Chicago Journal of International Law


This Comment begins by noting the indeterminacy of the term “woman” in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), arguing that the term, as it is used in CEDAW, is inclusive of trans*individuals, thus extending CEDAW’s protections to this historically marginalized group. The Comment dissects the term “woman” in CEDAW, based in part on the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, examining the ordinary meaning, the object and purpose, and the supplementary materials of CEDAW to argue that CEDAW protects trans*individuals against discrimination and other abuses outlined in the treaty. The Comment also draws on the expansive interpretation of the protected classes in other U.N. treaties to argue that a similar interpretive approach to the term “woman” in CEDAW is necessary.