Treaty Summary

The CEDAW Treaty contains 30 articles that provide a practical blueprint to promote basic human rights, achieve progress and overcome barriers of discrimination against women and girls, while recognizing that it is up to each county to determine how best to bring their policies and laws in line with ending discrimination against women.  A summary of the key articles follow:

Article 1: Definition of Discrimination. Defines discrimination against women to cover all facets of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Article 2: Country duties. Countries must eliminate discriminatory laws, policies, and practices in the national legal framework.

Article 3: Equality. Women are fundamentally equal with men in all spheres of life. Countries must take measures to uphold women's equality in the political, social, economic, and cultural fields.

Article 4: Temporary special measures. Countries may implement temporary special measures to accelerate women's equality.

Article 5: Prejudice. Countries agree to modify or eliminate practices based on assumptions about the inferiority or superiority of either sex.

Article 6: Trafficking. Countries agree to take steps to suppress the exploitation of prostitution and trafficking in women.

Article 7: Political and public life. Women have an equal right to vote, hold public office, and participate in civil society.

Article 8: International work. Women have the right to work at the international level without discrimination.

Article 9: Nationality. Women have equal rights with men to acquire, change, or retain their nationality and that of their children.

Article 10: Education. Women have equal rights with men in education, including equal access to schools, vocational training, and scholarship opportunities.

Article 11: Employment. Women have equal rights in employment, including without discrimination on the basis of marital status or maternity.

Article 12: Health. Women have equal rights to affordable health care services.

Article 13: Economic and social life. Women have equal rights to family benefits, financial credit, and participation in recreational activities.

Article 14: Rural women. Rural women have the right to adequate living conditions, participation in development planning, and access to health care and education.

Article 15: Equality before the law. Women and men are equal before the law. Women have the legal right to enter contracts, own property, and choose their place of residence.

Article 16: Marriage and family. Women have equal rights with men in matters related to marriage and family relations.

Articles 17-24: The Committee on CEDAW and reporting procedures.

Articles 25-30: Administration of the Convention.