CEDAW Women's Rights Treaty: Fact Sheet
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The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is the most complete international agreement on basic human rights for women and was adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1979. To date, 185 countries have ratified CEDAW. Even though the U.S. helped draft the treaty, it is the only industrialized country left to ratify.
Read the treaty here.
Why It's Important
- CEDAW is the most comprehensive international agreement on the basic human rights of women and girls.
- U.S. ratification would lend weight to the treaty and the principle that human rights of women are universal across all cultures, nations and religions and worthy of being guaranteed through international human rights standards.
- Until the U.S. ratifies CEDAW, it can neither credibly demand that others live up to their obligations under the treaty, nor claim that it is a leader in the global human rights community.
What CEDAW Has Helped Achieve In Other Countries
- Reducing the sexual enslavement and trafficking of women and girls.
- Securing basic legal recourse to women and girls against violence and abuses of their human rights.
- Freeing access to primary education and health care where it had previously been denied.
- Saving lives during pregnancy and childbirth.
- Acknowledging the basic right to own and inherit property, including helping to secure essential development loans to poor women.
What the Senate Must Do: Ratify Women!
CEDAW can be ratified with a two-thirds majority of the Senate (at least 67 votes). Women have already waited 30 years. Demand President Obama and the Senate RATIFY WOMEN! by prioritizing and passing CEDAW without restrictions.