In celebration of the upcoming Women’s History Month, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) called on the U.S. to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). “As we celebrate the many accomplishments of American women and work for full equality at home, we must never forget the women around the world still struggling for basic human rights,” said Boxer. As the only woman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Boxer has been a staunch supporter of CEDAW.
CEDAW is the first international treaty to comprehensively address women's rights within political, cultural, economic, social, and family life. Among its many provisions, the convention guarantees women equal rights to work, pay, benefits and safe working conditions. It also prohibits discrimination against women in political activities and requires a minimum age for marriage. Since the treaty was passed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 18, 1979, it has been ratified by 168 nations. Of the small number of countries that have not ratified CEDAW, including Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, and the Sudan, the United States remains the only industrialized democracy in the world that has not signed onto the treaty.