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

4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency." Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
 
4/15/2014 Activist Monica Jones Found Guilty of Walking While Trans - Trans woman, student, and sex work activist Monica Jones was found guilty Friday of "manifesting prostitution" by a Phoenix, Arizona judge after she accepted a ride with two undercover police officers in May 2013. . . .
 
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius. Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA). At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .