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Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:23 PM

it's time to ratify global women's rights treaty (CEDAW) [View all]

It's Time To Ratify Global Women's Rights Treaty
by Lucinda Marshall

The United States is one of six countries that has not yet ratified CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women which was adopted by the United Nations in 1979. The Convention is a significant tool in insuring women’s human rights which defines discrimination against women as,

“any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field”.

Upon ratifying the Convention, it requires 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;
To establish tribunals and other public institutions to ensure the effective protection of women against discrimination; and
To ensure elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by persons, organizations or enterprises.
. . . . .

187 countries have ratified CEDAW. Six have not: the U.S., Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Palau, and Tonga. It is well past time for the United States to truly become the leader in women’s human rights that it claims to be and ratify CEDAW without reservation.


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