It’s not often that something innovative and potentially game-changing comes along in the field of strengthening human rights, particularly when it comes to the rights of women and girls.

Launched earlier this year by The George Institute for Global Health and the UNSW Australian Human Rights Institute, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Implementation Map is a unique tool that measures government responses to CEDAW health recommendations on women’s health across 30 countries in Asia-Pacific.

Universally ratified in 1979, the UN CEDAW has been celebrated as one of the most powerful mechanisms for encouraging state action to eliminate violence against women and reduce gender inequities globally. Countries that have ratified the Convention, considered an international bill of rights for women, commit to changing their laws to uphold women’s rights, including health-related rights, through reviews and recommendations provided by the UN CEDAW Committee every four years.

Yet there has been no systematic analysis of the effectiveness of the review system in motivating government action. In other words, there has been no assessment of which recommendations have actually been acted upon by governments to improve women’s health in the Convention’s 42-year history.

Until now.

By collating all health-related recommendations and analysing the extent of their implementation, as reported by participating governments, the CEDAW Implementation Map on Women’s Health provides regional insight into how governments are acting or failing to act in meeting their obligations to alleviate health inequities experienced by women.

This regional women’s rights ‘report card’ revealed some surprising findings.

Read the full article about women and girls' rights by Eddy McCall at avpn.