December 22, 1999

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

On October 6, 1999 the UN General Assembly adopted a 21-article Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).  Advocates for women’s human rights worked for several years after the BPFA was adopted to get this mechanism set up to strengthen the power of the CEDAW committee.  By ratifying the Optional Protocol, states recognize the competence of CEDAW to receive and consider individual and class action complaints from within its jurisdiction, thus strengthening the implementation of the Convention.