Journal Article

Internationalizing Women’s Struggle against Discrimination: The UN Women’s Convention and the Optional Protocol

Kwong-leung Tang

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 34, issue 8, pages 1173-1188
Published in print December 2004 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online December 2004 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bch135
Internationalizing Women’s Struggle against Discrimination: The UN Women’s Convention and the Optional Protocol

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In the face of rampant violations of women’s human rights, women’s activism for change has extended beyond the national boundary. This paper discusses the importance of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Women’s Convention) in the promotion of women’s rights. Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979, this Convention has been ratified by over 170 nations. As an anti-discrimination treaty, it has both strengths and weaknesses. Recently, it has been strengthened through the introduction of an individual complaint mechanism (the Optional Protocol). It also provides for the conduct of special inquiry into violations of women’s rights. To draw benefits from the Convention, women across the world must understand and act upon its key provisions. Social workers should support and facilitate its implementation by educating women about its main provisions, assisting them in the complaint procedure and overseeing states’ full compliance with the Convention.

Keywords: Discrimination against women; international law; United Nations on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; empowering women; Optional Protocol

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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