Facilitating CEDAW Implementation in Southeast Asia


The UNIFEM CEDAW Southeast Asia programme (CEDAW SEAP), through the support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), has been working since 2004 to facilitate better implementation of CEDAW to advance women’s rights in Southeast Asia. The programme has focused its work in seven countries – Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Timor-Leste – and has sought to play a catalytic role in spurring more effective action around CEDAW.  more>>

  CEDAW in Action

"CEDAW in Action - Southeast Asia, an initiative of the UNIFEM CEDAW SEAP, is a website dedicated to sharing knowledge and increasing understanding about CEDAW and highlighting practices and actions to effectively ensure its implementation in the countries of Southeast Asia."

  Latest news and events
  • Charting Women's History in Timor-Leste. more>>

  • ASEAN Workshop on Domestic Violence Legislation, Ha Noi, 20-21 October 2008. more>>

  • ASEAN Regional Workshop on Gender Equality Legislation, Bangkok, Thailand; 13-15 February 2008. more >>

  • ASEAN High-Level meeting on Good Practices on Reporting and Follow-up, 14-15 January 2008, Vientiane. more >>
  Why is CEDAW important

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is often referred to as the ‘women’s bill of rights’. It is one of the core international human rights treaties, which requires Member States to undertake legal obligations to respect, protect and fulfill human rights. Adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 19, 1979, coming into force as a treaty on December 3, 1981, today, it is one of the most broadly endorsed human rights treaties – it has been ratified or acceded to by 185 countries to date, or about 90% of the UN membership.

Provisions protecting women’s human rights exist in all of the core international human rights treaties. What is significant about CEDAW is that it is exclusively devoted to gender equality, one of the key elements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is in CEDAW that the specifics of women’s human right to equality and non-discrimination are spelled out in detail, and the broad range of actions that must be taken to achieve this equality are mapped out. It is also in CEDAW that the nature and meaning of sex-based discrimination and gender equality is most clearly articulated.

CEDAW therefore provides a powerful framework for countries to move towards achieving gender equality, and realizing women’s human rights.

- CEDAW Resources