Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM ratifies CEDAW

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): December 9, 2003 - The Federated States of Micronesia has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

The Thirteenth Congress of the FSM, during its Second Regular Session in October, by unanimous vote, ratified the international Convention that provides the basis of ensuring women's equal access to, and equal opportunities in, political and public life, as well as education, health and employment.

The Resolution states that since joining the UN in 1991, the FSM has "consistently taken positive actions on issues affecting human rights" and continues to be "committed to human equality."

It further states that given the guarantee under the FSM Constitution "equal protection of law to all citizens, regardless of gender," discrimination against women violates "the principles of equal protection laws, and respect for human dignity."

Often referred to as the bill of rights for women, the Convention was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly. It defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination.

The Convention defines discrimination against women as "[...] any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field."

CEDAW was submitted to the FSM Congress in 1995 and ratified by the Thirteenth FSM Congress in 2003, with a few reservations.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356