Women’s lives are impacted by a myriad of issues such as the frequent lack of basic services; inequality; lack of accountability of States, corporations and other global actors; discriminatory cultural stereotypes, beliefs and the impact of harmful practices; religious fundamentalisms and development agendas which exclude consideration of the rights and experiences of women and differences between women. Within this context, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) are the two key human rights instruments which provide a forum for demanding realisation of women’s human rights.
This guide, created in conjunction with IWRAW-Asia Pacific, provides a practical guide to using both CEDAW and ICESCR as well as their complaints mechanisms to demand recognition and implementation of women's ESC rights, including the right to education.
On 7 July 2014, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) held a General Discussion on the Right to Education for Girls and Women, the aim of which is to commence the Committee’s process of elaborating a “General Recommendation on girls’/women’s right to education.”
Thirteen organizations from around the world, included the Right to Education Initiative, presented a written submission to CEDAW on ‘Privatization and its Impact on the Right to Education of Women and Girls,’ highlighting evidence from a range of countries showing that more boys are enrolled in schools than girls, a problem that is exacerbated by the increasing privatization of education. Privatization in many cases deepens gender discrimination in education because already marginalized and vulnerable groups, including women and girls, are more disadvantaged by private provision and are the least able to pay for services.