In 2003, the IPU and the United Nations published The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and its Optional Protocol: Handbook for Parliamentarians. That first handbook aimed to foster a better understanding among parliamentarians of the Convention, its Optional Protocol and the related reporting, implementation and monitoring processes. As parliamentarians became more aware of the relevance of the Convention to their work, and of the wealth of knowledge developed by the Committee, good practices emerged.
Twenty years on, thanks to the continued collaboration between the IPU and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), this second edition of the handbook taps into the important guidance developed by the Committee on translating the Convention into concrete action that addresses all forms of discrimination and genderbased violence against women and girls. It also builds on the essential work of parliaments to advance gender equality in a wide range of contexts, as well as on the perspectives of civil society and government as key allies in this work. This edition aims to build new momentum and serve as a reminder that the implementation of the Convention should be an everyday task. It stresses the relevance of the Convention to all dimensions of the work of parliaments – from law-making, budget allocation and parliamentary oversight of government to the leadership and model role of individual parliamentarians in shifting discriminatory perceptions, stereotypes and patriarchal attitudes.