CEDAW, BPfA and the MDGs

Major international instruments have been crafted to address gender inequality in all its forms.  The Philippines, as a United Nations member state have adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1979, the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) in 1995, and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the Millennium Summit in 2000, among others that move for the improvement of the plight of women.

These three commitments as separate entities are well established documents addressing critical areas of concern in every aspect of women’s lives. Put together, the CEDAW, BPfA and the MDGs form a very powerful strategy on ensuring that national and international commitments to achieve gender equality does not diminish. 

Gender equality is a cross-cutting concern for all of the eight MDGs, but its proper placement on the national level implementation still requires clear articulation in targets, indicators and strategies. This is one indication of the necessity for CEDAW and BPfA, as these two provide detailed guidance on the full range of relevant gender equality issues that could be utilized to fine-tune MDG agendas. A way of making use of CEDAW and BPfA for this purpose is to identify the specific ways in which these three frameworks correspond and support each other.

Also, the review and monitoring processes provided by the CEDAW and BPfA reinforces the MDG reporting and evaluation scheme. Using the CEDAW and BPfA monitoring and review processes to identify the progress, obstacles and failures in the implementation of necessary gender equality measures under the MDGs also provide for a system of check and balance. The CEDAW, BPfA and the MDGs working for the same end with varying approaches, only strengthens and empowers the jurisdiction of international commitments in influencing national rendering of actions toward the attainment of gender equality and women empowerment.