IRRC No. 324

Women, human rights and international humanitarian law

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The development in the last 50 years of the principles that comprise human rights law has had a major impact on international humanitarian law and indeed on international law generally. In more recent years, the movement for recognition of the equal rights of women has been exerting its own influence on human rights law and to some effect. In 1979, for example, the international community adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), to which 155 States are now party. Consideration is currently being given to the adoption of an Optional Protocol that will allow for individual and group complaints to be brought before the CEDAW Committee. Governmental and non-governmental organizations have increasingly focused on women's human rights. As a result, a wide range of studies, reports and recommendations on various aspects of the issue is available. The topic of women is thus firmly established on the international human rights agenda.

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