Committee Vote on UN Women’s Treaty (CEDAW) Expected Tuesday
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee delayed yesterday’s scheduled vote on US ratification of the United Nations women’s rights treaty until Tuesday. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), the ranking Republican member of the committee, requested that the vote be delayed. “We look forward to the committee’s vote to approve this important treaty,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “Due to the strong leadership of Chairman (Joseph) Biden (D-DE) and Sen. (Barbara) Boxer (D-CA), at last the women’s treaty will be out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in time for a Senate floor vote this fall.”
Ratified by 170 countries, the Convention for the Elimination of All Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was drafted by the United Nations in 1979 to provide a standard for women’s equality and rights. The United States is the only industrialized nation that has not ratified the treaty, which means that our government is aligned with such nations as the Taliban’s Afghanistan, Iran and Sudan. While the Bush administration told the Senate six months ago that CEDAW was “generally desirable and should be approved,” Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote the committee two weeks ago to say that the administration now feels that the treaty should be studied by the Justice Department and Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was an opponent of CEDAW when he was in the Senate.
Led by Biden and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the Senate committee held the first hearing in eight years on CEDAW last month. While a committee vote on the treaty was originally scheduled for last Thursday, an anonymous Republican Senator used a procedural tactic on the Senate floor to have that vote cancelled. This week’s vote was delayed per a Republican request. Tuesday’s vote is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in the Senate Dirksen building.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .