The Convention explicitly acknowledges that ‘extensive discrimination against women continues to exist’, and emphasizes that such discrimination ‘violates the principles of equality of rights and respect for human dignity’.
The UK signed the Convention in 1981 and ratified it in 1986. The UK's Government Equalities Office (GEO) is responsible for overseeing and promoting the delivery of commitments to CEDAW and, for the 4-yearly reports, co-ordinates input from all other UK Government Departments and the devolved administrations, including Scottish Government. These reports provide progress information on the situation of women in regards to all the areas of discrimination detailed within the Convention as well as on the UN CEDAW Committee's previous recommendations.
The CEDAW articles fall into three main categories:
- The nature and scope of the Government’s obligations.
- The specific forms of discrimination and the measures which should be undertaken to eliminate discrimination in each of the areas.
- Procedural and administrative matters.
The UK Government Equalities Office (GEO) submitted the 7th Periodic Report to CEDAW in June 2011.