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Ratify CEDAW, Women's Rights Treaty

Ask President Obama to take leadership to ratify CEDAW, the critically important women's rights treaty. President Obama should call upon the U.S. Senate to conduct hearings and finalize ratification of CEDAW. Sign our petition (to be delivered at the end of March, Women's History Month) or use our talking points in the background section to call the White House at (202) 456-1111 or fax them at (202) 456-2461.

On this International Women's Day, March 8, we are reminded that much remains to be done to advance the basic human rights of women in the United States and around the world. There is no Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S. Constitution and for more than 30 years the U.S. has failed to ratify CEDAW -- the most complete international agreement advancing basic human rights for women. Today, the National Organization for Women and NOW Foundation launch our campaign, RATIFY WOMEN!

Dear President Obama:

While our nation has made an undeniable progress in advancing women's rights in recent decades, we still have a long way to go. One significant milestone on our way to the equality will be the ratification of Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Women's Rights Treaty.

Women continue to be targets of sexual and domestic violence -- at home and abroad. We are discriminated against in the workplace and elsewhere. Women in the U.S. and every other nation suffer from more poverty, less access to health care, less access to a liveable wage, and barriers to equal education. The Women's Rights Treaty is a valuable instrument for combating these wrongs. CEDAW embodies the basic democratic values of fairness and equal opportunity. Ratification does not require any federal appropriations. Moreover, women across the political spectrum support CEDAW's ratification.

I urge you to take leadership on this critical women's rights issue. The public and the U.S. Senate must hear that you support women's human rights and that ratification of CEDAW should wait no longer.
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  • 1-25 of 5772 signatures
    Number Date Name Location Comments?
    5772 Sat Dec 26 16:06:33 EST 2015 Anonymous Clarksville, TN
    5771 Sat Dec 26 14:00:29 EST 2015 Anonymous Clarksville, TN
    5770 Mon Dec 01 22:35:31 EST 2014 Anonymous Glendale, AZ I would like american women equel to other women in rights .
    5769 Mon Dec 01 22:18:09 EST 2014 sukaina muhmeed Glendale, AZ Women as citizens of the United States of Amercia need to have the same rights as women in other countries so the Unites States would be one of the global leaders across the nations.
    5768 Mon Dec 01 22:05:26 EST 2014 Lara Nouri Glendale, AZ Women are humans too! It's time for a change.
    5767 Thu Jun 12 20:36:33 EDT 2014 Kathleen Gemme Hobe Sound, FL
    5766 Wed Apr 30 21:53:53 EDT 2014 Dawn Lloyd Gilbert, AZ
    5765 Sat Feb 15 21:11:06 EST 2014 Taylor Craney Minneapolis, MN
    5764 Fri Jan 31 14:42:40 EST 2014 Alyse Lopez-Salm Sanford, NC Women in this country deserve better.
    5763 Tue Jan 28 09:40:37 EST 2014 Sharon Dunbar Palm Beach Gardens, FL
    5762 Sat Jan 25 23:54:41 EST 2014 Ken Shuffler Plano, TX
    5761 Wed Jan 15 15:15:03 EST 2014 aaliya dhirani elmont, NY
    5760 Wed Dec 11 12:01:55 EST 2013 Waheedah Shabazz-El Phila, PA
    5759 Wed Dec 04 01:23:03 EST 2013 Anonymous Corvallis, OR
    5758 Tue Dec 03 00:30:34 EST 2013 Anonymous Salem, OR
    5757 Sun Dec 01 18:42:29 EST 2013 Gail Gamero Portland, OR
    5756 Thu Oct 31 11:52:39 EDT 2013 Julie Quenemoen Bozeman, MT
    5755 Thu Sep 19 16:03:38 EDT 2013 Heather Wildrick-Holman Fishers, IN
    5754 Sun Jun 02 11:51:39 EDT 2013 Mary Sue Barnett Louisville, KY
    5753 Tue May 07 01:18:47 EDT 2013 Judy Abrams Highland Park, IL
    5752 Wed Mar 20 15:48:17 EDT 2013 Jaqi Tiegs Moscow, ID
    5751 Mon Mar 18 19:19:23 EDT 2013 Alanna Barrett Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
    5750 Mon Mar 11 15:48:49 EDT 2013 Douglass Sonek Sun City, AZ It IS time, Mr. President; it REALLY IS TIME!

    Douglass R. Sonek
    5749 Mon Mar 11 15:47:22 EDT 2013 Douglass Sonek Sun City, AZ
    5748 Mon Mar 11 15:47:08 EDT 2013 Douglass Sonek Sun City, AZ
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    CEDAW stands for The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women and the convention (or treaty) has been ratified by 185 nations. Despite our 30 years of foot-dragging, the United States was one of the key leaders in drafting this treaty which was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1979. Yet today we stand outside of the mainstream international community and are no longer a world leader in human rights by our failure to ratify the Women's Rights Treaty. The United States is the only industrialized nation to not have ratified CEDAW and, as a result, joins with such objectionable outliers as Sudan, Iran and Somalia.

    Failure by the largest, most powerful and wealthiest nation in the world to ratify this critically-important Women's Rights Treaty is absolutely shameful. NOW, NOW Foundation and our Global Feminist Issues and Strategies Committee want you to turn up the pressure on the Administration by asking President Obama to take leadership in getting CEDAW ratified.

    There are many websites that provide information on CEDAW. You can read the text of the treaty, its history and more about how other nations use CEDAW.

    Below are a number of talking points from our RATIFY WOMEN! Campaign for you to stress in advocating for ratification

    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 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

    Ratifying CEDAW is a Pledge to do the Right Thing for Women

    • Take concrete action to improve the status of women in the U.S. and around the world
    • Take measures to ensure that women enjoy basic human rights and fundamental freedoms
    • Establish judicial procedures to ensure the effective protection of the rights of women
    • Take appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women by individuals, organizations and enterprises
    • Submit national reports every four years on actions taken to comply with the treaty's pledge to protect and promote the rights of women and girls in the U.S.

    Now is the time to act. The year 2010 marks the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, and with International Women's Day on March 8, this is the perfect opportunity to raise your voice. We need you to tell President Obama that we have waited long enough. Ask the President to make it known to Senate leaders that the U.S. should ratify CEDAW NOW!

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