Recognizing rights promoting progress

Publication Subtitle

The global impact of CEDAW

Publication year


Publication Author

Ann Warner

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) provides an important tool for countries to use in realizing the potential of women and girls. In the three decades since this convention was adopted by the United Nations and ratified by 186 of 193 nations, countries have incorporated CEDAW principles in their national constitutions, legislation and administrative policies. Countless civil society organizations and individual women have relied on the principles of the convention to improve the lives of women and girls.

This report describes some examples of the impact CEDAW has had around the world and focuses on select cases and countries where CEDAW ratification and implementation have led to concrete changes in the opportunities afforded to women and girls.

The paper focuses on the following areas:

  • Ending violence and trafficking in women and girls
  • Improving conditions for women’s economic opportunity
  • Increasing women’s political participation
  • Advancing human rights of women by promoting equality