CEDAW: Committee on the Elimination of discrimination against Women Convention

BettyJean Kling

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

CEDAW Committee consists of 23 experts on women’s rights from around the world.

Countries who have become party to the treaty (States parties) are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights of the Convention are implemented. During its sessions the Committee considers each State party report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of concluding observations.

In accordance with the Optional Protocol to the Convention, the Committee is mandated to : (1) receive communications from individuals or groups of individuals submitting claims of violations of rights protected under the Convention to the Committee and (2) initiate inquiries into situations of grave or systematic violations of women’s rights. These procedures are optional and are only available where the State concerned has accepted them.

The Committee also formulates general recommendations
and suggestions. General recommendations are directed to States and concern articles or themes in the Conventions.


For 30 years women around the world have waited for America to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). This women’s rights treaty has been used around the globe to help women claim property rights, address systemic sexual violence and increase our representation in both private and public leadership. The United States is the only industrialized country in the world not to have yet ratified CEDAW.

Recently activists delivered 5,000 signatures to President Obama demanding he prioritize ratification of a clean CEDAW and to do so without disabling Restrictions, Understandings and Declarations (RUDs). This Mother’s Day we are depending on you and are calling upon you to hold the Senate, including majority leadership and the Foreign Relations Committee, accountable to RATIFY WOMEN!

Tell your Senators to RATIFY WOMEN! without restrictions and no more delay.

We know that women and girls around the world face violence and discrimination daily. We also know that CEDAW, the Women’s Treaty, helps women and girls attend school, own and inherit property, take part in public life, and fight violence and oppression. We need Senate action on the CEDAW Treaty to give the U.S. greater clout to help women worldwide claim these basic rights.

This Mother’s Day, take a step to ensure that we RATIFY WOMEN! Please ask your Senators to celebrate Mother’s Day by showing their support for the CEDAW Treaty.

While we celebrate our own mothers and grandmothers today, let’s stand together for women and girls around the world. Ask your Senators to support CEDAW today.


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