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Chapter Summary

This chapter explains some of the background factors that inform the recent developments in human rights law aimed at protecting women from non-state violence. The historically unequal position of women in every society in the world has been reflected in many of the formulations and interpretations of international human rights law. Recent developments in womens human rights have resulted in a review of the way in which the ideological separation of the public and private spheres has been constructed. The adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Convention) on 18 December 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly signified an important step to advance womens human rights as such. The maintenance of discriminatory laws is an explicit violation of Article 2 (g) of the CEDAW Convention that requires states parties to repeal all national penal provisions that constitute discrimination against women.

Keywords: CEDAW Convention; human rights law; international human rights law; United Nations; womens human rights



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