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General Recommendation No. 29 on article 16 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Economic consequences of marriage, family relations and their dissolution, CEDAW/C/GC/29, 26 February 2013


16. General recommendation No. 21, in its paragraph 13, acknowledges that families take many forms and underscores the obligation of equality within the family under all systems, “both at law and in private”.

17. Subsequent statements by other entities in the United Nations system confirm this understanding that “the concept of „family‟ must be understood in a wide sense”. The Human Rights Committee, in its general comment No. 28, acknowledges the “various forms of family”. In his report on the observance of the International Year of the Family (see A/50/370, para. 14), the Secretary-General confirms that “families assume diverse forms and functions among and within countries”

24. Certain forms of relationships (i.e. same sex relationships) are not legally, socially or culturally accepted in a considerable number of States parties. However, where they are recognized, whether as a de facto union, registered partnership or marriage, the State party should ensure protection of economic rights of the women in these relationships.

Link to full text of the report: General Recommendation-CEDAW-29-economic consequences of marriage-2013-eng