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The horrifying gang rape and subsequent death of a student in India ignited protests in support of changing laws and cultural views on women. This unspeakable tragedy, coupled with the ongoing atrocities and injustices facing the world's female population, should also remind the United States to finally ratify the United Nations "bill of rights for women."

The U.S. was a primary drafter of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women when President Carter signed it in 1980, but it has inexplicably lingered in the Senate for over 30 years. Only eight countries have failed to ratify the convention, leaving the U.S. in the company of nations that adamantly oppress the rights of women, including Iran, Somalia, and Sudan.

This convention has been an important source of constitutional and cultural changes that support the global advancement of women. The president must move urgently to ratify this important convention.

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Dear President Trump:

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) provides the basis for realizing equality between women and men by securing women's access to equal opportunities in political and public life, including the right to vote and to stand for election, as well as the right to education, health care, and employment opportunities.

Nations who ratify the convention agree to take all appropriate measures to ensure that women can enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms. They are also required to submit a report every four years to the convention's committee. This is a valuable, ongoing opportunity to identify shortcomings, track progress, and cultivate a dialog about ways to improve.

CEDAW is the only human rights treaty which affirms the reproductive rights of women and identifies culture and tradition as influential forces shaping gender roles and family relations. It affirms women's rights to acquire, change or retain their nationality and the nationality of their children. Ratifying nations also agree to take appropriate measures against all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of women.

CEDAW has been an important source of constitutional, legislative, and judicial change for the advancement of women abroad.

  • In Bangladesh, it facilitated the improvement of gender parity in primary schools.
  • In Kenya, it helped remove barriers to land and inheritance rights for widows and daughters.
  • Afghanistan used it as a basis for a constitutional provision to guarantee men and women equal rights before the law.

U.S. diplomats and Americans who work in international organizations say that the failure to ratify impedes their efforts to advance the rights of girls and women abroad. Ratification would also benefit America, which still struggles with pay equity for women, paid maternity leave, and violence against women.

The time is now. Let ratification of CEDAW be a historical step in our country toward promoting, and ensuring, women's rights.

Sincerely,

Petition Signatures


Apr 26, 2018 Tracy Shortle
Apr 26, 2018 Andreas Rossing Angeltveit
Apr 26, 2018 Michelle Miner
Apr 26, 2018 Christine Reinecke
Apr 26, 2018 m march
Apr 26, 2018 Patrizia Cordoni
Apr 26, 2018 Sherry Green
Apr 26, 2018 Teresa Rust
Apr 26, 2018 Joan Kennedy
Apr 26, 2018 Peggy Thomas
Apr 26, 2018 THEODORA BOURA
Apr 26, 2018 Haley Lavris
Apr 26, 2018 Elaine Cheney
Apr 26, 2018 Viktoria Loginova
Apr 26, 2018 Lauren Manion
Apr 26, 2018 Matthew McWhirr
Apr 26, 2018 Marie-laurence Yans
Apr 26, 2018 Marie-Claire Jacques
Apr 26, 2018 Jessica Calosci
Apr 26, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 26, 2018 David Meneses B.
Apr 26, 2018 Sandra Alipirmal It is time to recognize women as equals We are the strength behind our families
Apr 26, 2018 Zoe Spiropoulou
Apr 26, 2018 Steven Skal
Apr 26, 2018 Dena Shelangoski
Apr 25, 2018 Mary Jo Al-Tukhaim
Apr 24, 2018 Deborah Boychuk
Apr 24, 2018 Esmè Evans
Apr 23, 2018 Roseann Maziarek
Apr 20, 2018 Bonita Easley
Apr 20, 2018 Barbara Gutierrez
Apr 19, 2018 Nancy Seay
Apr 17, 2018 Monica Ollendorff
Apr 16, 2018 Wanda Anthony
Apr 16, 2018 Axa Tolonen
Apr 12, 2018 Dale Kasman
Apr 12, 2018 Haley Svec
Apr 12, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 10, 2018 Diane Gravette
Apr 10, 2018 Lisa vasta
Apr 1, 2018 Marilena Zlate
Mar 30, 2018 Elizabeth Wolff
Mar 30, 2018 Janet Magdaleno
Mar 28, 2018 Harriet Shalat
Mar 27, 2018 James Brown
Mar 26, 2018 M M
Mar 26, 2018 Connie Tate
Mar 22, 2018 Kathy Jones
Mar 22, 2018 Micki Courtoreille
Mar 21, 2018 Richard Rheder

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