Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations

First Advisor

Jean Krasno


Women, Islam, Human rights


The UN General Assembly adopted the Convention to End All Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1979 and it is currently the 2nd most ratified human rights convention after the Convention on the Rights of the Child. However critics argue that many of the states that ratified CEDAW continue to discriminate against women and girls. The region of the world where critics seem to focus much of their attention on is the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Islam and the implementation of sharia law are often cited as the sources of discrimination against Arab women. However is this a fair assessment of the Arab people and their culture? This research project will examine the question, how has the Convention to Eliminate All forms of Discrimination Against Women impacted the rights of Muslim women? The research project identifies four case studies - Sudan, Morocco, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia – will assess how CEDAW has impacted the change in women’s political and social rights in each state.



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