Sudan, Qatar, Tonga, Palau, Nauru, Iran, Somalia…United States? The US has the dubious distinction of being one of only eight United Nations member states (out of 192) who have failed to ratify the Convention to End All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
CEDAW, which was adopted by the U.N. general assembly in 1979, is the premier document in international law dealing with women’s rights. CEDAW addresses a diverse array of women’s rights and human rights issues including equality in civil, social, political and economic life, protection from sexual violence, and reproductive freedom. As President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton work to move the United States to the forefront of international human rights and women’s rights work, it is imperative that we ratify CEDAW and demonstrate that we are serious about our obligations to the international community and to women worldwide.
This year, in recognition of both World AIDS Day (Dec 1) and Human Rights Day (Dec 10), PHR and other partnering organizations will mount a 10,000 signatures in 10 days campaign. Join us in letting your senator know that it’s time for the United States to ratify CEDAW and commit to women’s rights worldwide. We’ll be posting an educational and event planning toolkit next week, with many more World AIDS Day resources to follow, so stay tuned!