Conventions and Declarations

Here is a list of the key conventions and declarations that guide gender equality work.

  1. Convention on the Political Rights of Women (1954)
    This convention's purpose is to codify a basic international standard for women's political rights.
  2. Convention to the Consent of Marriage, Minimum Age of Marriage, and Registration of Marriages (1964)
    This convention requires the establishment of a minimum age for marriage by law, ensures the registration of marriage and reaffirms mutual consent for marriage by both parties.
  3. Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict (1974)
    This convention states that women and children are often the victims of wars, civil unrest, and other emergency situations that cause them to suffer. Furthermore, it enshrines women and children's rights, such as access to food, shelter, and medical care in emergency situations.
  4. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (1979)
    This convention is thought of as an international women's bill of rights.
    It is a defining document in gender equality work.
  5. Declaration of the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993)
    This convention international recognizes the right of a woman to live a life without violence.
  6. Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (PFA) (1995)
    Adopted by governments at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, this document sets forth governments’ commitments to enhance women’s rights. 
  7. CEDAW's Optional Protocol
    The Optional Protocol is a subsidiary agreement to the CEDAW. It does not establish any new rights, but rather allows the rights guaranteed in the CEDAW to be enforced.
  8. Maputo Protocol – Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (2003)
    The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, known as the Maputo Protocol, guarantees comprehensive rights to women including the right to take part in the political process, to social and political equality, control of women's reproductive health, and ending female genital mutilation.
  9. Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) (2014)
    The Istanbul Convention is the first legally-binding instrument that criminalizes violence against women. This convention creates a  legal framework and approach to combat violence against women and focuses on preventing domestic violence, protecting victims and prosecuting accused offenders.
  10. The Paris Agreement (under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)
    The Paris Agreement constitutes a breakthrough; for the first time, a Climate Treaty in its Preamble commits Parties, to promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, as well as on gender equality, and the empowerment of women. The Agreement also mandates gender-responsive adaptation actions and capacity-building activities.
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