International Human Rights Treaty to Change Social Patterns - The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

CEGE Discussion Paper No. 93

Posted: 15 Feb 2010

See all articles by Seo-Young Cho

Seo-Young Cho

University of Marburg - School of Business & Economics

Date Written: January 15, 2010

Abstract

This paper analyzes empirically whether the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), advocating the multiple dimensions of women’s rights, affects the level of women’s rights in a country. Measuring commitments to the CEDAW based on reservations by member states, I test whether the Convention enhances women’s rights; in particular, (i) whether the effects are stronger if a member country has a higher level of democracy; and (ii) whether the effects are most pronounced in the dimension of women’s social rights, a special focus of the Convention. Using panel data for 126 countries during 1981-2007, I do not find statistically significant effects of the CEDAW alone on any dimension of women’s rights. However, I do find a positive impact of the CEDAW on women’s social rights if combined with a higher degree of democracy. These findings are robust to the choice of control variables and the method of estimation. In particular, taking into account the potential reverse causality does not alter the main conclusions.

Keywords: effectiveness of international human rights treaties, women’s rights, social dimension, democracy, and reservations

JEL Classification: F53, J16, K33

Suggested Citation

Cho, Seo-Young, International Human Rights Treaty to Change Social Patterns - The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (January 15, 2010). CEGE Discussion Paper No. 93, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1553083 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1553083

Seo-Young Cho (Contact Author)

University of Marburg - School of Business & Economics ( email )

Barfuessertor 2
Marburg, Hessen 35037
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.economics-human-trafficking.org/

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