Women's rights

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women. CEDAW examines periodic reports by the states' parties and elaborates international human rights law by issuing general comments and recommendations on its implementation. CEDAW submits reports on its activities to ECOSOC, the General Assembly and the Commission on the Status of Women.

Commission on the Status of Women

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a functional commission of ECOSOC. It examines progress towards women's equality worldwide, and makes recommendations for promoting women's rights and drafts treaties.

UN conferences om women

The Commission has prepared the global conferences on women:

  • Mexico City in 1975
  • Copenhagen in 1980
  • Nairobi in 1985
  • Beijing in 1995

After the Beijing conference, the Commission's mandate was expanded to integrate into its programme the follow-up and reviewing of the outcome document the United Nations Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Special rapporteur on violence against women

In 1994, in resolution E/CN.4/RES/1994/45, the Commission on Human Rights established a Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, including its causes and consequences. This mechanism is now assumed by the Human Rights Council.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) works to promote and integrate women's rights in all fields of human rights and coordinates the UN programs, agencies and offices involved.

UN Women

In July 2010 the General Assembly unanimously adopted resolution A/RES/64/289, to set up the new UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, UN Women. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system, which focused exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment:

  1. UNIFEM - UN Development Fund for Women
  2. DAW - The Division for the Advancement of Women
  3. OSAGI - The Office fo the Special Advisor on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women
  4. INSTRAW - The International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women

UN Women focuses on strengthen the role of the UN in advancing the situation for women and to give a powerful voice for women within the UN system and at the global, regional and local level.

Other UN bodies, programmes and funds in the field of women's rights

UN body

Full name

Information in DagDok

FAO

Food and Agriculture Organization

FAO

IFAD

International Fund for Acricultural Development

IFAD

ILO

International Labour Organization

ILO

UNDP

United Nations Development Programme

UNDP

UNESCO

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNESCO

UNFPA

United Nations Population Fund

UNFPA

UNHCR

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

UNHCR

UNICEF

United Nations Children's Fund

UNICEF

WFP

World Food Programme

WFP

WHO

World Health Organization

WHO

World Bank Group

World Bank Group

World Bank Group

More on UN and Women's rights

Since 1950, around 50 conventions relating to women's status have been drawn up, several by the Commission on the status of women:

  • ​United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in Swedish and in English.
  • International Instruments and Treaty Bodies. Information on legal instruments and other relevant international standards of particular importance to women's human rights and gender equality, including CEDAW and other treaty bodies.

The official documents from the UN Conferences on Women:

  1. A/CONF.66, World Conference on the International Women's Year (1975 : Mexico City)
  2. A/CONF.94, World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women (1980 : Copenhagen) and Corrigendum.
  3. A/CONF.116, World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace (1985 : Nairobi) and the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women.
  4. A/CONF.177, United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women : Action for Equality, Development and Peace (1995 : Beijing).

The General Assembly organized a special session to appraise and review the results of the Fourth World Conference on Women in June 2000:

It was followed by further meetings after 10 and 15 years:

The Swedish Foreign Ministry has after each conference published summaries of information about the positions of Sweden, as well as translations of the final documents in the series Aktstycken, published by the Swedish Foreign Ministry.

Literature

See also DagDok: Commission on the Status of Women

Human Rights, conventions and declaration

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library offers UN documents and open access publications, UN voting data and speeches, UN maps, Content in 6+ languages. Replaces the traditional online catalogue UNBISnet.
  • UN iLibrary UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS full-text UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
  • Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
  • Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
    • a list of all documents
    • a comprehensive subject index
    • an index to speeches
    • a voting chart of resolutions
  • United Nations Documents Index (United Nations Digital Library) References to all documents by subject area are published. A collection of indexes is held by the Dag Hammarskjöld and Law Library, Uppsala, and the Libraries at UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva.