Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education

supporting inclusion, challenging exclusion

UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

in a nutshell

The Convention (1979, in force 1981) covers the rights of women, including girls, to enjoy all human rights without discrimination on grounds of gender. Article 1 defines discrimination; article 10 recognises the right to education without discrimination; article 14 refers to education for women living in rural areas.

Full text of the Convention

Implementation of the Convention

Implementation of the Convention is monitored by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. Each state that has ratified the Convention periodically prepares reports on its implementation which are submitted to the Committee. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) may submit ‘alternative’ reports to the Committee. The Committee considers the reports and examines government delegations from the states concerned, and prepares its concluding observations and recommendations for further action.

View the concluding observations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (extracts concerning inclusive education 2002-2010):

The Convention recognises the right to education without discrimination of women and girls. Article 10 states:

‘States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in order to ensure to them equal rights with men in the field of education and in particular to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women:

  1. the same conditions for career and vocational guidance, for access to studies and for the achievement of diplomas in educational establishments of all categories in rural as well as in urban areas; this equality shall be ensured in pre-school, general, technical, professional and higher technical education, as well as in all types of vocational training;
  2. access to the same curricula, the same examinations, teaching staff with qualifications of the same standard and school premises and equipment of the same quality;
  3. the elimination of any stereotyped concept of the roles of men and women at all levels and in all forms of education by encouraging coeducation and other types of education which will help to achieve this aim and, in particular, by the revision of textbooks and school programmes and the adaptation of teaching methods;
  4. the same opportunities to benefit from scholarships and other study grants;
  5. the same opportunities for access to programmes of continuing education, including adult and functional
  6. literacy programmes, particularly those aimed at reducing, at the earliest possible time, any gap in education existing between men and women;
  7. the reduction of female student drop-out rates and the organization of programmes for girls and women who have left school prematurely;
  8. the same opportunities to participate actively in sports and physical education;
  9. access to specific educational information to help to ensure the health and well-being of families, including information and advice on family planning.’

The Convention specifically mentions the right to education of women living in rural areas (article 14).

Page last updated: Tuesday 09 October 2018

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