Senate Hearing on Women and Arab Spring Includes Discussion of CEDAW
The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a joint subcommittee hearing on Wednesday on Women and the Arab Spring. The issue of the U.S. failure to ratify CEDAW, the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was raised several times. Senator Barbara Boxer (CA), who co-chaired the hearing, and Melanne Verveer, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, both referred to the importance of US ratification of CEDAW while promoting women's rights around the world.
In discussing the importance of women to successful transitions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, Ambassador Verveer said in her testimony "I believe that many women woke up with the Arab Spring, and they will not go back to sleep." Manalu Omar, Director of Iraq, Iran, and North Africa Programs for the US Institute of Peace, told the Senators that women were a critical motivating factor in Libya, but expressed concern about what the liberation will mean for women who have had the right to vote in Libya since 1964.
Looking to the future and what role the US can play in protecting and advancing women at this crucial time of transition, Senator Boxer emphasized that the US needs to use whatever leverage it has, including foreign aid, to ensure women's rights.
Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal attended the hearing along with other women's rights and human rights leaders and stated following the hearing, "It is unconscionable that the US is in the company of Iran, Somalia and Sudan, who are among the handful of nations that have not ratified CEDAW and yet we are telling others the critical importance of advancing women's rights."
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The District's council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act last year. . . .
4/30/2015 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria - In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram.
On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children.
While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year. . . .
4/29/2015 Hillary Clinton Calls for Criminal Justice Reform and an End to Mass Incarceration - Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the 18th Annual Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum today, addressing directly criminal justice reforms she would like to see to prevent another "incarceration generation."
"It's time the end the era of mass incarceration," Clinton declared to much applause, citing statistics about the disproportionately higher rate of incarceration that black men in America face. . . .