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Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women,1979

The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against women (CEDAW), adopted 1979 by the UN General Assembly is often described as an International Bill of Rights for Women. CEDAW consists of a preamble and 30 Article. It defines what constitutes discrimination against women and set up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination. The convention is extremely crucial as it is a culmination of more than thirty years of work by the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, a body established in 1996 to monitor the situation of women and to promote women’s right. In its preamble, the convention explicitly acknowledges that “extensive discrimination against women continues to exist”, and emphasize that such discrimination “violates the principles of equality of rights and respect for human dignity”. Important Provisions of The Convention are: 1. Article 1: For the purpose of the present convention, the term “discrimination against women” shall mean any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field. Article 3: State parties shall take in all fields, in particular in the political, social, economic and cultural fields, all appropriate measures, including legislation, to ensure full development and advancement of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedom on a basis of equality with men.

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