Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

CEDAW is an international human rights treaty adopted in 1979. The UK agreed to follow it in 1986.

By following CEDAW, the UK agrees to take measures to ensure women’s full enjoyment of human rights on an equal basis with men, including:

  • eradicating stereotyped roles for women and men

  • ensuring women’s equal participation in public life

  • equality before the law

  • eliminating discrimination in employment

Human rights tracker

Search our human rights tracker to find all UN recommendations for CEDAW and other treaties. The CEDAW page has specific information on how it is monitored and if the UK is meeting international standards.

How the UK is doing

The UN last examined how well the UK is implementing CEDAW in February 2019 and published its recommendations in March 2019. These included:

  • incorporating CEDAW into domestic law and creating a national mechanism to oversee its implementation

  • ensuring women's rights are protected during the process of withdrawing from the European Union

  • ratifying the Istanbul Convention, and taking all necessary steps to protect women and girls from gender-based violence

  • assessing the impact of public spending, tax and welfare reforms on women’s rights, and taking action to reduce and resolve any negative effects

  • taking steps to end negative gender stereotypes and promote positive and diverse representations of gender in schools, public campaigns and the media

  • requiring all employers to protect women from sexual harassment in the workplace

Our work on CEDAW

The most recent work we have produced as part of our CEDAW monitoring includes:

Last updated: 22 Oct 2021