The ONU General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. This international treaty was adopted on 18 December 1979 and entered into force on 3 September 1981 and has been ratified by 188 states. They defined discrimination against women as follows:

"Any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect  or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human  rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil  or any other field."
ONU General Assembly
CEDAW Article 1