Tell Congress: Equality for All Women!
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Sponsor: The Hunger Site
Tell Congress to ratify the CEDAW treaty in order to grant women everywhere equal human rights.
CEDAW, also known as the Women's Treaty and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, calls for the equal treatment of women everywhere with regards to domestic violence, maternal health, economic security, and human trafficking.
The Convention defines discrimination against women as "...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 field1."
CEDAW is the only international human rights treaty that specifically addresses the rights of women. It calls on States Parties to take measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all areas of life, including political participation, employment, education, healthcare, and family structure2.
CEDAW has been ratified or acceded to by 189 countries. The United States is one of the the only countries to have signed but not ratified the Convention.
This binding international treaty on violence against women is essential to reducing the high levels of gender-based violence and gender-related killings against women and girls. CEDAW would assist in bringing together the fragmented systems and obligations of states through3:
- Adoption of legislation prohibiting all forms of gender-based violence against women and girls, harmonising domestic law with the Convention.
- Adoption of and adequately budgeting for diverse institutional measures, including to design focused public policies, to develop and implement monitoring mechanisms and to establish and/or fund competent national tribunals.
- Requiring judicial bodies to refrain from any discrimination or gender-based violence against women.
- Applying criminal law strictly to punish this violence, ensuring the fairness and impartiality of legal procedures in cases involving allegations of gender-based violence against women.
The treaty has already been submitted to the Senate. Presidential support will go a long way in lending legitimacy and urgency to this matter, but It is now time the Senate Foreign Relations Committee consent to ratification of the Convention.
The US needs to ratify CEDAW in order to continue the discussion of women's rights and equality in an international forum. Sign the petition asking Congress to do the right thing for women around the world and ratify the Women's Treaty.
- United Nations (2009), "Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women."
- Every CRS Report (23 July 2015), "The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate."
- Christine Chinkin and Keina Yoshida, Centre for Women, Peace & Security (2020), "40 Years Of The Convention On The Elimination Of All Forms Of Discrimination Against Women."
Dear Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
As a passionate advocate for women's rights, I urge you to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women treaty. While it was signed by Jimmy Carter in 1980, it still has yet to be ratified by the US.
CEDAW outlines core principles with regards to human rights, specifically those of women around the world. It's a well-known fact that while American women for the most part enjoy total equality, women from other countries aren't as fortunate. Many women still face domestic violence, lack of education and opportunities, oppression, and discrimination.
As an international leader in the pursuit of equal human rights, the US needs to set the example for the rest of the world. Ratification requires two-thirds of the Senate to vote in favor of it. Please see that you and your colleagues vote to help women everywhere achieve equality.