CEDAW and the Women’s Law in Malaysia: An Overview

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On 18 December 1979, the UN General Assembly has adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). CEDAW, also known as the Women’s Convention, was passed with the object of seeking for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women at international level and it serves as the main global legal force in protecting women. Malaysia has formally acceded to CEDAW on 5 July 1995 with reservation on 3 articles of the convention. As a state member to CEDAW, Malaysia is obligated to take all appropriate measures to ensure that all forms of discrimination against women are eliminated with exception to these reservations. Malaysian accession to CEDAW is clearly manifested by the amendment made to Article 8(A) of its Federal Constitution, which now includes the term “gender” as a prohibited ground for discrimination. Since law is the first tool to ensure the adherence to the convention, this paper aims to highlight whether the Malaysian law relating to women conform to the provisions of CEDAW.


Keywords: CEDAW, Malaysian Law, Women
Stream: Social Sustainability
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , , CEDAW and the Women’s Law in Malaysia


Dr. Wan Izatul Asma Wan Talaat

Corporate Communication and External Affairs Division, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu
Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia

Dr. Wan Izatul Asma binti Wan Talaat is an Associate Professor of Law at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu. She is currently seconded to the Office of the Vice Chancellor to head the Corporate Communication and External Affairs Division with the main task to enhance the university’s public and international relations. Her research interest is primarily in Commercial Law particularly on Law of Contract and Consumer Contract, Marine Insurance and Women’s Legal Right. Her works have been published in a number of national professional and refereed journals such as the Malayan Law Journal, Current Law Journal and INSAF (Journal of the Malaysian BAR). Internationally, she also publishes her paper in the Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce and Journal of International Maritime Law, among others. Associate Professor Dr. Wan Izatul Asma has also written a fair share of papers, which she presented at both international and national conferences. In addition to that, she has also contributed as co-author in a number of papers.

Ref: S08P0043