CEDAW WORKS: Invest in Women, It Pays.

CEDAW provides a practical blueprint for each country to achieve equality for women and girls. Providing opportunities for women and girls to learn, earn and participate in public decision-making helps reduce violence, alleviate poverty, build democracies and strengthen economies. In countries that have ratified CEDAW, women have partnered with their governments to shape policies that create greater safety and opportunities for women and their families. For example:

  • Educational opportunities – e.g., Bangladesh used CEDAW to help attain gender parity in primary school enrollment and has as a goal for 2015, to eliminate all gender disparities in secondary education.
  • Violence against women and girls – e.g., Mexico responded to a destabilizing epidemic of violence against women by using CEDAW terms in a General Law on Women’s Access to a Life Free from Violence. By 2009, all 32 Mexican states had adopted the measure.
  • Marriage and family relations – e.g., Kenya has used CEDAW to address differences in inheritance rights, eliminating discrimination against widows and daughters of the deceased.
  • Political participation – e.g., Kuwait’s Parliament voted to extend voting rights to women in 2005 following a recommendation by the CEDAW Committee to eliminate discriminatory provisions in its electoral law.