Back to Women in politics Instruments of international law concerning women
Ratification and implementation

The Inter-Parliamentary Union encourages Parliaments and their members to take the necessary measures for States to become parties without reservation to international conventions concerning women and those concerning human rights. It also encourages them to see to it that national legislation is harmonized with the provisions of those instruments and with international declarations which are juridical in scope.

At its 162nd session (Windhoek, 11 April 1998), the Inter-Parliamentary Council took a special decision on the recommendation of women parliamentarians entitled "Parliamentary action for national follow-up to international agreements and treaties regarding women".

Twice each year, the delegations to IPU statutory Conferences receive information on the status of ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. On many occasions, the IPU has expressed concern over the reservations or interpretative declarations which several States made when adhering to the Convention and which considerably restrict its scope. It encourages MPs to verify whether there are still grounds to maintain such reservations and declarations and to work actively to have them lifted.

In April 1991, the Inter-Parliamentary Conference called on Governments to study the possibility of adding to the Convention a protocol covering the question of violence against women.

The Union welcomed the adoption of the Optional Protocol in 1999 and encouraged ratification through its network of Focal Points in national parliaments on issues relating to the status of women. Since 1999, the ratification and signature status of the Optional Protocol to the CEDAW has been given at each Meeting of Women Parliamentarians.

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