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The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (the CEDAW Convention) is a human rights treaty for women. The substance of the Convention is based on three interrelated core principles: equality, non-discrimination and State obligation.
The UN General Assembly adopted the CEDAW Convention on 19th December 1979. It came into force as a treaty on 3rd September 1981; thirty days after the twentieth member nation became a States party to it. The CEDAW Convention is monitored by the CEDAW Committee which operates out of the UN in New York.
CEDAW is one of the most highly ratified international human rights conventions, having the support of 186 States parties. When governments become States parties to a convention, they can enter reservations by identifying particular elements of a treaty they will not be bound to. State parties may also make declarations, which have the same effect.
The Convention is being continually updated to include new insights and new issues that are brought to the CEDAW Committee's attention, through the formulation of General Recommendations by the committee.