Rights in Employment



Aldridge v. Booth, Federal Court of Australia, No. QLD G22 of 1987, 30 May 1988.
Citing Article 11 of CEDAW which obliges States to eliminate discrimination in employment and other CEDAW articles, the Court held that sexual harassment is a form of discrimination against women in the field of employment.

Details of Aldridge v. Booth, Federal Court of Australia:Read (pdf)

Hasibuan v. Pt. Indonesia Toray Synthetics, Functionaries of Indonesian Labour Union, Functionaries Board of Indonesian Labour Union Branch, Central Management Board of Indonesian Labour Union, Jakarta High Court, No.651/PDT/1988/PT.DKI, 2 July 1988. (In A Digest of Case Law on the Human Rights of Women [Asia Pacific]. Eds. Forster, Christine, Imrana Jalal, Vedna Jivan and Madhu Mehra. Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development. 2003. pp.14-16)
A lower mandatory retirement age for women constitutes discrimination. In making this decision, the court adopted the definition of discrimination used by CEDAW.


Rina Bajracharya and others v. HMG Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, Supreme Court of Nepal, Special Bench, Writ No.2812 of year 2054BS.
A rule under which female flight attendants have a mandatory retirement at age 30 while all other crew (including stewards) must retire at 55 is discriminatory and violates CEDAW and the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Constitutional articles that allow for special protection for women should not be understood to permit unequal treatment of women.


Van Gorkom v. Attorney-General, Supreme Court, Wellington, 1 NZLR 535; 1977 NZLR LEXIS 609, 10 Feb 1977.
Decisions on payment for removal expenses could not validly discriminate between married male teachers and married female teachers. In this very early case, the Court looked to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration on Elimination of Discrimination against Women and agreed that, “They may be regarded… as representing a legislative policy which might influence the courts in the interpretation of statute law.”

Details of Van Gorkom v. Attorney-General: Read (pdf)


Vasantha R. v. Union of India, High Court of Madras, W.P. No.4604 to 4606/1999. (In Labour Law Journal, September 2001, pp.849-872.)
Citing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the definition of discrimination in CEDAW, the court decided that it is discriminatory to exclude women by law from work at night when they are employed at the same factory during the day.


Vishaka & Ors v. State of Rajasthan & Ors, Supreme Court, India, 13 Aug 1997.
Relying upon articles 11 and 24 of CEDAW and General Recommendations Nos. 22, 23 and 24 of the CEDAW Committee, the court held that the guarantee of gender equality includes “protection from sexual harassment and the right to work with dignity” and used CEDAW to formulate preventative guidelines.

Details of Vishaka & Ors v. State of Rajasthan & Ors:Read (pdf)