Senate Hearing Tomorrow for International Women’s Treaty
After 23 years of advocacy by women’s organizations, the only international treaty drafted solely to protect women’s rights will have a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at 10 a.m. tomorrow. The United Nations’ Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) - which defines discrimination against women and gives nations a plan of action to ensure equality – has been ratified by 169 countries. The United States is not one of them. “This is a national disgrace,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, which has worked for many years to bring the treaty before the Senate for ratification. “This treaty is an invaluable tool for ensuring women’s rights around the world and here at home.”
In recognition of the historical importance of this event, committee chair Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) will hand his gavel to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the committee’s sole female member, who will chair the hearing. Boxer has been a tireless advocate for the treaty, citing the need for the United States to lead the fight against discrimination for women around the world. She points to the repression of women under the Taliban in Afghanistan as a pertinent example. “We know what it means now to be a woman suffocating under a burqa,” Boxer said in a press conference today. “We often make statements to other countries about their treatment of women…[this treaty] gives us the moral authority, that frankly we deserve, to address human rights violations against women.”
The following is a statement by our Founder and President, Eleanor Smeal, on the events in Ferguson, Missouri.
The Feminist Majority Foundation calls for the appointment of a special prosecutor to conduct a thorough, unbiased investigation into the shooting death of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson.
The killing of Michael Brown and the blundered, militarized response by law enforcement to the call for justice is a tragic reminder that in many African American communities across the nation, the police themselves can be a threat.
Given the distrust of the police by the local African American community, the close ties between the St. . . .