Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was adopted by the United Nations in 1979. It requires state parties to commit to taking all appropriate measures to ensure the full development and advancement of women. The rights listed in CEDAW cover many aspects of women’s lives, and relate to political participation, health, education, employment, housing, marriage, family relations and equality before the law.
Appropriate measures may include amending existing laws, regulations, policies and practices which discriminate against women, and adopting gender-sensitive laws and policies. Under CEDAW, governments are also responsible for ensuring that individual citizens and private organisations do not discriminate against women. Since signing (becoming a party to) CEDAW in 1980, Australia has developed many mechanisms for implementing the rights enshrined within the Convention. The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) (SDA) is one of the most important mechanisms.