Sex Discrimination - international activities


International Empowerment of Women

Latest Actions by the Australian Human Rights Commission


The Human Rights of Women

Human rights are about everyone. We are all entitled to the enjoyment of all human rights without discrimination of any kind, including discrimination on the basis of our sex.

However, some social structures, traditions, stereotypes and attitudes about women and their role in society mean that women do not always have equal opportunity or equal ability to access and enforce their rights.

What is CEDAW?

Equality of rights between women and men is a basic principle of human rights. The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the key international human rights agreement that seeks to ensure that the human rights of women and men are equally protected and fulfilled. It sets out key principles of gender equality and an agenda for national action to end discrimination against women.

Countries that have signed CEDAW, including Australia, are legally bound to put it into practice.

The Australian Human Rights Commission

The Australian Human Rights Commission (Commission) promotes gender equality and encourages the protection of human rights in Australia, including the human rights of women.

The Sex Discrimination Commissioner independently monitors Australia’s progress on the implementation of CEDAW and promotes gender equality in Australia.

More information and links:

[1] Commission on the Status of Women,, (viewed 20 December 2010).Optional Protocol to the CEDAW blogOptional Protocol to the CEDAW blog