By the CEDAW Task Force of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Time and time again President Obama has declared his support for women worldwide and announced that the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was an important priority. Now we need him to show leadership in advancing women and girls’ rights around the world. As women and men who believe in the basic rights of women and girls worldwide – the right to live free from violence, the ability to go to school, and access to the political system – we need President Obama to send a strong and urgent signal to the Senate that ratification of CEDAW is vital.
We are within striking distance of CEDAW ratification, but the window of opportunity is closing, and fast. We cannot allow the United States to continue to be one of only seven countries in the world that has not ratified CEDAW. We know that CEDAW works. Several countries, including Australia, Brazil, Morocco, South Africa, and Uganda have incorporated provisions in the CEDAW treaty into their constitutions and domestic legal codes. Additionally, Egypt, Jordan, Nicaragua, and Pakistan have all seen significant increases in literacy rates after improving access to education for girls and women.
CEDAW will positively impact women’s economic conditions that result from gender discrimination. The treaty commits countries ‘to incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in their legal system, abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women’.
Ratification not only sends a strong political message, but it also recognizes women’s right to have decent work and equal opportunities to access the job market. CEDAW not only addresses discrimination relating to women’s unemployment, the treaty aims to end sexual harassment and to close the income gap between men and women within the workplace.
Click here to tell President Obama that the women and girls of the world can't wait any longer - we need CEDAW now!