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.”
5/1/2015 House Reverses DC Law Banning Reproductive Health Discrimination by Employers - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to overturn a Washington, DC, law that makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who use their insurance to cover procedures like in-vitro fertilization or abortion and contraception like birth control pills and IUDs for themselves, their spouses, or their children.
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. . . .