Petition Closed
Petitioning The Honorable Members of the United States Senate

Ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)


The United States is one of only six countries in the world that have not ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). CEDAW is an important tool to combat discrimination and human rights abuses against women around the world and its ratification would strengthen the position of the United States as a global leader in affirming and supporting women’s rights as human rights.

On January 4, 2013, Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and 31 cosponsors introduced a bill calling for the Senate to ratify CEDAW, claiming “the ratification of CEDAW would continue our nation’s proud bipartisan tradition of empowering human rights. We need to ratify the agreement and strength our standing as a global leader for the rights of women and girls.”

For more information, you can visit http://www.cedaw2011.org/

Letter to
The Honorable Members of the United States Senate
On behalf of the undersigned organizations and individuals, we urge you to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in the 113th session of Congress.

The Convention to End Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is an international bill that was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly. The landmark international agreement, termed the “international bill of rights for women,” mandates that governments worldwide eradicate discriminatory laws, customs, and practices and take positive steps toward the advancement of women. States that ratify CEDAW agree to take all appropriate measures, including legislation and temporary special measures, so that women can enjoy all their human rights and fundamental freedoms. Since CEDAW was adopted by the UN, 187 countries have signed and ratified it. The United States is the only western country in the world that has not ratified the treaty. CEDAW is an important tool to combat discrimination and human rights abuses against women around the world and its ratification would strengthen the position of the United States as a global leader in affirming and supporting women’s rights as human rights.

American women enjoy opportunities and status not available to most of the world’s women, but progress is needed in many areas. CEDAW provides a practical blueprint to achieve progress for women and girls and an opportunity for policymakers and advocates to work together on issues such as domestic violence (including the landmark Violence Against Women Act), maternal health, economic security, and human trafficking. Ratification of CEDAW would provide an effective catalyst for the U.S. To examine areas of persistent discrimination against women and develop strategies for solutions.

On January 4, 2013, Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and 31 cosponsors introduced a bill calling for the Senate to ratify CEDAW, claiming “the ratification of CEDAW would continue our nation’s proud bipartisan tradition of empowering human rights. We need to ratify the agreement and strengthen our standing as a global leader for the rights of women and girls.”

The signatories of this letter call on the U.S. Senate to advance women’s rights, not just for women in the United States but worldwide, by ratifying this convention.