The CEDAW Committee

Enforcement of the Treaty is left to individual governments. The treaty grants no authority to the United Nations or any other body. It requires only a periodic report and review process. Countries also can express “reservations, understandings, and declarations” where domestic laws diverge from the Treaty. U.S. federal and state laws arelargely consistent with the Treaty for the Rights of Women, except where noted in the reservations, understandings, and declarations.

To consider and review progress on and roadblocks to implementation, the Treaty established a Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW Committee). The Committee is composed of 23 experts, who are elected by those countries that have ratified the Treaty. Members of the Committee serve for a term of four years and may be re-elected. Though nominated by their governments, the experts serve in their individual capacities and not as delegates or representatives of their countries of origin. Since its inception, and with only one exception, the Committee has always been composed entirely of women.