Article 2 Nature of motherhood as exclusively female status

Reaffirming the nature of motherhood as an exclusively female status

(a) The CEDAW emphasises the “social significance of maternity’’, and Article 12 (2) states that ‘‘States Parties shall ensure to women the appropriate services in connection with pregnancy, confinement and the post-natal period’’.

(b) Maternal rights and services are based on women’s unique capacity to gestate and give birth to children. The physical and biological characteristics that distinguish males and females mean that women’s reproductive capacity cannot be shared by men who claim a female ‘gender identity’. States should understand that the inclusion of men who claim a female ‘gender identity’ into the legal category of mother in law, policies and practice, and the corresponding inclusion of women who claim a male ‘gender identity’ into the category of father, constitute discrimination against women by seeking to eliminate women’s unique status and sex-based rights as mothers.

(c) States should ensure that the word ‘mother’, and other words traditionally used to refer to women’s reproductive capacities on the basis of sex, continue to be used in constitutional acts, legislation, in the provision of maternal services, and in policy documents when referring to mothers and motherhood. The meaning of the word ‘mother’ shall not be changed to include men.