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The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is a human rights framework of the UN which is exclusively devoted to gender equality. It's often referred to as the ‘women’s bill of rights’, and it spells out women’s right to equality and non-discrimination. The UK is signed up to CEDAW, and so the Government should comply with what it says about women's equality. You can find out more about CEDAW below.

In 2018 Engender has worked to produce a shadow report on CEDAW, to highlight key issues for women's rights in Scotland. We have also coordinated a four-nations response with colleagues from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Read our Scotland CEDAW report here.

Read the four nations CEDAW report here.

What is CEDAW?

You can also read our Frequently Asked Questions to find out more about CEDAW and how Engender is involved and see a simplified version of what CEDAW says about women's rights here.

Why is CEDAW so important for women?

CEDAW is a really important tool for women's equality in a number of ways:

  • It provides a complete definition of sex-based discrimination as something which impairs women’s social, cultural, political and economic rights.
  • CEDAW recognises that traditional gender roles and stereotypes have to be eliminated if we are to be successful in ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls.
  • CEDAW says that real equality means looking at women’s lives and the condition of their lives as a measure of whether equality has been achieved.
  • CEDAW holds governments to account to respect, protect and fulfil women’s human rights. It does this by investigating and making recommendations to governments to address gender inequality. You can find out what the CEDAW Committee said about the UK in 2013 here.

Views on CEDAW

CEDAW superheroThroughout spring 2018, Engender worked in a number of ways to gather people's views about women's rights and CEDAW. These included an online survey, webinars, events, and a resource pack to help people hold their own discussions.

We also asked organisations working in Scotland to tell us what they think about women's rights by answering our Call for Evidence. You can see some of their responses here.

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Related publications

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Scottish NGO Commission on the Status of Women 57 StatementScottish NGO Commission on the Status of Women 57 Statement This is a joint submission to the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 57th meeting in 2012.

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