A new report marking the 25th anniversary of the "Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women" warns that the biggest future challenges for discrimination against women will be in countries that have failed to sign up to a key part of the Convention that actually allows women to complain about their countrys stance on discrimination against women.
Ann Stewart, Reader in Law at the University of Warwick, and Shradda Chigateri compiled the report for British Council. Entitled "Aspirations to Action: 25 Years of the Womens Convention (CEDAW)" it does have some good news to report - particularly in the area of political representation where women are facing much less discrimination 30.7 % of Deputies in Argentinas parliament are women, there is a quota system for women in the Pakistan local and central government, and in Rwanda women won 27% of the seats in the sector and district 2001 elections.
Of the UNs 191 members 179 have signed up to the convention but more worryingly many of that 179 have not signed a key optional protocol. This optional protocol allows individuals and groups of women, who have exhausted the complaints procedures within their own countries, to submit the details of any discrimination they face to the CEDAW committee which will then require a formal response from the state as to how they can reconcile the complaint with their signature of the CEDAW Convention.
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