laws and the changing practice of states and international organizations concerning protective laws. Finally, Part VI provides a case study of protective laws in New Zealand which reflects the trend towards revising and repealing protective laws. It also provides a study of the most controversial protective covenant, ILO Convention No. 89, concerning Nightwork of Women in Industry." [Article Abstract.]

Cook, Rebecca J, Reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 30 VIRGINIA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 643-709 (1990).

"The thesis of this article is that the object and purpose of the Women's Convention are that states parties shall move progressively towards the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and ensure equality between men and women. Further states parties have an obligation to provide the means to move progressively toward this result. Reservations to the Convention's ubstantive provisions pose a threat to the achievement of this goal. Because states parties have an obligation to move progressively towards fulfilment of the objects and purposes of the Convention, reservations that contemplate the provision of means towards the pursuit of this goal will be regarded as compatible with "the object and purpose of the treaty". Similarly, any reservation that contemplates enduring inconsistency between state law or practice and the obligations of the Women's Convention is incompatible with the treaty's object and purpose." [Article Abstract.]

Corrin, Jennifer Care, Negotiating the Constitutional Conundrum: Balancing Cultural Identity with Principles of Gender Equality in Post-Colonial South Pacific Societies, 5 INDIGENOUS LAW JOURNAL, 51-81 (2006).

This article explores the conflict between Indigenous customary law in the island states of the southwest Pacific and constitutionally enshrined human rights banning gender discrimination. The author argues that while some Pacific island states have ratified or acceded to written frameworks for the protection of gender equality rights through documents such as CEDAW, in practice, South Pacific nations have not upheld their obligations. The author discusses the status of women in South Pacific nations, illustrating the generally patriarchal customary norms in traditional societies. The author uses case law to demonstrate the difficulties women face in South Pacific customary and formal legal systems. The article concludes with suggestions for addressing the gender power imbalance in the court system.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Cusack, Simone, Gender Stereotyping in Rape Cases: The CEDAW Committee's Decision in Vertido v The Philippines, 11(2) OXFORD HUMAN RIGHTS LAW REVIEW, 329-342 (2011).

This article examines both the strengths and the weaknesses of the CEDAW committee's decision in Vertido v The Philippines. Vertido is the Committee's leading decision on gender stereotyping. The case concerns the impediment that gender stereotypes can present to securing convictions for rape and sexual assault. The salient points of the case include the Committee's decision to frame the issue as the Philippines' legal liability for stereotyping in a rape trial; and the Committee's application of the obligations to eliminate wrongful gender stereotyping, under articles 2(f) and 5(a), to the right to a fair trial.

Simone Cusack & Alexandra S H Timmer, Gender Stereotyping in Rape Cases: The CEDAW Committee's Decision in Vertido v The Philippines (2011) 11:2 Oxford Human Rights Law Review 329.

Cusack, Simone, Pusey, Lisa, CEDAW and the Rights to Non-discrimination and Equality, 14 MELBOURNE JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 54-92 (2013).

This article analyzes the way the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (the Committee) has interpreted CEDAW in response to cases of individual women under CEDAW's Optional Protocol. The author examines the analysis and results in these cases to show that the Committee has responded differently to claims based on reproductive rights and violence against women than it has to claims based on civil, political, or economic matters. The Committee has consistently condemned discrimination in cases based on the former, but has been more hesitant to take such strong action in cases based on the latter. The author argues that the Committee should take a more holistic and critical view of gendered problems to effectively address structural gender inequities.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Donner, Laura A, Gender Bias in Drafting International Discrimination Conventions: The 1979 Women's Convention Compared with the 1965 Racial Convention, 24 CALIFORNIA WESTERN INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL, 241-54 (1994).

"This article explores the weakness of the Women's Convention as compared to the Racial Convention, focusing on areas in which these two discrimination conventions differ. These variations include the respective Conventions' preambles, definitions of discrimination, implementation mechanisms, reservations regime, and provisions for state responsibilities. This article asserts that the inadequate provisions and mechanisms in the Women's Convention, especially as compared to its model the Racial Convention, reveal a lower priority for women's rights that can be attributed to the type of discrimination the Convention claims to prohibit." [Article Abstract.]

View Article - [HTML Format]
[PDF Format requires pdf reader]

Estin, Ann Loquer, Family Law, Pluralism, and Human Rights, 25 EMORY INTERNATIONAL LAW REVIEW, 811-828 (2011)

This article examines the key human rights protections relevant to family law, explores the tension between religious understandings of marriage and family and broad conceptions of human rights, and argues that pluralism in family law weakens community bonds and societal connections and can pose challenges for the protection of human rights, especially for women and children. The author concludes that, just as the State cannot place "the family" outside the realm of human rights, it cannot invoke pluralism to insulate social and legal practices from human rights scrutiny. The author specifically discusses the signing and ratification of the General Recommendations on Marriage Equality and Family Relations from the Committee of the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and notes that many countries have failed to implement these laws on a practical level. The author suggests that there are a wide array social and cultural trends that reinforce ideas that challenge human rights, particularly in countries where religion promotes traditional family law values that differ from constitutional or international law. The author focuses particularly on the United States and Canada and the issues pluralism creates for human rights with respect to traditional practices including forced marriage and female genital cutting. These governments face the challenge of balancing their obligation to protect individuals from violence with their efforts to uphold values of religious freedom.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Evatt, Elizabeth, Eliminating Discrimination Against Women: The Impact of the UN Convention, 18 MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW, 435-49 (1991).

This article describes the operation of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). It shows the limitations that inhibit its effectiveness and suggests measures which might improve its potential. Recent proposals to develop a new international instrument to deal with violence against women are used to illustrate these themes.

View Article - [HTML Format]
[PDF Format requires pdf reader]

Evatt, Elizabeth, Finding a Voice for Women's Rights: The Early Days of CEDAW, 34 GEORGE WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL LAW REVIEW 515-553 (2002).

This article is part of a series reviewing the first ten years of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (the Women's Convention). It focuses on some of the difficulties the Convention and the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) have faced and the steps taken to overcome these problems in order to become a respected and effective tool in the pursuit of women's rights. The article pays tribute to those who fought to have women's rights included on the UN agenda and who drafted the 1979 Women's Convention. The article is divided into three parts: Part I discusses the history, functions and composition of the Women's Convention and the CEDAW Committee; Part II the developing jurisprudence of the CEDAW Committee under Article 21 of the Convention and with regard to gender-based violence; and Part III concludes with how international law can be made to work for women.

Freeman, Marsha, Byrnes, Andrew, Brautigam, Christine, Compliance with the International Rights of Women, 91 AMERICAN SOCIETY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW PROCEEDINGS, 377-94 (1997).

This article is the published record of an American Society of International Law panel discussion held in April 1997. The panelists were Marsha Freeman (International Women's Rights Action Watch), Andrew Byrnes (University of Hong Kong), and Christine Brautigam (United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women), with remarks from Theresa Loar (U.S. Department of State). They addressed compliance under the CEDAW Convention, the development of an Optional Protocol to the Convention, and mainstreaming a gender perspective in the work of the United Nations treaty bodies. [Descriptors: Applying Human Rights Law - International, CEDAW Convention, International]

Freeman, Marsha A, The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Role of Civil Society in Implementing International Women's Human Rights Norms, 16 NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW, 25-48 (2010).

This article focuses on the work of the CEDAW Committee and the essential role played by NGOs in the CEDAW reporting process. It explores the history of how NGOs became involved in the process of submitting state reports and contributing to general recommendations prepared by the Committee. Today, many NGOs submit shadow reports during the review process of a particular state and they even present information directly to the Committee. They also play a crucial role in assisting individuals in submitting complaints to the Committee. The author argues that the participation of these NGOs in the reporting process is essential in making sure states implement and comply with the decisions made by the Committee of CEDAW.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Gilchrist, Heidi, The Optional Protocol to the Women's Convention: An Argument for Ratification, 39 COLUMBIA JOURNAL OF TRANSNATIONAL LAW 763-783 (2001).

This article examines the significance of the Optional Protocol in securing the human rights of women. It starts by looking at the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (the Women's Convention) and the rights secured by it. The author then turns to the articles of the Optional Protocol and examines these provisions whilst comparing them to the existing individual complaints procedures used by the other major treaty bodies. The final sections of the article detail existing mechanisms for monitoring compliance with the Women's Convention and discuss why the Optional Protocol is essential in the pursuit of securing women's rights internationally.

Gómez Isa, Felipe, The Optional Protocol for the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against women: Strengthening the Protection Mechanisms, 20 (1) ARIZONA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW, 291-321 (2003).

This article presents a very brief historical overview of the different stages through which women's rights have passed at the international level. Special attention is given to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, adopted in 1979 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The main focus is the elaboration of an Optional Protocol to this Convention. The Protocol aims to strengthen the mechanisms that exist to protect the rights of women at the international level. The author reviews the obstacles and difficulties confronted to give greater enforcement mechanisms to CEDAW.

González Martínez, Aída, Human Rights of Women, 5 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY 157- 188 (2001).

This inaugural presentation delivered by the Chair of the CEDAW Committee reviews the status of the rights of women under different human rights instruments, their actual condition, and the development of the work of CEDAW. She argues that the equality of men and women in all spheres of life cannot be fully achieved through mere signature, ratification, or accession to an international treaty. However, international human rights law could be an effective instrument for the promotion of social and political awareness of women's issues throughout the globe, which is also conditioned on the degree of social advancement, education, and information in each country. To that end, a conscientious campaign of information and education is essential.

Graterol, Maria, Gupta, Anurag, Girls Learn Everything: Realizing the Right to Education through CEDAW, 16 NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW, 49-88 (2010).

The authors discuss the right to education for women as addressed and delineated in international human rights law and in particular within CEDAW. They explore what this right grants to women and why it is important. The authors argue that bringing CEDAW into this discussion can be beneficial in encouraging states to adopt measures that would promote this right. Currently, states and other non-state actors are not clear about the best methods to create equality in education and the framework provided by CEDAW in this respect is needed. It is argued that CEDAW needs to clarify substantive ways these rights could be realized and make more detailed recommendations for states to follow. CEDAW should do this by creating a framework based upon the four principles of availability, accessibility, adaptability, and acceptability as proposed in CESCR.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Halperin-Kaddari, Ruth, Freeman, Marsha A, Economic Consequences of Marriage and Its Dissolution: Applying a Universal Equality Norm in a Fragmented Universe, 13(2) THEORETICAL INQUIRIES IN LAW, 323-360 (2012)

This article explores the tension between the standards in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and identity-based legal regimes on family law, which often discriminates against women. The authors use the CEDAW Committee's initiative to adopt a General Recommendation on the Economic Consequences of Marriage and De Facto Relationships and Their Dissolution as a case study. This Recommendation aims to address women's rights in the context of the gendered and unequal economic consequences of family relations and their dissolution. The authors argue that international law, particularly Article 16 of CEDAW, can provide a framework for protecting women's rights while still maintaining community and state identity. Overall, the article advocates that states' noncompliance with Article 16 must be addressed and that all states must commit to implementing all of CEDAW's articles. The authors suggest that the aforementioned General Recommendation provides language states can use in revising their family law. The article concludes by presenting a sample law, which complies with CEDAW and still allows room for community identity.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Hernández-Truyol, Berta E, Unsex CEDAW? No! Super-Sex It!, 20 COLUMBIA JOURNAL OF GENDER AND LAW, 195-223 (2011).

This article responds to Darren Rosenblum's article, Unsex CEDAW, or What's Wrong with Women's Rights. While the author agrees with Rosenblum's point that inequality is not isolated to women only, she argues that the solution is to modify and expand CEDAW rather than abolish it. The author draws on personal anecdotes and qualitative reports to show that women continue to experience significant discrimination. She admits that CEDAW is directed at a male/female binary and seems to address a single form of "woman" (white/Western/Northern). The author suggests that interpreting CEDAW as a "living document" that embraces more recent understandings of sex/gender would make the Convention more effective and more relevant. She also argues that a second (optional) Protocol should be created to expand CEDAW's reach to sexual and gender identity, which would "supersex" CEDAW and promote expansive human rights.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Hillock, Rebecca, Establishing the Rights of Women Globally: Has the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women Made a Difference?, 12 TULSA JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE AND INTERNATIONAL LAW, 481-514 (2004-2005).

This author takes the stance that human rights of women can only flourish within a democratic society. This reasoning is used to explain how Egypt, which has ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), has not made significant progress in terms of women's rights, while the United States, which has not ratified the Convention, has made progress in the area of women's rights. Because Egypt's laws are infused with Islamic Law (Sharia), the author argues, women cannot and will not receive equal treatment in Egypt despite the CEDAW. [CEDAW Convention - International]

Hoq, Laboni Amena, The Women's Convention and its Optional Protocol: Empowering Women to Claim their Internationally Protected Rights, 32 COLUMBIA HUMAN RIGHTS LAW REVIEW 677-726 (2001).

The adoption of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (the Women's Convention) marks a significant movement in the quest to advance international women's rights. The author argues that the Women's Convention has a weak and indirect means of enforcement, and that the Optional Protocol can help supplement the current enforcement mechanisms by offering a new avenue through which to monitor violations by State Parties of their Convention obligations. The role the Protocol can play as a norm-transforming instrument is however both highly contingent on the domestic facilitation of a woman's right of complaint as well as the limitations within the Protocol itself. Nonetheless, she argues that instruments such as the Optional Protocol can help women lay the foundation for a deeper respect for international women's rights and help achieve their universal application.

Johnston, Kerensa, Everything in Context: Indigenous Women, International Human Rights Law and Discrimination - Is International Human Rights Law the Way Forward?, 7 INDIGENOUS LAW BULLETIN, 17-19 (2007).

This paper discusses the multiple ways in which Indigenous women experience discrimination. In the public sphere, this may occur through practices and policies that discriminate against and undermine the values of Indigenous women. In the private sphere, indigenous women face potentially life- threatening discrimination. The author considers possible solutions to these forms of discrimination. Specifically, the paper contemplates CEDAW and the Optional Protocol as possible means for Indigenous women to address rights violations and engages in an examination of international case law. In the alternative, the author contemplates the value of addressing discrimination within the community and posits that potential solutions may come from a process that includes men and the larger community.

View Article - [HTML Format]

Johnston, Kerensa, Maori Women Confront Discrimination: Using International Human Rights Law to Challenge Discriminatory Practices, 4 INDIGENOUS LAW JOURNAL, 19-69 (2005).

This article discusses internal and external discrimination faced by Maori women in New Zealand and processes in international law available to those who wish to challenge discriminatory laws and practices. A concise explanation of the pre-colonial and post- colonial interpersonal relationship of Maori women precedes the author's discussion of legal remedies to discriminatory practices, which focus on the Optional Protocol procedure and the Women's Committee in the context of the Mana Wahine Claim. The author concludes that it may be appropriate for Maori women to use international law processes to obtain an effective remedy against external discrimination. The article cautions, however, that international law processes are inappropriate to remedy internal discrimination. Internal discrimination is better remedied through complex processes involving a re-examination of Maori principles and practices from Maori women's perspectives.

View Article - [PDF Format requires pdf reader]
[OTHER Format]

Keller, Linda, The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women: Evolution and (Non)Implementation Worldwide, 27 THOMAS JEFFERSON LAW REVIEW, 35-44 (2004-2005).

This article discusses the potential of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to be a powerful tool of gender equality. The author laments, however, the weakening of the Convention when states have the option of holding reservations to provisions that would necessitate substantial changes to their national laws and/or cultural norms. [CEDAW Convention - International]

Lahey, Kathleen, International Transactions, Taxation, and Women: the Critical Role of Gender Analysis, 42 UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA LAW REVIEW, 363-417 (2010).

This paper examines the intersection between international economic and tax laws and gender impact analysis, beginning with a discussion of women's realities: unpaid work, higher rates of poverty, lack of power, and constrained ability to accumulate investment capital. The author assesses CEDAW and other international documents to emphasize that eradication of gender discrimination is an ongoing commitment. She then focuses on the steps Canada has taken to implement mainstreaming gender equality at the federal level. The author concludes with an identification of the roles international organizations, such as World Bank and OECD, might play in improving the gender analysis of international taxation.

View Article - [OTHER Format]
[HTML Format]

Ling-Chien Neo, Jaclyn, Calibrating Interpretive Incorporation: Constitutional Interpretation and Pregnancy Discrimination under CEDAW, 35(4) HUMAN RIGHTS QUARTERLY, 910-934 (2013).

This article examines the impact of the judicial trend of interpretive incorporation on women's rights. The author argues that this trend moderates the gap in implementation in cases where human rights treaties have not been domesticated by the legislature. She looks to the use of constitutional interpretation to incorporate CEDAWs prohibition against discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. In the course of this examination the article considers how interpretive incorporation impacts the status of unincorporated human rights treaties. The difficulties in implementing human rights treaties are considered in light of their relation to the unique legal context and local conditions of each country.

View Article - [HTML Format]

Lisa R. Pruitt, Migration, Development, and the Promise of CEDAW for Rural Women, 30 MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 707-761 (2009).

This article first outlines rural-to-urban migration in general, then the effect of migration on rural women specifically, and finally the effect of CEDAW's Article 14 on the rights of rural women. The author argues that migration has some positive effects on rural women and that CEDAW's Article 14 empowers rural women. The author documents these effects by looking at comparative case studies in China, India, Ghana and South Africa. In these case studies, the author looks at the successes achieved and limitations faced by these countries in realizing the mandates of CEDAW Article 14.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Mattar, Mohamed Y., Article 43 of the Arab Charter on Human Rights: Reconciling National, Regional and International Standards, 26 HARVARD HUMAN RIGHTS JOURNAL, 91-147 (2013).

The author analyzes Article 43 of the Arab Charter and how it should be interpreted to guarantee expansive rights for women. He argues that national courts must look to international human rights law as a guide to interpret Charter rights. The author explores how the Charter explicitly gives rights protection to women and how its inclusion of "positive discrimination" is beneficial for women's rights in the region. The author explains how domestic courts in Arab countries have been applying international norms of human rights and CEDAW. He notes that, while the Charter offers progress in the field of women's rights, problems still remain when resolving some Shariah principles with the Charter. He argues that interpreting those principles based upon international norms of human rights law can amend any derogation of rights.

View Article - [PDF Format requires pdf reader]

Mayer, Ann E, Islamic Reservations to Human Rights Conventions. A Critical Assessment, 15 RIMO. Recht van de Islam: Human Rights and Islam, 26-45 (1998).

In this article, a variety of Islamic reservations to CEDAW and the Convention on the Rights of the Child that have been entered by Muslim countries are discussed and compared. The author concludes that after having encountered many criticisms that were directed at Islamic reservations, some Muslim countries have reacted by formulating or rewriting reservations in ways that that are meant to disguise the nature and scope of the discriminatory policies behind their reservations. The result is that the purport of the reservations will likely be unclear to persons not already familiar with the treatment of women in the legal systems involved. The author finds that although states are growing more reluctant to stipulate that Islamic law stands in the way of adhering to human rights, this does not mean that they are actually rethinking substantive policies that conflict with human rights.

McGuinness, Margaret E., Women as Architects of Peace: Gender and the Resolution of Armed Conflict, 15 MICHIGAN STATE JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 63-84 (2007).

Margaret McGuiness focuses on the role women have played and need to play during the process of armed-conflict resolution. She looks at recent efforts that have been made in international human rights treaties including CEDAW, the UNSCR 1325, and the Beijing Conference in 2005 towards ensuring that women have more active roles in this process. McGuiness argues that armed conflict is not a gender-neutral event and that the resolution process has to include women in order to rectify past harms and to ensure lasting peace going forward. She explores the "gender corollary" with democratic peace insisting that women need to help draft peace settlements in order to create sustainable peace and guarantee womens rights in society. Finally, she makes a distinction between formal and informal processes involved in conflict resolution and how women need a more substantial role in formal processes.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

McQuigg, Ronagh J.A., The Responses of States to the Comments of the CEDAW Committee on Domestic Violence, 11(4) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HUMAN RIGHTS, 461-479 (2007).

While domestic violence is not explicitly mentioned in CEDAW, General Recommendation 19 from the CEDAW Committee has brought domestic violence within CEDAW's scope. Focusing on eleven Western European Countries (Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Italy), the author examines the Committees responses to each country's efforts to prevent violence against women. The author argues that the responses show that the domestic efforts have been inconsistent and that where there has been success, it is not necessarily caused by CEDAW's mandate. The author suggests that this inconsistency highlights a larger issue in international human rights law, namely a lack of enforcement abilities. The author concludes that if the Committee issued stronger statements in response to reports on domestic violence in the member states, NGOs and civil society groups could use those reports to pressure their governments to take better steps to prevent violence against women.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Neuwirth, Jessica, Inequality Before the Law: Holding States Accountable for Sex Discriminatory Laws Under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and Through the Beijing Platform for Action, 18 HARVARD HUMAN RIGHTS JOURNAL, 19-54 (2005).

This article first outlines international standards preventing discrimination on the basis of sex and provides examples of laws in force around the world that are either facially or de facto discriminatory. Then the author highlights how the CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) committee has dealt with evasion of obligations under CEDAW, highlighting Algeria and Nepal. Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action is discussed in light of its impact on CEDAW, namely spurring state objections to others states' reservations to CEDAW. The author concludes that the creation of a Special Rapporteur would help to close the gap between the rhetoric and reality of women's equality rights. [CEDAW Convention - International]

Oji, Elizabeth A., Fighting Discrimination in Africa through CEDAW: Hard Fights - Easy Fights, 16 NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW, 89-110 (2010).

The author explores how African nations have responded to and implemented CEDAW domestically. Many states have not ratified CEDAW, strongly limiting its application. This means that judges do not have to use it as authority and its enforcement depends upon individuals bringing these cases to the courts. The author analyzes each article of CEDAW and explores how they have or have not been implemented domestically and the reasons for this variance. While most African Constitutions contain express non- discrimination clauses on the basis of gender, many domestic laws and prevailing patriarchal attitudes still exist in society. Finally, the author examines how the African Charter and the African Women's Protocol relate to CEDAW and the barriers that are faced domestically in applying these laws and recommendations. The author argues that applying the articles of CEDAW is significant in helping to give equal rights to women in Africa.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Raday, Frances, Gender and Democratic Citizenship: The Impact of CEDAW, 10(2) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, 512-530 (2012)

This article challenges criticisms of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), specifically that CEDAW is assimilationist, homogeneous, and essentialist. The author argues that CEDAW in fact provides a basis for transformative equality, and indeed mandates it. The author assesses the gap between the policy provisions established in CEDAW and social practices. The author also discusses the challenges of translating these policy provisions into practical solutions that allow women to behave as equal actors in the public sphere. The author ultimately argues that equal opportunity in practice should be considered a long-term goal, as well as an indicator of successful democratic citizenship for women, and that more work must be done to translate the formulation and commitment in CEDAW into political, economic, and social action.

View Article - [PDF Format requires pdf reader]

Rebouche, Rachel, Labor, Land, and Women's Rights in Africa: Challenges for the New Protocol on the Rights of Women, 19 HARVARD HUMAN RIGHTS JOURNAL, 235-256 (2006).

This article outlines the shortcomings of previous treaties and programs created to address human rights issues, focusing specifically on women's rights in Africa. It examines the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The author describes the creation of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa . The author argues that the drafters of the Protocol have failed to adequately address labour and land issues that women face in Africa. She then asserts that in order for women in Sub- Saharan Africa to have economic security, their rights as landowners must be affirmed. Finally, the article describes reform measures that have been undertaken in parts of Africa to address women's land and labour rights, and also discusses the likelihood of these measures having an overall positive impact on the economic rights of women.

Rachel Rebouché, Labor, Land, and Women's Rights in Africa: Challenges for the New Protocol on the Rights of Women (2006) 19 Harv Hum Rts J 235.

View Article - [PDF Format requires pdf reader]

Resnick, Judith, Comparative (in)Equalities: CEDAW, the jurisdiction of gender, and the heterogeneity of transnational law production, 10(2) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, 531-550 (2012)

The author examines state parties' responses to implementing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and how this has affected conceptions of equality. She focuses on the United States as a case study, exploring its history with CEDAW and its reluctance to ratify it. More generally, she describes the objectives of CEDAW, and the significance of reservations to and withdrawals from the treaty. She observes that, although some states have sought to ban 'foreign law', other localities have implemented CEDAW directly into domestic law. The author argues that CEDAW allows for local variations in implementation tailored to country specific contexts. Finally, she explores the positive and negative effects of allowing reservations to CEDAW.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Riddle, Jennifer, Making CEDAW Universal: A Critique of CEDAW's Reservation Regime Under Article 28 and the Effectiveness of the Reporting Process, 34 GEORGE WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL LAW REVIEW 605-638 (2002).

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (the Women's Convention) has been ratified with reservations by more states than almost any other human rights treaty. This article discusses the reservations regime under international law and explains how such approaches have been used in contemporary multilateral treaties, such as the Women's Convention (Part II). Part II also addresses recent discussions that have take place at the international (the Human Rights Committee) and the regional (the European Court of Human Rights) levels over the effectiveness of the traditional reservations regimes. Part III analyzes traditional and current approaches to this regime, focusing in particular on the Women's Convention and the failure of this reservations system to protect the integrity of the Convention. The article concludes with some suggestions for how the reservations regime can be reviewed in order to ensure the Women's Convention is not undermined.

Riggin, Jessica, The Potential Impact of CEDAW Ratification on U.S. Employment Discrimination Law: Lessons From Canada, 42(2) COLUMBIA HUMAN RIGHTS LAW REVIEW, 541-611 (2011).

Although CEDAW has been under consideration in the U.S. for the past twenty-five years, the U.S. has not ratified the Convention. This article examines how a ratification of CEDAW could affect U.S. employment law. The author outlines the history of CEDAW in the U.S. Using Canada, where CEDAW has been ratified, as a case study, the article explores how the Convention might affect the U.S. employment discrimination law. In particular, it focuses on four areas: equal opportunity, pay equity, marital and pregnancy protections, and sexual harassment. The article discusses how the interaction between the CEDAW Committee and Canada has influenced Canadian legislation and initiatives. It also notes how CEDAW ratification can offer support and guidance to legislators, employers and advocates. In discussing how CEDAW ratification may affect U.S. employment discrimination law, the article addresses the criticisms CEDAW has received in the U.S. The author concludes that there is potential to further the commitment to gender equality and reform in the U.S. through CEDAW ratification.

Jessica Riggin, The Potential Impact of CEDAW Ratification on U.S. Employment Discrimination Law: Lessons From Canada (2011) 42:2 Colum HRL Rev 541.

View Article - [HTML Format]

Ritz, Kerri L, Soft Enforcement: Inadequacies of Optional Protocol as a Remedy for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 25 SUFFOLK TRANSNATIONAL LAW REVIEW 191-216 (2001).

This article argues that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (the Women's Convention) has proven ineffective in ending gender discrimination. Consequently, the United Nations recently adopted an Optional Protocol to remedy the Convention's ineffectiveness. Despite introducing an individul right of petition, the article argues that the Optional Protocol will not, however, rectify the problems of the Women's Convention because the terms of the Optional Protocol encompass the same provisions as CEDAW, thereby allowing countries to continue discriminating against women. While the Optional Protocol will eliminate some of the discrimination against women (as th Women's Convention has done to some extent) it will not achieve the United Nations' goal of ending all gender discrimination around the world.

Roth, Brad R, The CEDAW as a Collective Approach to Women's Rights: Dueling Fates: Should the International Legal Regime Accept a Collective or Individual Paradigm to Protect Women's Rights? Symposium Article, 24 MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 187-225 (2002).

This article was written as part of the Michigan Journal of International Law Symposium that posed the question whether "the international legal regime should accept a collective or individual paradigm to protect women." The article identifies the individualist paradigm with the main current of contemporary liberal-individualist political thought, and more specifically with the approach to women's rights reflected in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Part I contrasts the ICCPR and the Concevention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (the Women's Convention). Next, the author interrogates the concepts of individualism, collectivism, and the premise of human rights (Part II) and positive liberty and the objects of choice (Part III). Finally, the author puts forward some theories as to how we can achieve a collective commitment to a feminist conception of the good.

Roure, Jodie G., Domestic Violence in Brazil: Examining Obstacles and Approaches to Promote Legislative Reform, 41(1) COLUMBIA HUMAN RIGHTS LAW REVIEW, 67-98 (2009).

This article provides an overview on the legal and social changes relating to domestic violence in Brazil, occurring as a result of international human rights law and the women's movement in Brazil. The author uses a case study of Brazil to exemplify how international bodies and international law can be used to assist in improving women's rights. She provides a discussion of the Brazil's treatment of domestic violence, as well as the obstacles to women's rights, prior to its CEDAW ratification. The article also discusses how women's rights groups in Brazil used CEDAW, the UN and the Inter- American Commission of Human Rights to pressure for legal change and support. In particular, it looks in-depth at the establishment of women's police stations and Brazil's first criminal domestic violence legislation, the Maria da Penha Law.

Jodie G Roure, Domestic Violence in Brazil: Examining Obstacles and Approaches to Promote Legislative Reform (2009) 41:1 Colum HRL Rev 67.

View Article - [HTML Format]

Seneviratne, Wasantha, Critique on the International Legal Standards Pertaining to Displaced Women in the Context of Armed Conflict, 19 SRI LANKA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 511-536 (2007).

While displacement causes a plethora of problems for men and women, displaced women face additional, gender-specific problems. This article discusses the international legal standards that protect women in conflict-related displacement. The author examines the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, the London Declaration of International Law Principles on IDPs, CEDAWs Optional Protocol, international humanitarian law, and international refugee law. The author shows how displaced women can make use of these legal instruments to obtain redress for trauma and suffering. The author concludes that progress has been made in protecting displaced women, but that governments should take further steps and displaced women should be made aware of their legal rights and responsibilities.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Sokhi-Bulley, Bal, The Optional Protocol to CEDAW: First Steps, 6 HUMAN RIGHTS LAW REVIEW 143-159 (2006).

This author reasons that the Optional Protocol (OP) to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has significantly increased the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women's powers of monitoring and enforcing state obligations under CEDAW. This article summarizes the first actions taken by the Committee under the OP: two individual communications in 2004-2005 (B.J. v. Germany and A.T. v. Hungary) and one inquiry in 2004 (Report on Mexico). The author concludes that the OP is essential in strengthening protection mechanisms for women's human rights but is inadequate because it does not have compelling sanctions and penalties for non-compliance with obligations under CEDAW and decisions made by the Committee following a communication or inquiry. [CEDAW Convention - International]

Southard, Jo Lynn, Protection of Women's Human Rights Under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 8 (1) PACE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW INTERNATIONAL LAW REVIEW, 1-90 (1996).

This article is a feminist interpretation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (the Women's Convention). It sets out to examine the ability of universalism to protect and promote women's human rights and analyzes the ability of liberal equality to accomplish the realization of women's human rights. The author classifies the Women's Convention as being grounded in liberal political theory and on the side of universalism in the wider universalist/relativist debate. Part I sets out the main aspects of the universalism/relativism debate taking place under international human rights law, analyzes the differences between equality and equity as theories for realizing women's human rights, and discusses the various schools of feminist legal theory. Part II serves the dual function of outlining the position of women's human rights prior to the implementation of the Women's Convention and discussing its place in international law. In Part III the author turns to theory, providing a feminist analysis of the Women's Convention according to its key substantive provisions and highlighting the androcentric foundation of the Convention. Finally, Part IV calls for a greater inclusion of women in deciding their own fate and an equitable view of women's human rights and outlines a series of recommendations to make this happen.

Ssenyonjo, Manisuli, Culture and the Human Rights of Women in Africa: Between Light and Shadow, 51 JOURNAL OF AFRICAN LAW, 39-67 (2007).

This article examines the ways in which cultural practices have caused difficulties in protecting women's rights in Africa. The author looks at the ways traditional cultural practices prevent womens rights from being realized. The author begins with an overview of women's human rights in African law (CEDAW, the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and the Protocol to the Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa). The author then examines specific cultural practices that limit the full implementation of women's rights (polygamy and divorce). The author concludes with suggestions: that education is vital for establishing a culture where human rights are understood and promoted, and that the African Charter should be interpreted as a "living instrument".

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Tonnessen, Liv, Feminist Interlegalities and Gender Justice in Sudan: The Debate on CEDAW and Islam, 6 RELIGION AND HUMAN RIGHTS, 25-39 (2011).

This article analyzes the intersection and conflict between Western feminist ideas of the emancipated women as outlined in CEDAW and Islamist feminist discourse in the context of Sudan since 1989. The author discusses the way in which Islamist feminists in Sudan struggle for their rights in the public sphere while in the private sphere they accept existing Sharia structures of family law. She explores the difference between fighting for gender equality and for gender equity. The author discusses why some Islamic women reject CEDAW because they see it as founded upon western feminist notions, which are incompatible with Islam, and, therefore, undesirable in Sudan. Tonnessen further argues that Western and Islamic feminist discourses are intertwined and help to mutually define each other.

View Article - [OTHER Format]

Ulrich, Amanda, Can the World's Poorest Women Be Saved?: A Critical Third World Feminist Analysis of the CEDAW's Rural Women's Economic Rights and Alternative Approaches to Women's Economic Empowerment, 45 ALBERTA LAW REVIEW, 477-500 (2007).

This article argues that a re-examination of international conventional and treaty law concerning the protection and equality of women is necessary, given that globalization has tended to further economically marginalize women. The author poses two reasons why CEDAW has failed women economically and suggests that its economic articles pertaining to rural women could benefit from a Third-World Feminist Analysis (TWFA). The author critiques CEDAW using a TWFA from the point of view of women in the rural Indian village of Masure. The article concludes with three possible solutions for the improvement of women's economic situation where CEDAW has failed to protect women's economic rights in the new global economy.

View Article - [OTHER Format]
[HTML Format]

Welch, Claude E, Human Rights and African Women: A Comparison of Protection Under Two Major Treaties, 15 HUMAN RIGHTS QUARTERLY, 549-74 (1993).

One strategy for dealing with the problem of discrimination against women in Africa has been through state ratification and enforcement of treaties that establish internationally applicable standards of performance for the ratifying states and obligate those states to submit regular reports for public scrutiny and expert comment about steps they have taken or should take. This paper addresses the issue of the effectiveness of these agreements and reports in affecting the generally inferior status of women in Africa. In particular, have the establishment and functioning of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights and the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women significantly ameliorated the obstacles African women confront? The answer this paper suggests is "not yet", however, the weaknesses of these international regimes should not lead us to overlook their potential significance as one of the many means of diminishing the sexual inequalities that characterize Africa and, for that matter, the rest of the world.

Wotipka, Christine Min , Ramirez, Francisco O. , World Society and Human Rights: An Event History Analysis of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, (2003)

This article starts by explaining ratification rates by time span and region, as well as rates of reservation to particular provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Then the authors argue that nation-states are not autonomous entities but rather constructed from and influenced by world models of progress and justice set forth as universalistic scripts for authentic nation-statehood. The authors hypothesize that mechanisms through which nation-states are influenced by the broader world include world meetings and conferences, policy emulation, their embeddedness in the broader world, their level of modernization, and nation-state dependency on more powerful actors. All of these factors are argued to favour ratification of CEDAW. Using event history analysis the authors found that the first three of the hypothesized mechanisms had some support, while the last two did not. [CEDAW Convention -International]

View Article - [HTML Format]

Zwingel, Susanne, From Intergovernmental Negotiations to (Sub)national Change: A Transnational Perspective on the Impact of CEDAW, 7 INTERNATIONAL FEMINIST JOURNAL OF POLITICS 400-424 (2005).

As the first international instrument to correct the gender-blindness apparent in other human rights instruments, CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) has encouraged global discourse about gender inequality. The author contends that it has provided a connection between rhetoric on women's rights and the diverse realities of women's lives and spurred communication between government and NGO actors, particularly IWRAW (International Women's Rights Action Watch). It is argued that CEDAW began as a regime following intergovernmental logic but has been strengthened through its transformation into a transnational implementation network. [CEDAW Convention - International]

Credits and History Privacy  Bora Laskin Law Library  U of T Faculty of Law