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CEDAW: The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

Last Update: November 17, 2010

What's at Stake


Hearing This Thursday! For the first time in 8 years, the Senate will hold a hearing on CEDAW this Thursday, November 18th, at 2 pm in 226 Dirksen Senate building. The hearing will take place in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Human Rights Subcommittee, and rumor has it Geena Davis will be testifying, among other luminaries. It’s super-important that we pack the hearing room so that Senators see the overwhelming support for CEDAW-ratification. If you’re in the DC-area, please come to the hearing! And, if not, you can watch the hearing online.

Take Action! Tell Your Senators to Ratify the Women’s Rights Treaty

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is a landmark international treaty that affirms principles of fundamental human rights and equality for women in the United States and around the world. It offers countries a practical blueprint to promote basic rights and open opportunities for women and girls in all areas of society.

Worldwide, 186 countries have ratified CEDAW; only seven have not: Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Nauru, Palau, Tonga, and the United States. Although the U.S. signed the treaty in 1980, it has never been ratified by the U.S Senate.

U.S. ratification of CEDAW would be a catalyst for our government to engage in systematic analysis of its policies and practices and develop strategies for solutions regarding issues such as domestic violence, maternal health, human trafficking, economic security, and discrimination in housing, education and the workplace. As a result, CEDAW will lead to greater opportunity and access for women and girls in the U.S.

On the world stage, U.S. ratification of CEDAW would send a strong signal to other governments that protecting women’s human rights is a global priority.

Tell Your Senators to Ratify the Women’s Rights Treaty >>

Blog Posts
A Vote for CEDAW is a Vote for Women (3/18/2010)
Support for International Women’s Rights Treaty from Ambassador to the U.N. (12/18/2009)
30 Years of Fighting Discrimination against Women – It’s Time the U.S. Stepped Up (12/18/2009)
Just the Beginning (9/23/2009)

Video: Roundtable: U.S. Ratification of CEDAW (3/8/2010)
Slideshow: Advancing Gender Equality (3/8/2010)

Press Releases
U.S. Still Absent From Women’s Rights Treaty 30 Years After Its Adoption (12/17/2009)
On Human Rights Day, ACLU Calls For U.S. Commitment To Domestic Human Rights (12/10/2009)
Obama Affirms Commitment To Human Rights In Speech Before The United Nations (9/23/2009)
NYCLU and ACLU Urge NY City Council to Adopt Innovative Law to Eliminate Discriminatory City Policies (4/8/2005)


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