FIGO Reaffirms Commitment To CEDAW

The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) - in its capacity as an organisation working for the betterment of women’s physical, mental, reproductive and sexual health and wellbeing - reaffirms its commitment to the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), a special international human rights treaty for women, which marks its 30th anniversary on 18 December 2009.

A special anniversary website has been launched to provide more information:  

Principles of CEDAW

Exclusively concerned with gender equality, the Convention was adopted on 18 December 1979 by the UN General Assembly, *defining discrimination against women and setting up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination: ‘ … 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.’

Participating states commit themselves to several *precepts which include:

           to incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in their legal system, abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women

           to establish tribunals and other public institutions to ensure the effective protection of women against discrimination

           to ensure elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by persons, organisations or enterprises 


FIGO’s General Assembly urges its member associations to encourage their governments to ratify and implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, to report to its Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and to comply with its recommendations.  FIGO recognises the critical importance of attaining MDG3: Promote gender equality and empower women. It therefore fully supports the Convention in its work towards achieving this. FIGO is steadily striving to end discrimination of women through its activities focusing on women's health and rights, including the reduction of disparities in healthcare available to women and newborns. It pursues its mission through advocacy, programmatic activities, capacity strengthening of member associations, education and training.