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Bring Greater Gender Equality to the Tampa Bay Area through CEDAW

What is CEDAW?

CEDAW (the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women) is an international treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979. The United States of America remains one of six states that have failed to ratify this treaty; joined by Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Palau, and Tonga. Although signed by President Carter in 1980, just one year after its adoption by the UN General Assembly, the U.S. Senate has failed to hold a full Senate vote to ratify CEDAW.

CEDAW is the only international human rights treaty that focuses entirely on women's rights. It addresses a wide range of key focus areas from the elimination of violence against women and girls to equal treatment in the workplace.

Why is CEDAW Important?

At the U.N. Member-State level,

  • Using CEDAW as a platform, Mexico established a General Law on Women’s Access to a Life Free From Violence
  • Nepal expanded reproductive health services to reach women with disabilities
  • The Philippines established the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act No. 9710) to promote women’s issues

At the local level within the United States, a handful of local cities and municipalities have adopted CEDAW at the local level and have seen tremendous improvements.

For example the city of San Francisco (Endorsed CEDAW in 1998),

  • Implemented 7 gender equality principles, resulting in increased workplace productivity
  • Created the Family Violence Council, which advocates, researches, and promotes policy reforms on child abuse, elder abuse, and domestic violence
  • Established a Collaborative Against Human Trafficking that is based on community-centered approaches to combating human trafficking

Adoption of CEDAW at the local level will allow for improvements in our local Tampa Bay Community, through the establishment of anti-human trafficking, workplace non-discrimination, and social service initiatives; while providing a catalyst for pressuring the U.S. Senate to vote in support of ratification at a national level.

Our Call to Action

WHEREAS, The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 18, 1979, became an international treaty on September 3, 1981; and

WHEREAS, The United States is one of only six states to not yet ratify CEDAW; and

WHEREAS, The United States Senate has failed to hold a full Senate vote to ratify CEDAW; and

WHEREAS, CEDAW provides a comprehensive framework for governments to examine their existing policies, procedures, and practices in order to rectify discrimination based on sex; and

WHEREAS, The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women launched Cities for CEDAW in March 2014;

THEREFOREWe the undersigned request that the Mayors of the cities of Clearwater, Tampa, and St. Petersburg issue public endorsements of the United   Nations Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Further, we ask that the Mayors ask their Florida Senators, the Honorable Bill Nelson and the Honorable Marco Rubio, to call for a CEDAW ratification vote by the full United States Senate.


More information about CEDAW is available at

The United Nations Association of Tampa Bay (UNA-Tampa Bay) is a non-profit, membership organization that is part of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA). The mission of the UNA-USA is to inform the American public of the principles and activities of the United Nations, to engage the public to support these principles, and to encourage the United States to take an active leadership role in the United Nations. UNA-Tampa Bay pursues the mission of the UNA-USA in a regional scope by interacting with Tampa Bay Communities through education, empowerment, and advocacy.

More information on UNA-Tampa Bay can be found on their website

This petition was delivered to:
  • The Mayors of Clearwater, Tampa, and St. Petersburg, and their City Councils

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