25 July 2017 | Fact Sheet

Women’s Rights as Workers Under CEDAW in Southeast Asia

Workplace Gender Equality


This series of factsheets provides an overview of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and the themes raised by the Indonesian, Philippine, Myanmar, and Vietnamese governments related to the law.

CEDAW covers a broad range of concerns from the elimination of discrimination in political life, to equal access to education and healthcare. Gender equality in the workplace is primarily addressed through Article 11, which prohibits discrimination in employment, deals most directly with women and employment.

These factsheets discuss parts of the Convention that also establish rights that are related to women and work generally.

This series of factsheets is published by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney, commissioned by Investing in Women.


  • The report finds that governments in four countries have been reasonably consistent over time, addressing the issue of workplace rights and conditions in detail throughout its CEDAW reports.
  • For Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines, a striking pattern evident in their responses to CEDAW articles is their focus on the importance of female entrepreneurship.
  • The Vietnamese government has consistently emphasised the importance of gender mainstreaming; women-centred research; and the inclusion of women in its development strategy.
  • It is interesting to note that the Philippines government has not raised the issue of ‘economic empowerment’ in any of its reports, whereas other countries have often emphasised this issue

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