International Women's Convention, Democracy and Gender Equality
Social Science Quarterly 95(3): 719-739, 2014
28 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2013 Last revised: 23 Jul 2016
Date Written: September 1, 2014
This paper empirically investigates the impact of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on women’s rights. By measuring commitments to CEDAW based on reservations made by states, this paper tests whether the convention enhances women’s economic, social, and political rights. Using panel data for up to 147 countries for the period of 1981-2007, my findings suggest that CEDAW improves women’s social rights advocating changes in cultural practice toward gender equality and this effect is conditional on the level of democracy of a member state. However, the joint effect of CEDAW and democracy does not seem to create any significant impact on women’s political and economic rights, nor does CEDAW or democracy alone affect any dimension of the women’s rights. These results indicate that collaborative efforts between international law and domestic institution are crucial to promoting gender equality.
Keywords: women’s rights, CEDAW, democracy, social and cultural changes
JEL Classification: F53, J16, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation