“Why hasn’t the United States ratified CEDAW?”

November 24, 2010 at 10:55 am Leave a comment

Last week, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law on the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.  She said:

“In my travels, the number-one question I am asked time and time again is, ‘Why hasn’t the United States ratified CEDAW?'”

Good question!  Why not?

“The Women’s Treaty was adopted by the United Nations nearly 31 years ago and is the first treaty to comprehensively address women’s rights and fundamental freedoms. The treaty builds on several previous international human rights instruments, including the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). It obliges parties to end discrimination against women and addresses areas that are crucial to women’s equality, from citizenship rights and political participation to inheritance and property rights to freedom from domestic violence and sex trafficking. It is consistent with the approach that we have already taken on these issues domestically. To date, 186 out of 192 UN member states are party to the treaty.  Around the world, women are using the Women’s Treaty as an instrument for progress and empowerment. There are countless stories of women who have used their countries’ commitments to the treaty to bring constitutions, laws, and policies in line with the principle of nondiscrimination against women. Over the course of my travels, I have seen firsthand its incredible influence in helping women change their societies.”

So come on, Congress, get on with it!

Read more: http://www.state.gov/s/gwi/rls/rem/2010/151153.htm

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