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The Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the UN Bill of Rights for women.

CEDAW is an international treaty that the UK has ratified, and the CEDAW Committee holds the UK and Scottish governments accountable for making sure that women in those countries enjoy the rights that it promises.

We have made a very short film to explain what CEDAW is and how it works.

The CEDAW process

The CEDAW Committee asks the UK Government (including officials from the Scottish Government) to appear before it once every five years. The Government is asked to explain how women’s rights have progressed since the last examination, and what actions it has taken to enhance women’s equality.

The Committee also hears from non-governmental organisations, including Engender, on whether women’s organisations agree with the Government’s assessment of gender equality.

The Committee then issues a set of findings, called ‘concluding observations’, which require the Government to take concrete steps to enable women’s rights.

What Engender does

Over a five year cycle, Engender:

Keep up to date

You can read about our CEDAW activity using the CEDAW tag on our blog. Our upcoming events guide will include details of any events that relate specifically to CEDAW. All of Engender’s briefings, reports, statements, and papers relating to CEDAW can be found in our international publications section.


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Related publications

Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women concluding observations 2013 The concluding observations (recommendations) of the CEDAW Committee, following its examination of the UK in 2013.

Engender CEDAW pre-hearing statementEngender CEDAW pre-hearing statement Engender's statement to the pre-session working group, which took place in November 2012.

Engender questions for CEDAW examination of the UKEngender questions for CEDAW examination of the UK NGOs can submit questions to the CEDAW Committee in advance of the examination of their governments.

Engender shadow CEDAW report Engender's shadow report to the 7th periodic report of the UK Government to the UN's CEDAW Committee.

Gender equality and Scotland's futuresGender equality and Scotland's futures This policy report is Engender's contribution to the Scottish independence debate.

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