For purposes of this Article, emphasis will be put on the role of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Violence against women is a sustained gender inequality. Violence against women was not directly addressed in the original text of the Convention due to the general understanding of the issue during the drafting process and its later emergence in the international human rights context. There are CEDAW articles that relate to state obligation to address specific forms of violence against women for example, Article 6. Today, CEDAW remains one of the most important instruments for ending violence against women and securing women’s human rights.
It has taken decades of struggle by the women’s rights movement to persuade the international community to view gender-based violence against women as a human rights concern and not just as a private matter in which the State should not interfere. This violence seriously inhibits women’s ability to enjoy rights and freedoms on a basis of equality with men. Against this background, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) is the treaty monitoring body created to oversee state implementation of and compliance with CEDAW. It consists of 23 women’s rights experts from around the world who meet in Geneva three times per year.
The CEDAW Committee’s work on advancing the rights of women cannot be overstated. The CEDAW Committee has influenced the growing recognition of state obligation to end all forms of discrimination against women. Its General Recommendations have continued to be powerful authorities on women’s rights around the world.
The CEDAW Committee’s interaction with states during the reporting procedure give practical view of the Articles of the CEDAW and the mandate that the convention has in fighting against discrimination against women. This way, the CEDAW goes far to identify the causes of gender inequality.
Further, The CEDAW Committee has played a key role in simplifying what is entailed in violence against women and violation of women’s human rights. Taking an example of the Committees work;
EIPR and Interights v. Egypt (2011): applicants in this case used CEDAW’s General Recommendation 19, and A.T. v Hungary (CEDAW’s first case on domestic violence) to successfully argue that Egypt had failed to meet its due diligence obligations and the violence suffered by the applicants constituted a form of discrimination.
In conclusion, the CEDAW Committee has performed largely in fighting violence against women and specifically this is expressly stated in the a number of general recommendations like in General Recommendation No. 35.