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International human rights treaty to change social patterns: The convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women

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  • Cho, Seo-Young

Abstract

This paper analyzes empirically whether the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), advocating the multiple dimensions of women's rights, affects the level of women's rights in a country. Measuring commitments to the CEDAW based on reservations by member states, I test whether the Convention enhances women's rights; in particular, (i) whether the effects are stronger if a member country has a higher level of democracy; and (ii) whether the effects are most pronounced in the dimension of women's social rights, a special focus of the Convention. Using panel data for 126 countries during 1981-2007, I do not find statistically significant effects of the CEDAW alone on any dimension of women's rights. However, I do find a positive impact of the CEDAW on women's social rights if combined with a higher degree of democracy. These findings are robust to the choice of control variables and the method of estimation. In particular, taking into account the potential reverse-causality does not alter the main conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • Cho, Seo-Young, 2010. "International human rights treaty to change social patterns: The convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 93, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cegedp:93
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    Cited by:

    1. Cho, Seo-young & Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya, 2010. "Compliance for big brothers: An empirical analysis on the impact of the anti-trafficking protocol," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 118, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    2. Davies, Ronald B. & Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya, 2013. "A race to the bottom in labor standards? An empirical investigation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 1-14.
    3. Cho, Seo-Young & Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya, 2012. "Compliance with the Anti-trafficking Protocol," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 249-265.
    4. Boris Branisa & Maria Ziegler, 2010. "Reexamining the link between gender and corruption: The role of social institutions," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 24, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    5. Krishna Chaitanya Vadlamannati, 2012. "Impact of Political Risk on FDI Revisited—An Aggregate Firm-Level Analysis," International Interactions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 111-139, January.
    6. repec:got:cegedp:118 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Seo-Young Cho, 2012. "Integrating Equality: Globalization, Women's Rights, and Human Trafficking," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 69, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Boris Branisa & Stephan Klasen & Maria Ziegler & Denis Drechsler & Johannes Jütting, 2014. "The Institutional Basis of Gender Inequality: The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI)," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(2), pages 29-64, April.
    9. Seo-Young Cho, 2011. "Integrating Equality - Globalization, Women’s Rights, Son Preference and Human Trafficking," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 73, Courant Research Centre PEG.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    effectiveness of international human rights treaties; women's rights; social dimension; democracy; and reservations;

    JEL classification:

    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K33 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - International Law

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