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The United Nations International Covenants (CEDAW) and the International Labour Organisation

Gender Equity

Gender equity is the fairness of treatment for woman and men, according to their respective needs. However, this includes equal treatment that can be different but considered the same regarding rights, benefits, obligations and opportunities. (International Labour Office, 2000) Unfortunately, world-wide woman aren’t seen as equals when compared to men. According to the World Economic Forum it will take at least 170 years to reach gender equality globally. These figures show that we need to take a step in changing woman’s rights for the benefit of all woman in our society.

Some of these issues include; education, job opportunities, exploitation such as forced marriage, violence and slavery. The United Nations General Assembly adopted the convention on the Elimination of Forms of Discrimination Against Woman (CEDAW) in December 1929 and entered into force in September 1981.


Article 11 of CEDAW states that parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against woman in the field of employment. Although there is extensive gender equity in Australia in many other countries there are not, woman do not have the same employment opportunities when compared to men as they are seen as “not capable enough”.

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Furthermore, there are many countries in the world where discrimination against woman regarding the field of employment still occurs, specifically in China. Human Rights Watch discovered that in the 2017 Chinese National Civil Service Job List, 13 percent of jobs promoted advertisements specified directly for men only. However, in contrast, there were no jobs that specified woman only. The report “Only Men Need Apply: Gender Discrimination in Job Advertisements in China” analysed that there were above 30,000 job advertisements between 2013 and 2018 that indicated that woman were not suitable for the job.

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According to Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch states that approximately 1 in 5 job ads in China were searching for men only. These advertisements are unlawfully depriving woman of job opportunities based on the elimination of Forms of Discrimination Against Woman; which deeply reflects discriminatory views about woman.


Additionally, article 6 states that parties shall take all appropriate measures to suppress all forms of traffic in woman. According to World Bank Gender-based violence is a global pandemic that affects 1 in 3 woman in their lifetime. Globally, 38% of murders of woman are committed by an intimate partner, there are over 200 million females that have experienced genital mutilation, while 35% of woman have experience some form of violence. Female trafficking happens in multiple countries, where they are exploited for sex and work in gain for money and pleasure. Often men will use woman illegally, in countries they are sold off at a marriage market that’s held every year and most of the girls are younger than the age of 18. “I was bought for 50,000 rupees” – says an Indian trafficked bride, Tahmina who was sold by her sister to a man 30 years older. “They wanted me to obey them and if I objected they always had the same words for me: [we own you because we bought you] says Tahmina. In India majority of females are forced into sexual and domestic slavery. Bride trafficking is a business in the states of Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan in north India where woman and girls are sold for money. A 2013 UN office on Drug and Crime report highlighted that woman trafficked for forced marriage are exploited, denied basic rights, duplicated as maids and eventually abandoned. According to the 2016 National Crime Records Bureau, 33,855 woman, half under 18 woman were kidnapped and forced to marry. Although this is a cultural tradition that happens world-wide, woman are taken advantage of rather than being helped and assisted. This violates the CEDAW document which aims to protect discrimination of woman.


Lastly article 10 states that parties should take all appropriate measures to eradicate discrimination against woman to guarantee equal rights in the field of education. Education is important but is a big issue when it comes to woman. All people should have the right to education and lack of education can also effect employment opportunities and human trafficking. Sadly, in most countries woman are not treated as if they have the right to an education. In an article “Pakistan: Girls Deprived of Education” discusses how the Pakistan government is failing to educate woman. The article concludes that many girls simply have no access to education because of shortage of government schools, specifically for girls. Over 22.5 million girls living in Pakistan are deprived of their education. “The Pakistan government’s failure to educate children is having a devastating impact on millions of girls”– said Liesl Gerntholtz -woman’s rights director at Human Rights Watch. Girls are deprived of education due to many external factors such as child labour, gender discrimination, child marriage, sexual harassment, insecurity and attacks on education to name a few. The United Nations report concludes that girls are less likely to attend school than boys. The report examines the obstacles behind this gender gap regarding education. “Despite universal recognition of the right to education for everyone, girls are more likely than boys never to attend schools” – says stark line from a United Nations on girls education.


The sex discrimination act 1984 protects people from unfair treatment based on the basis of their sex. The sex discrimination commissioner is a part of the Australian human rights commission, an independent statuary authority and Australia’s National Human Right Institution. Elizabeth Broderick was selected sex discrimination commissioner under the sex discrimination act 1984 in September 2007. Broderick, launched her gender equality blueprint in 2010 and included her concerns of discrimination against woman. As well as this, Kate Jenkins discusses her view on the topic in her article “unleashing the power of gender equity” she believes Australia is a long way from gender equity. Jenkins discusses that in the past 100 years Australia has made substantial progress for woman. However, despite Australia ranking as first for educational attainment for woman in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Index, our overall ranking in gender equality has regressed from 15th in 2006 to 46th in 2016. Australia ranks 42nd in woman’s economic participation and opportunity. As sex discrimination commission, Kate Jenkins believe that achieving gender equity requires collaboration across government, community and business.

In conclusion, although a lot is being done to improve the rights of woman we need to do more. future generations cannot go through this, we need to make it better for all females so that they have the same opportunities as men and have the right to access education, employment and also have rights to their own body.

Social Action

With a peer it was discussed what social actions can be taken to support gender equity and preventing all forms of discrimination against woman. There are many different approaches such as a blog can be made discussing the rights of woman, this will be able to reach people globally. In the school community, posters and brochures can be displayed promoting gender equity. Lastly in the whole community a section in the newspaper can be published also discussing the issues we face as a society around woman’s rights. There are many ways that gender equity regarding the rights of woman can be promoted for future social action.


    Australian Human Rights Commission, 2010. Gender Equality Blueprint (2010). [Online], [8 October 2019].
    Boderick, E., 2010. Gender equality in the workforce: A feminist approach (2010). [Online], [Accessed 8 October 2019].
    Chan, T. F., 2018. Sexist job ads discriminate against women in China. [Online], [8 October 2019].
    Contributor, E., 2017. Why We Need Gender Equity Now. [Online], [8 October 2019].
    Garten, M., 2017. Why girls around the world are still denied an equal chance of education. [Online], [8 October 2019].
    Human Rights Watch, 2018. China: Job Ads Discriminate Against Women. [Online],  [8 October 2019].
    Human Rights Watch, 2018. Pakistan: Girls Deprived of Education. [Online], [8 October 2019].
    Humanty United, 2018. Modern-day slavery in focus. [Online], [8 October 2019].
    Jalan, S., 2018. Analysing The Status And Consequences Of Human Trafficking In India. [Online], [8 October 2019].
    Jenkins, K., 2016. Sex Discrimination Commissioner. [Online], [8 October 2019].
    Jenkins, K., 2016. Unleashing the power of gender equality. [Online], [8 October 2019].
    Mencarini, L., 2019. Gender Equity. [Online], [Accessed October 8 2019].
    The Australian Human Rights Commission, 2012. Legislation. [Online], [8 October 2019].
    The World Bank, 2019. Gender-Based Violence (Violence Against Women and Girls). [Online], [Accessed 8 October 2019].
    United Nations Human Rights, 2019. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women New York, 18 December 1979. [Online], [8 October 2019].
    Vandenberg, L., 2018. Finding Love in China’s Marriage Markets. [Online], [8 October 2019].

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The United Nations International Covenants (CEDAW) and the International Labour Organisation. (2019, Dec 12). Retrieved from

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