Violence against women and international human rights law

UN Photo Darfur protest against VAW


Director: Professor Andrew Byrnes

Research Assistant: Erin Jardine

Gender-based violence against women continues to be pervasive throughout the world despite the many legal and other measures adopted in the last decades to address it internationally and nationally. The adoption of regional conventions on violence against women and concerns about normative limitations at the universal level has stimulated discussion about how international standards relating to violence against women can be reinforced and their implementation made more effective. This project takes up some of these questions, including the state of international human rights law on the issue, the work of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, and proposals for the elaboration of a new United Nations treaty on gender-based violence against women. 

The data presented here involves an analysis of certain aspects of practice under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women from 2010-2015. Through an examination of State party reports, the concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of  Discrimination against Women, and individual cases under the Optional Protocol, the spreadsheets provide information about the attitude of States in relation to the Convention’s coverage of violence against women.

The data was prepared for, and first presented at a workshop organised by the International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific, in association with the Australian Human Rights Centre, held in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia 2015, which considered issues relating to the practice under the CEDAW Convention and issues arising form proposal to consider the adoption of a new convention on violence against women. 

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Photo © UN Photo: Darfur Women March in Campaign against Gender-Based Violence

Women in El Fasher, North Darfur, march for “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence”, an annual campaign beginning on the International Day to End Violence Against Women (25 November) and ending on Human Rights Day (1 December). The women were joined by staff members of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) as well as representatives from state and government institutions. 25 November 2010, El Fasher, Sudan ,Photo # 456982