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

The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is a supplementary treaty that provides an additional mechanism for advancing women's rights and seeking redress for violations. The Optional Protocol was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999 and entered into force in 2000.

Individual complaints: The Optional Protocol allows individuals or groups to submit complaints to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) if they believe their rights under CEDAW have been violated. To access this mechanism, the complainant must have exhausted all available domestic remedies. The Committee can consider complaints related to states that have ratified both CEDAW and the Optional Protocol.

Inquiries: The Optional Protocol empowers the CEDAW Committee to initiate inquiries into grave or systematic violations of women's rights in states parties, even in the absence of a complaint. This allows the Committee to investigate and address systemic issues affecting women's rights within a particular country.

Fact-finding and recommendations: If the CEDAW Committee receives a complaint or initiates an inquiry, it conducts a thorough examination of the situation and seeks information from the relevant state party. The Committee may request additional information, conduct hearings, and make recommendations to the state party to remedy the violations and ensure the protection and promotion of women's rights.

Individual communications: The Optional Protocol allows individuals or groups to send communications to the CEDAW Committee for seeking general information or advice on the interpretation or application of CEDAW. While these communications do not result in legally binding decisions, they provide an avenue for dialogue and clarification on women's rights issues.

Follow-up mechanism: The Optional Protocol includes provisions for the CEDAW Committee to follow up on the implementation of its recommendations by state parties. The Committee may request information from the state party regarding measures taken to address the violations identified and the progress made in achieving gender equality.

The Optional Protocol has significantly strengthened the implementation and enforcement of CEDAW by providing individuals and groups with a means to hold states accountable for violations of women's rights. It complements the reporting and review process under CEDAW, enhancing the effectiveness of the Convention and enabling individuals to seek justice at the international level when their rights are violated. The Optional Protocol contributes to the progressive development of women's rights and the advancement of gender equality worldwide.
Back to blog

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
INSEAD
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law

    Terminology

    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

    Exam-focused

    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.