Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

The CEDAW was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 18 December 1979. The main objective of the convention is the elimination of discrimination against women in all areas of life – in the labour market and social affairs, family life, education and training, political and public life, health – and protection of women against violence. The state parties are obliged to submit a report on the convention’s implementation to the Committee on the elimination of discrimination against women (CEDAW Committee) at least every four years.

In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Optional Protocol to the CEDAW-Convention. Inter alia, the Optional Protocol entitles every woman who deems herself violated in the rights granted by the convention to submit a communication, i. e. an individual complaint with the CEDAW committee after exhaustion of all domestic remedies. Furthermore, the protocol contains an enlargement of the international protection of women’s rights that foresees an investigation procedure for grave or systematic human rights violations. To make use of this petition procedure, the guidelines of the model form for the submission of communications under the Optional Protocol should be followed.

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Austria and the CEDAW

By ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 1982, Austria has committed itself to submit written reports every four years on the progress made with regard to the implementation of the Convention. Austria ratified the Optional Protocol in 2000.

Austria presented its ninth state party's report to the United Nations in March 2017. It highlights the most important measures taken, projects launched and laws passed with a view to eliminating discrimination against women in social, cultural and economic life from May 2011 to February 2017.

The ninth Austrian CEDAW report was considered by the CEDAW Committee at its meeting on 10 July 2019. The CEDAW Committee issued concluding observations, a follow-up regarding the progress on recommendations 25 (b), 27 (b), 31 (d) and 43 (c) was presented in 2021. The next CEDAW report for Austria is due in July 2023.

In 2015, the first legal commentary to CEDAW in German language was published in cooperation by Austrian and Swiss authors.

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