Why are we doing this research?

A joint project of the Australian Human Rights Institute and The George Institute for Global Health, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Implementation Map is a unique tool that measures the implementation of UN CEDAW Committee recommendations on health by governments. It does this by collating all health-related recommendations and determining the nature, scope and extent of their implementation, as reported by participating governments.

The Map enables us to tell a story of regional progress in implementing health-related human rights for women. It uses the diversity of health and human rights issues affecting women to expand traditional conceptualisations of women’s health, which have largely focused on sexual and reproductive health to the exclusion of other aspects of women’s lives through the life course.

The Map identifies the areas in which governments are failing to act, including collecting data on the drivers of violence against women, developing gender-equal laws and improving access to health care for underserved women. 

The project's first report presents the findings of the Implementation Map in the Asia-Pacific region. It presents evidence on how governments are acting or failing to act in implementing their CEDAW obligations to alleviate health inequities experienced by women. In addition, by highlighting policy and program models from across the region, it also provides a framework for designing interventions to address discrimination against women as it relates to health.

We envision the Map as a tool that women’s rights advocates can use to hold governments to account, particularly where government action is inadequate, poorly funded or unacceptable to the affected women. We also foresee this work providing the CEDAW Committee, governments, human rights advocates and global health researchers with examples of laws, policies and programs that can act as a guide for designing effective legislation in other countries, as well as an up-to-date analysis of the strengths, weaknesses and implementation gaps specific to the AsiaPacific region.

The Map covers the following health-related women’s rights: i) access to quality health care facilities; (ii) to seek, receive and impart health information; (iii) decide freely on whether to have children, and if so, when and how many; and (iv) to access the information, education and resources needed to exercise these rights. It describes in detail the pathways through which governments have addressed health inequities in women, including through women’s leadership and participation; data collection; health systems strengthening; governance and coordination; and establishing human rights infrastructure.

The Implementation Map is now being expanded to every region of the world. 

Who we are

  • Dr Janani Shanthosh - Health and Human Rights Program Lead at the Australian Human Rights Institute/Research Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney


J Shanthosh. 2021. Launching the CEDAW Implementation Map on women’s health. Progress on the journey towards health and human rights for all women

J Shanthosh. 2023. Redressing the balance: Using human rights law to improve health for women everywhere


CEDAW Implementation Map in the Asia Pacific Region report launch (panel discussion recording).


'Submission provided to hearing into women and girls in the Pacific', 15 June 2021.

'Holding governments accountable for women’s health and human rights', 26 March, 2021.