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date: 19 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents the rationale for CEDAW, discussing its key features and strengths and examining barriers to its realization. Examples of the CEDAW review concluding observations are cited, showing the effects of gender stereotyping and negative cultural norms and exposing the noncompliance of a range of states parties. The chapter demonstrates that gender stereotyping and negative cultural norms impeding women’s equality are universal and are prevalent in the most developed countries, viewed as being at the forefront of gender equality. Their impact on women in underemployment, wage differentials, career limitations, sexual exploitation, and gender-based violence is explored, as well as the CEDAW Committee’s work reminding states parties of their obligations to fulfill women’s right to equality. Finally, the chapter briefly highlights women’s organizations that are resisting and negotiating social and cultural norms, including IWRAW Asia Pacific, a transnational feminist human rights network that organizes women’s groups to enhance their capacity to harness CEDAW.

Keywords: CEDAW, human rights, IWRAW Asia Pacific

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