What is CEDAW?
CEDAW (the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) is an international agreement that affirms principles of fundamental human rights and equality for women around the world. It was adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly and entered into force in 1981. It's one of the five pillars of UN human rights enforcement.
What's the significance?
One hundred eighty-six out of 193 countries around the world have ratified the treaty, but the US still hasn't joined the group. That leaves us in the lonely company of Sudan, Somalia, Iran, and three small Pacific Island nations. A 67 vote in the Senate is required to ratify a treaty, and it has languished there since being sent by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.
Who's talking about it?
The committee recently warned that sexual violence against women is escalating...San Francisco was the first US city to ratify CEDAW in 1998...Tamara Kreinin, executive director of Women and Population at the United Nations Foundation, says ratifying CEDAW is one of two important things to watch for women's rights...Kate Alexander argues that CEDAW could be an important diplomatic tool for the U.S.