Global norms and standards

UN Women’s work on youth and gender equality is guided by key global norms and standards that recognize the human rights of young women and girls. Among the most prominent are:

The 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), an international bill of rights for women and an agenda for action by countries to guarantee those rights. For young women and adolescent girls, removing disparities in access to education remains a core principle of CEDAW.

The 1995 the Beijing Platform for Action, the most comprehensive and progressive blueprint for advancing women and girls’ rights, which was also the first United Nations World Conference on Women to include a specific focus on the girl-child and young women’s rights and needs.

The 1995 World Program of Action for Youth (WPAY), which provides a policy framework and practical guidelines for national action and international support to improve the situation of young people around the world, with special emphasis on girls and young women.

UN Women also contributes to agenda-setting and policy-making for young women and girls at key normative opportunities within the work of the General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, and the Commission on the Status of Women.

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