The first hearing in eight years on the international treaty to promote women’s rights - drafted in 1979 by the United Nations and ratified by two-thirds of its member countries - was held today by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Supporters of the Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) turned out in droves with a line winding down the hall outside the room where the hearing was held. In recognition of the hearing’s historic importance, Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE), the committee chair, asked Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the sole female member of the committee, to chair the meeting. Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA) and Rep. Constance A. Morella (R-MD) as well as several representatives from prominent women’s organizations joined supporters. In addition, several women from Afghanistan were present to discuss their plight under the repressive rule of the Taliban and women from India and Egypt talked about how the ratification of CEDAW in their countries had made things better for women.
“This is a critically important vote for women. The Feminist Majority has spent the past five years fighting to end the oppression of women in Afghanistan. We must ratify this historic treaty so that we don’t let down the women of the world, especially in places like Afghanistan,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “Domestically, this treaty provides a way for every Senator to say no to regimes that oppress women.”
The committee has yet to schedule a vote on CEDAW. If the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approves the treaty, it will then go to the full Senate for a vote.
CEDAW defines discrimination and gives states a plan of action to ensure that the rights of women are equal to men. So far, 169 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 the Taliban’s Afghanistan, Monaco and Sudan.
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10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .