The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 1249 U.N.T.S. 13 (1981)

International Commitments and United Nations Documents

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), addresses women’s rights within the political, social, economic, cultural, and family life. It calls for state parties to overcome barriers of discrimination against women in areas of legal rights, education, employment, health care, politics, and finance, and sets benchmarks for accomplishing these goals. Particularly relevant to HIV/AIDS issues are: the definition of discrimination against women (Article 1); a mandate that states condemn discrimination in all its forms and ensure a legal framework that provides protection and embodies the principle of equality (Article 2); a mandate for the end of discrimination in employment, including the right to work, employment opportunities, equal remuneration, free choice of profession and employment, social security, and protection of health, including maternal health (Article 11); a requirement of steps to eliminate discrimination in health care, including family planning access (Article 12); a focus on the unique problems that rural woman face in access to health care and adequate living conditions (Article 14); and a requirement of steps to ensure equality in marriage and family relations, including the right to freely determine the number and spacing of children (Article 16).