Convention of the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

On 18 December 1979, the UN General Assembly adopted The Convention of the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This convention stipulates that states that have ratified the treaty must make their own regulations non-discriminatory and ensure that other parties (business, political parties, etc.) do not discriminate against women. The first articles of the Treaty specify the principle of non-discrimination. Furthermore, it contains a series of clauses specifying equal rights for women in many areas, including political and public administration, work and income, education, health, nationality, marriage and family life.

So far, 189 countries have ratified the treaty. The Netherlands did so in 1991.

The CEDAW-committee monitors compliance with the Convention. Every four years, states that have ratified the convention have to answer to the committee about what they have done to combat discrimination against women and to improve their position.

The Netwerk VN-Vrouwenverdrag (UN Women’s Convention Network) is a Dutch platform in which women’s and human rights organizations work together, with the aim of monitoring the implementation of the UN Women’s Convention in the Netherlands. The Network’s main profile is on the UN Women’s Convention itself and its important role is to coordinate the creation of the shadow report for the CEDAW Committee.

This report contains information on compliance with the convention from the point of view of civil society and is therefore a critical note on government reports. The Network is also involved in lobbying for information on the handling of Dutch government reports by CEDAW, and is committed to good national reporting on CEDAW. If possible and relevant, the Network provides input for the shadow reports for other UN treaties.

The NetworkVN-Vrouwenverdrag has the following objectives:
1. Promoting the dissemination of information and expertise on the UN-Women’s convention

2. Lobbying for the proper implementation of the CEDAW
3. Joint creation of shadow reports

English text of UN-Women’s treaty

Dutch text of UN-women’s treaty

Confirmation of CEDAW (Goedkeuringswet VN-Vrouwenverdrag)

Optional protocol to the Convention

CEDAW Committee

In the General Recommendations the CEDAW committee  (Algemene Aanbevelingen, click here) provides further clarification of the various articles of the Convention, in order to give treaty states points of departure for the proper implementation of the UN-Women’s treaty.