By: Lana Ulrich
Today, December 18th, CEDAW turns 35. Since its adoption by the UN General Assembly in 1979 it has been ratified by188 countries.
Read here a recent General Statement posted by FIDH – the International Federation for Human Rights — on where to go from here and things we’ve still got to work on, such as:
  • Ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court that defines various forms of violence against women as war crimes and crimes against humanity; ratify the Optional Protocol to the African Charter for Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) and the Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, and remove reservations entered by several States to the CEDAW and, for States that have not yet done so, ratify the Optional Protocol to CEDAW;
  •  Accelerate the adoption of global laws that guarantee protection, dissuasion and rehabilitation, in accordance with our governments’ international commitments and ensuring that these laws are drafted in a way that respects the international standards provided for in the UN Handbook for Legislation on Violence Against Women;
  • Adopt public policies that include strategies and action plans (with allocated budgets) in all sectors and fields that involve the fight to end violence towards women;
  • Ensure that women’s and human rights’ associations that have broad experience and substantial knowledge and that adopt a global approach and good practices are involved in the fight against violence towards women;
  • Recognise the value of the methods and actions used by women’s and human rights associations and adopt them in the fight to end violence towards women;
  • Revise school curricula to eliminate stereotypes, and propagate a culture that recognises women’s right;
  • Publish studies, research and objective periodic reports on the fight to end violence towards women in each country.
In this particularly critical period for women’s rights, FIDH reaffirms its unwavering commitment to combating sexism and misogyny. In many States there are real dangers of regression for women’s rights. Many struggles remain to be won and the promotion and dissemination of CEDAW has never been more crucial, declared Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.
In celebration, FIDH has launched a series of original and creative tools designed by students at the Paris School of Decorative Art.
Click here to access a nicely illustrated version of the Convention.
Download CEDAW postcards here to give to family and friends: