Brief Introduction To Women’s Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights defines human rights as universal, inalienable, and indivisible. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, is often described as an international bill of rights for women. For the purpose of considering the progress made in the implementation of the present Convention, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women was established.

Brief Introduction To Women's Rights

Article 2 of the CEDAW requires States Parties to “condemn  discrimination against women in all its forms, agree to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination against women. The Convention goes on to demand the elimination of discrimination against women in the following areas:

Public Life
Article 7
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the political and public life of the country.

Article 8:
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure to women, on equal terms with men and without any discrimination, the opportunity to represent their Governments at the international level and to participate in the work of international organizations.

Nationality
Article 9

  1. States Parties shall grant women equal rights with men to acquire, change or retain their nationality. They shall ensure in particular that neither marriage to an alien nor change of nationality by the husband during marriage shall automatically change the nationality of the wife, render her stateless or force upon her the nationality of the husband.
  2. States Parties shall grant women equal rights with men with respect to the nationality of their children.

Education
Article 10
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in order to ensure to them equal rights with men in the field of education and in particular to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women.

Employment
Article 11
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of employment in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the same rights.

Healthcare
Article 12
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of health care in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, access to health care services, including those related to family planning.

Economic and Social Life
Article 13
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in other areas of economic and social life in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the same rights.

Marriage
Article 16
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations.

The CEDAW also makes particular reference to the elimination of Discrimination against Rural Women:
Article 14
States Parties shall take into account the particular problems faced by rural women and the significant roles which rural women play in the economic survival of their families, including their work in the non-monetized sectors of the economy, and shall take all appropriate measures to ensure the application of the provisions of the present Convention to women in rural areas.

The CEDAW also stipulates the following:
Elimination of stereotypes against women
Article 5
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures:
To modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudices and customs and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women.

Full development of women
Article 3
States Parties shall take in all fields and in particular in the political, social, economic and cultural fields, all appropriate measures, including legislation, to ensure the full development and advancement of women.

Elimination of Trafficking and Exploitation of women
Article 6
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women.

Equality before the Law
Article 15
States Parties shall accord to women equality with men before the law.