By: Jacinta David Miller
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is a treaty adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly. Often referred to as the the international bill of rights for women, the treaty definitively establishes what counts as discrimination against women. CEDAW outlines the agenda for nations to completely end the discrimination against women.
The United States, though being an early signatory of the treaty, never ratified CEDAW. This absence of action only aids in facilitating discrimination against women, with no overseeing bodies or international obligation to promote and enforce gender equality. CEDAW provides the basis for realizing women’s rights and their equal access to opportunities in public and political life. CEDAW is also the only human rights treaty that declaratively guarantees women’s reproductive rights.
Countries that have adopted and ratified CEDAW are legally bound to enact and apply measures and demonstrate their compliance with CEDAW’s provisions to end discrimination against women.
To circumvent the U.S’s lack of participation in CEDAW, individual cities are committing to CEDAW by writing local and municipal ordinances that follow its stipulations. In consigning themselves to CEDAW, cities create the foundation for a legal framework for equality that protects women’s rights.
NYC4CEDAW will be hosting a Day of Action soon, when members are looking to pass a local ordinance that links New York City’s Commission on Gender Equality to CEDAW. Passing this bill obliges NYC to commit to funding and resources that support the implementation CEDAW principals. The original date which was announced for a rally been cancelled and a new date will be announced soon.
For more info on The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women check out the links below.