CEDAW: An International ‘Bill of Women’s Rights’

The United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is an international treaty that is often described as an international bill of rights for women.

Watch our short film about CEDAW and women in Wales.

189 states have approved the convention including the UK Government, Wales, Scotland and Ireland and must demonstrate to the UN how they comply with each part of the convention. This video explains more about CEDAW and our WEN Wales Guide takes you through each article.

Our CEDAW work aims to ensure that people know their rights under the Convention and show how they can use the treaty.  In 2018 WEN Wales and our members published and submitted a report to the UN on CEDAW to highlight key issues that women in Wales face. We also contributed to a four nations report which brought together the voices of women from across the UK.

These ‘shadow’ reports are used by the UN Committee on CEDAW to hold the UK to account and include recommendations such as:

UK Government should appoint a gender balanced cabinet and Welsh Government ensure its cabinet continues to be gender balanced in the future, while committing to long-term funding to increase the representation and active participation of BME, LGBT, disabled and working-class women into political and public life in Wales and the UK.

Welsh Government must offer targeted support to ensure rural women and girls have an equal voice in decision-making and equal access to public services through improvements to infrastructure, transport and internet connectivity to rural parts of Wales.

The Equality & Human Rights Commission has a brand new tool for tracking international treaties such as CEDAW. This includes all UN recommendations for CEDAW and info around devolved and non-devolved issues. Visit the tracker.