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The horrifying gang rape and subsequent death of a student in India ignited protests in support of changing laws and cultural views on women. This unspeakable tragedy, coupled with the ongoing atrocities and injustices facing the world's female population, should also remind the United States to finally ratify the United Nations "bill of rights for women."

The U.S. was a primary drafter of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women when President Carter signed it in 1980, but it has inexplicably lingered in the Senate for over 30 years. Only eight countries have failed to ratify the convention, leaving the U.S. in the company of nations that adamantly oppress the rights of women, including Iran, Somalia, and Sudan.

This convention has been an important source of constitutional and cultural changes that support the global advancement of women. The president must move urgently to ratify this important convention.

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Dear President Trump:

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) provides the basis for realizing equality between women and men by securing women's access to equal opportunities in political and public life, including the right to vote and to stand for election, as well as the right to education, health care, and employment opportunities.

Nations who ratify the convention agree to take all appropriate measures to ensure that women can enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms. They are also required to submit a report every four years to the convention's committee. This is a valuable, ongoing opportunity to identify shortcomings, track progress, and cultivate a dialog about ways to improve.

CEDAW is the only human rights treaty which affirms the reproductive rights of women and identifies culture and tradition as influential forces shaping gender roles and family relations. It affirms women's rights to acquire, change or retain their nationality and the nationality of their children. Ratifying nations also agree to take appropriate measures against all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of women.

CEDAW has been an important source of constitutional, legislative, and judicial change for the advancement of women abroad.

  • In Bangladesh, it facilitated the improvement of gender parity in primary schools.
  • In Kenya, it helped remove barriers to land and inheritance rights for widows and daughters.
  • Afghanistan used it as a basis for a constitutional provision to guarantee men and women equal rights before the law.

U.S. diplomats and Americans who work in international organizations say that the failure to ratify impedes their efforts to advance the rights of girls and women abroad. Ratification would also benefit America, which still struggles with pay equity for women, paid maternity leave, and violence against women.

The time is now. Let ratification of CEDAW be a historical step in our country toward promoting, and ensuring, women's rights.

Sincerely,

Petition Signatures


Apr 24, 2018 Esmè Evans
Apr 23, 2018 Roseann Maziarek
Apr 20, 2018 Bonita Easley
Apr 20, 2018 Barbara Gutierrez
Apr 19, 2018 Nancy Seay
Apr 17, 2018 Monica Ollendorff
Apr 16, 2018 Wanda Anthony
Apr 16, 2018 Axa Tolonen
Apr 12, 2018 Dale Kasman
Apr 12, 2018 Haley Svec
Apr 12, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 10, 2018 Diane Gravette
Apr 10, 2018 Lisa vasta
Apr 1, 2018 Marilena Zlate
Mar 30, 2018 Elizabeth Wolff
Mar 30, 2018 Janet Magdaleno
Mar 28, 2018 Harriet Shalat
Mar 27, 2018 James Brown
Mar 26, 2018 M M
Mar 26, 2018 Connie Tate
Mar 22, 2018 Kathy Jones
Mar 22, 2018 Micki Courtoreille
Mar 21, 2018 Richard Rheder
Mar 21, 2018 Rebecca Glass
Mar 21, 2018 Tara Schuneman
Mar 21, 2018 Janie Anderson
Mar 18, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 17, 2018 Linda Butler
Mar 16, 2018 Paula Medina
Mar 14, 2018 Linda Roach
Mar 14, 2018 Barbara Jack
Mar 11, 2018 Denise Grimm
Mar 10, 2018 r van strien
Mar 7, 2018 Leah Helmer
Mar 7, 2018 Candice C
Mar 7, 2018 Rose Leidolph
Mar 6, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 5, 2018 Sara Vilhena
Mar 5, 2018 Maria Rainho
Mar 4, 2018 Kathy Saunders
Mar 4, 2018 Caryl Johnson
Mar 3, 2018 DIANE FLETCHER
Mar 3, 2018 B. Thomas Diener
Mar 1, 2018 Amber Greenwood
Feb 28, 2018 Bonnie Svec
Feb 28, 2018 Lisa Carpenito
Feb 27, 2018 Carolanne Saenz
Feb 27, 2018 Davor Maznik
Feb 26, 2018 renay lawrence
Feb 26, 2018 Sandie Brown

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