Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
For the purposes of the present Convention, the term "discrimination against women" shall mean any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.
Article 5: States Parties shall take all appropriate measures:
Article 16 : Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations and in particular shall ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women:
Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women
Recognizing that violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinateposition compared with men.
Article 1: For the purposes of this Declaration, the term "violence against women" means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.
Article 2: Violence includes:
Dowry: Money and/or proerty brought by a bride to her husband at the time of marriage.
Brideprice: payment made by a man to the family from whom he takes a daughter in marriage.
Gender vs. Sex: Gender is the long-used tem in U.N. documents and other international organizations. It has been opposed by some countries and conservative political factions which feel that the term encompasses sexual orientations besideds heterosexuality.
Equity vs. Equality: Equity is used by some countries as bringing fairness or justice, to allow a more conservative interpretation of inheritance, imployment and divorce laws. Equality proponents say that the use of equity suggests that the rights of women are different from or less important than those of men.
Patriarchy: In a patriarchal pattern, the male head of the family has conrol over the destiny, life and death of other members. Historically most world civilizations, but not all, have been based on patriarchal social systems in which within the family, women and children have been considered property. Institutionalzied male supremacy might have risen in Mesopotamia in the 4th millennium, BCE.
Lyn Reese is the author of all the information on this website
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Women in World History Curriculum