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



The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is the only international human rights treaty to focus exclusively on the rights of women. Adopted by many countries in 1979, CEDAW has been ratified by 186 of 193 UN member states worldwide. The United States is one of the seven member states, and the only industrialized nation, that has failed to ratify CEDAW, joined by such countries as Iran, Somalia, and Sudan.

Inspired by the 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, and frustrated by the continued inability to get CEDAW ratified in the U.S. Congress, the women of San Francisco organized a successful effort to adopt a local ordinance reflecting the principles of CEDAW. In 1998, San Francisco became the first municipality in the world to pass such a measure. The Department on the Status of Women oversees the implementation of the CEDAW Ordinance.

Gender Equity Through Human Rights: Local Efforts to Advance the Status of Women and Girls in the United States (January 2017)
This presentation describes San Francisco’s efforts to advance women’s human rights through CEDAW and strategies from other regions in the US

Human Rights in Action 2010 (pdf);
This report documents the work of the Department since the 1998 adoption of the local CEDAW Women's Human Rights Ordinance, providing examples of best practices to aid other municipalities in adopting similar measures.

Making Rights Real: A Workbook on the Local Implementation of Human Rights (WILD Booklet)
Published by Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) for Human Rights in 2006, this booklet provides resources and tips to implement CEDAW in your local community.

Road to Leadership: How to Get that Appointment, 2010 (pdf) 
This tool has been designed to help increase the number of women on City commissions and boards by providing information about these bodies and how to apply for positions.

Gender Responsive Budgeting: A Path to Accountability and Data-Based Policy-Making, February 2010 (pdf) 
On the forefront of accountability and transparency, San Francisco moves a step closer to Gender Responsive Budgeting with this report, a survey of demographic data collection practices of City departments.

CEDAW Task Force Action Plan Progress Reports
The CEDAW Task Force, per the CEDAW Ordinance, operated from 1998 to 2007. The work of the Task Force is documented in the Progress Reports.

Gender Analysis

Gender Analysis Guidelines
Learn how to conduct a gender analysis, an tool developed to ensure City departments have equitable policies, programs, services, and budgets.

CEDAW Gender Analysis Reports
Gender analyses were conducted at several City departments, and the original and follow-up reports are contained here.

NGO CSW New York Logo

NGO Committee on the Status of Women, New York Annual Forums

Annually, at the same time that the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women meet, the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, New York (NGO CSW/NY) hosts parallel sessions with NGOs from around the world so they can contribute to the conversation. Since 2011, the Department has participated in these forums by organizing Parallel Events:

PDF iconCSW58 v4 8.5 x 5.5.pdf2011: Violence Against the Girl Child, and How Women Learn to Earn

PDF iconCSW58 v4 8.5 x 5.5.pdf2012: Women. Create. Change. Proposed 5th World Conference on Women in San Francisco in 2015; and The Pursuit of Work-Life Balance Among Korean, Filipina, and American Women

PDF icon2013Gender Equity in Basic Education: How Formal and Informal Education Benefits Women in Malawi, Mali, and Kenya; How to Enact and Implement CEDAW Locally: Lessons from San Francisco, the First City for CEDAW; and Strategies in the War Against Human Trafficking: Lessons from Peru, San Francisco, and Beyond.

San Francisco Regional Input for Beijing + 20

PDF iconUN Commission on the Status of Women Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action 20th Anniversary Review: San Francisco Regional Input (August 2014)2015 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. In preparation for the 2015 UN/NGO CSW Forums, governments and NGOs were tasked with submitting reports on the work that has been done for women and girls, challenges that they face, and recommendations for emerging priorities. The Department submitted a regional report detailing the work done for San Francisco women and girls.