The Convention permits ratification subject to reservations,
provided that the reservations are not incompatible with the object
and purpose of the Convention. Some States parties that enter
reservations to the Convention do not enter reservations to
analogous provisions in other human rights treaties. A number of
States enter reservations to particular articles on the ground that
national law, tradition, religion or culture are not congruent with
Convention principles, and purport to justify the reservation on
that basis. Some States enter a reservation to article 2, although
their national constitutions or laws prohibit discrimination. There
is therefore an inherent conflict between the provisions of the
State's constitution and its reservation to the Convention. Some
reservations are drawn so widely that their effect cannot be limited
to specific provisions in the Convention.
For specific reservations by country, click here.
To download a PDF version of CEDAW/SP/2006/2: Declarations,
reservations, objections and notifications of withdrawal of
reservations relating to the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women, click on the preferred
language link: [ A C E F R S]
Article 28, paragraph 2, of the Convention adopts the
impermissibility principle contained in the Vienna Convention on the
Law of Treaties. It states that a reservation incompatible with the
object and purpose of the present Convention shall not be
Although the Convention does not prohibit the entering of
reservations, those which challenge the central principles of the
Convention are contrary to the provisions of the Convention and to
general international law. As such they may be challenged by other
Articles 2 and 16 are considered by the Committee to be core
provisions of the Convention. Although some States parties have
withdrawn reservations to those articles, the Committee is
particularly concerned at the number and extent of reservations
entered to those articles.
The Committee holds the view that article 2 is central to the
objects and purpose of the Convention. States parties which ratify
the Convention do so because they agree that discrimination against
women in all its forms should be condemned and that the strategies
set out in article 2, subparagraphs (a) to (g), should be
implemented by States parties to eliminate it.
Neither traditional, religious or cultural practice nor
incompatible domestic laws and policies can justify violations of
the Convention. The Committee also remains convinced that
reservations to article 16, whether lodged for national,
traditional, religious or cultural reasons, are incompatible with
the Convention and therefore impermissible and should be reviewed
and modified or withdrawn.
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