No Country Has Achieved Full Equality for Women Reports CEDAW Committee

Marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the UN Committee for CEDAW announced that no country in the world has achieved full equality between men and women in law and in practice. The Deputy Secretary-General Louis Frechette asserted that women are still “significantly under-represented in public life,” and still suffer from violence and sexual harassment in their daily lives, reports UN News Service.

During the roundtable held to celebrate the anniversary of CEDAW, Frechette stated that “the Convention remains the most solid global tool in the work for true gender equality in the home, the community, and society; and for freedom from discrimination, whether perpetrated by the State or by any person, organization or enterprise,” according to the UN News Service. The committee also lauded recent progress made by a handful of countries for implementing regulations for the promotion and development of women, including Bangladesh, Latvia, and Angola.

CEDAW is the most comprehensive and detailed international agreement which seeks the advancement of women. It establishes rights for women in areas not previously subject to international standards. Moreover, the Convention establishes a committee to review periodically the progress being made by its adherents. Currently, 178 countries have ratified the convention. The United States is in the company of only a handful of nations that have not ratified CEDAW, including Iran, Sudan, and Somalia.

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UN News Service 10/13/04; Feminist Daily News Wire 2/25/04

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