The struggle against misogyny and patriarchy - which continue to dominate all regions of the world - necessitates the elimination of discrimination and the guarantee of equal rights between men and women in law and practice. FIDH advocates for the ratification without reservation of international and regional women’s rights protection instruments (the CEDAW Convention and its Optional Protocol, the African regional Maputo Protocol...) and for their effective implementation. In collaboration with national members and partners, FIDH calls on states to reform legislation in accordance with these instruments.
FIDH has participated in the launch of two major regional campaigns aimed at fighting discrimination against women:
The campaign "Equality without reservation", initiated in 2006, unites women’s rights and human rights NGOs in Arab countries to bring about the withdrawal of reservations to CEDAW. The campaign has contributed to the withdrawal of reservations by Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, opening the way for reform of national discriminatory laws.
The campaign "Africa for Women’s Rights", launched in 2009, led by more than 100 NGOs across the continent, calls on States to ratify and respect international and regional women’s rights protection instruments in law and practice.
Throughout the world discrimination and violence against women remain a scourge. In numerous countries, discrimination is inscribed in law, from criminal laws to laws on marriage, inheritance and access to property. Even in countries where women have obtained equality in law, discrimination continues in practice. Women are significantly under-represented in decision-making positions. Violence against women prospers, often fuelled by inadequate laws, obstacles to access to justice and inaction on the part of public authorities who tolerate such violations. The absence of adequate sanctions favours a climate of impunity which contributes to the repetition of these crimes.
Yet women are not only victims. Everywhere women are also the main actors in the struggle for emancipation.
In this context, FIDH has made the protection and promotion of women’s rights a priority. Alerted by national member and partner organisatons, FIDH:
documents violations of women’s rights;
advocates for the abolition of discriminatory laws and for the adoption of laws protecting women from discrimination and violence;
activates regional and international women’s rights protection mechanisms;
supports and represents victims of sexual violence in legal proceedings.