Before CEDAW there was no international legal mechanism in place that called on states to assess gender inequalities in their country. The Convention draws attention to 30 articles that deal with discrimination on the basis of being a woman. The treaty is divided into six parts - all related to ensuring that women are able to enjoy their “fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,” as stated in the preamble of the UDHR [Universal Declaration of Human Rights].
NCRW asked leading research and policy expert Linda Tarr-Whelan to weigh in on the status of CEDAW. In addition to her responses, below is an excerpt from a previously published commentary from Linda featured on Women’s eNEws and The Huffington Post.
On Dec. 18, 1979, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, or CEDAW, making it a watershed day for women around the globe.
In those heady days, I was deputy assistant to President Jimmy Carter for women's concerns. We expected speedy action after he sent the treaty to the Senate.
The bumper sticker on my wife’s car reads, “Well-behaved women seldom make history!” I believe proponents of CEDAW, the Women’s Treaty, have been minding their manners a bit too much. CEDAW is the most important international mechanism for women’s equality, and provides a universal standard for women’s human rights. The treaty is a basic framework for ending violence against women, ensuring girls access to education, and promoting economic opportunity and political participation for women.
New York Times: Eight women interviewed by the The New York Times shared the trauma they endured when members of the New York City Police Department "played down, misclassified or ignored their complaints of being sexually assaulted."
Chicago Tribune: Three girls who were ordered to submit to a strip search in August of last year are now suing the Atlantic, Iowa School District. The girls were among a group of five who were forced to strip during gym class after a classmate reported a theft.
This week, New York moved one step closer to becoming the first state to enact a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Here's what the Ms. Foundation has to say about it:
The bill, which would guarantee domestic workers basic workplace rights like paid vacation and sick days, overtime pay, and at least one day off per week, was passed by the New York State Senate by a vote of 33-28. Though the legislation still has to be reconciled with an earlier version that was passed by the Assembly last year, and then signed into law by Governor Paterson, yesterday's vote in the bill's favor was a historic achievement, setting the stage for the passage of similar bills in states like California and Colorado.
Every year, LGBT folk around the world come together to celebrate their queerness for Pride month--June. Along with the parties, festivals, parades, and even an occasional social justice march, Pride offers our community an opportunity to reevaluate where we are headed as movement (or even question whether there is one movement or several). Late last week, President Obama issued his annual Proclamation for LGBT Pride month. In it he says,
Contact: Karen Schneider or Maria Patrick, 202-588-5180
(Washington, D.C.) The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) today praised Solicitor General Elena Kagan, President Obama’s nominee to the U.S Supreme Court, as “an exceptionally qualified” person who is known for fair-mindedness and possesses considerable legal skills. If confirmed, Solicitor General Kagan would fill the seat of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.