Event Tomorrow to Demonstrate Support for US Ratification of CEDAW
Tomorrow, Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal will join key members of Congress and over 170 women's rights and major non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in voicing support for US ratification of the International Women’s Treaty (CEDAW). The event, scheduled for 10 AM in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, will include statements by Senators Joseph Biden (D-DE), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Paul Wellstone (D-MN) as well as Representatives Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA), Connie Morella (R-MD), and Jim Moran (D-VA), among others. In addition, Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan will discuss the “Treatment of Women Around the World, Jordan’s Experience,” and the impact of US ratification.
CEDAW is the most comprehensive and detailed international agreement which seeks the advancement of women. It establishes rights for women in areas not previously subject to international standards. The treaty provides a universal definition of discrimination against women so that those who would discriminate on the basis of sex can no longer claim that no clear definition exists. It also calls for action in nearly every field of human endeavor: politics, law, employment, education, health care, commercial transactions and domestic relations. Moreover, the CEDAW establishes a Committee to review periodically the progress being made by its adherents.
As of July 2002, 170 countries have ratified CEDAW, pledging to give women equal rights in all aspects of their lives including political, health, educational, social and legal. The United States is among the 22 countries that have yet to ratify the treaty—keeping company with such notorious women’s rights abusers as Afghanistan under the Taliban, Monaco, and Sudan.