In the beginning of March, I noted that the US is the only democracy in the world that hasn’t ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). At the time, I pointed out that this should not only be an embarrassment for me as a women’s rights advocate at the UN, but for all Americans.
I am sorry to report that not much has changed in 6 months. Despite some hope early in the Obama presidency, when the administration made some huge strides towards promoting sexual and reproductive rights and health for all people, both in its foreign policy and at the UN, the US still has not ratified this most basic human rights document. Somewhere along the way, CEDAW once again got lost.
This Wednesday, on Women’s Equality Day, call or email your senators and urge them to support ratification of the CEDAW treaty for the Rights of Women. Remind your Senator that it is long past time that the US sign on to end international violence against women, ensure girls access to education, and promote economic opportunity and political participation for women.
Create your own text, or use the text below:
I am writing to urge your support for women’s human rights globally by ratifying the CEDAW treaty for the rights of women.
The CEDAW treaty provides a universal standard for women’s human rights. It provides a fundamental framework for ending international violence against women, ensuring girls access to education, and promoting economic opportunity and political participation for women.
To date, 186 countries have ratified CEDAW. The United States is the only democratic nation that has failed to do so, and as such is in the company of countries such as Sudan, Iran and Somalia.
The United States should strive to be a leader and set an example for the rest of world in its commitment to women and expanding women’s rights. I urge you to work to ensure immediate ratification of the CEDAW treaty.