The framework of the obligations under the CEDAW Convention is constructed on three main principles: the obligation to respect (equality in laws and policies); the obligation to protect (non-discrimination– direct and indirect) and the obligation fulfil (to uphold equality and eliminate gender discrimination in the entire sphere of the social and economic life). On these three principles rests the ‘prism’ of women’s human rights that provide the lens through which all sites of gender discrimination must be investigated and corrected. From this perspective, the achievement of substantive equality requires action in three interrelated areas:

·   addressing stereotyping, stigma and violence;

·   redressing women’s socioeconomic disadvantage;

·   strengthening women’s agency, voice and participation.

The CEDAW Convention provides strong standards on equality and non-discrimination for all women. It also provides critical normative standards that are intrinsically linked to the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development such as those related to food, education health, housing, non-discrimination, legal capacity, political participation and equal family relations. The adoption of a development framework based on these standards for the full enjoyment of human rights of women enshrined in the CEDAW Convention must underpin the principle of “ensuring that no one it is left behind”.