Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

July-30-02

Women’s Rights Treaty Approved by Senate Committee

UN Treaty to Move to Senate Floor for First Time in US History

WASHINGTON, DC — In a 12-7 bipartisan vote, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved US ratification of the United Nations treaty that sets a global standard for women’s rights.

"Today we are celebrating a victory for women," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. "For the first time in 22 years, with the steadfast leadership of Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE), the committee’s current chair, and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the committee’s sole female member, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has moved this historic treaty to the Senate floor in time for a vote before adjournment."

On the heels of today’s victory, the full Senate will next debate US ratification of the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) for the first time since it was drafted in 1979.

"I am optimistic that when CEDAW reaches the Senate floor before the elections, it will be ratified," Smeal said.

The United States is the only industrialized nation that has yet to ratify CEDAW. So far, 170 countries – or two-thirds of the United Nations membership – have ratified the treaty, pledging to give women equal rights in all aspects of their lives including political, health, educational, social and legal. As one of the 21 countries that have yet to ratify CEDAW, the United States is aligned with the Taliban’s Afghanistan, Iran and Sudan.

For years, anti-women’s rights Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), former chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, blocked CEDAW from having its day in the US Senate. However, with hard work from Sen. Biden and Sen. Boxer, as well as years of advocating by the Feminist Majority and other women’s groups, the first hearing in eight years was held last month on CEDAW. The committee then scheduled a vote on CEDAW earlier this month – which was delayed by an anonymous Republican Senator. Last week, a second scheduled vote also was delayed after the committee approved a request from Helms. Meanwhile, the White House called for further delay so that the Justice Department can study the document.

"Today is history in the making for women all over the world. When the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted for CEDAW, we came one step closer to a universal standard for women’s human rights," Smeal said. "To the women of Afghanistan and other countries who are in desperate need of full human rights, this step is long overdue."

The Feminist Majority is a national, cutting edge, public policy organization dedicated to advancing women’s equality. Founded in 1987, the Feminist Majority is the sister organization to the Feminist Majority Foundation, the largest women’s rights research and action organization in the country. For further information about the Feminist Majority and the Feminist Majority Foundation, visit www.feminist.org.

To schedule interviews with Eleanor Smeal contact Emilie Karrick at 703-522-2214 or ekarrick@feminist.org.

Media Resources: Fminist Majority 7/30/02


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
 
2/27/2015 Houston Is Finally Testing a Backlog of Thirty-Year-Old Rape Kits - The city of Houston, Texas has finally begun testing decades-old rape kits - and in just one week, those have led to hundreds of leads. Houston is one of the first of the major cities nation-wide to clear their backlog of over 6,000 untested rape kit s- some of which were more than thirty years old. . . .
 
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA). The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .