Gender Equality

Women's Rights


CEDAW is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. It was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly and entered into force in 1981.

What does CEDAW do?
Reduce sex trafficking and domestic violence

Provide access to education and vocational training

Ensure the right to vote

End forced marriage and child marriage and ensure inheritance rights

Help mothers and families by providing access to maternal health care

Ensure the right to work and own a business without discrimination

Why has the USA NOT ratified CEDAW?
Almost all countries have ratified CEDAW - 189 out of 195 countries. Only six have not ratified including Sudan, Somalia, Iran, two small Pacific Island nations (Palau and Tonga) and THE UNITED STATES!

FAWCO supports CEDAW and continues to work towards it ratification.

Key Links

UN Women CEDAW Text

UN High Commissioner for recent developments, links to treaty, reports

Amnesty International Fact Sheet on CEDAW

Organization working for US Senate Ratification

The UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), part of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), promotes gender equality and the advancement of women. Its charge is to measure progress towards equality and highlight challenges, set standards and formulate concrete policies to promote equality and women’s empowerment, and encourage mainstreaming of the gender perspective in all UN activities worldwide.

FAWCO is a member of the NGO Committees on the Status of Women (NGO CSWs) in NY, Geneva and Vienna. FAWCO members and UN Representatives regularly attend the annual CSW in New York. You can read blogs by members of FAWCO's delegations to CSW. 

FAWCO signs on to Written and Oral Statements submitted to UN Women for consideration by CSW, joining our partner women's NGOs with consultative status to ECOSOC. You can read these statements on the Advocacy page. 


Key Links
NGO CSW New York
NGO CSW Geneva
NGO CSW Vienna


“The trade in and exploitation of human beings through trafficking is one of the gravest violations of human dignity that exist. The purposes of trafficking in persons range from forced and bonded labour to various forms of sexual exploitation, forced marriages, removal of organs and other contemporary practices similar to slavery."

Navi Pillay
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights


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