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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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  • 101-125 of 5772 signatures
    Number Date Name Location Comments?
    5672 Mon Dec 12 17:41:02 EST 2011 Diana Herrera Austin, TX President , Sign NOW. third world nations have outdone us on this convention of Justice for all Woman.. As a Woman of Color I am appalled at our Nation's arrogance to not be in compliance yet we bandy More....
    5671 Mon Dec 12 16:41:45 EST 2011 Miechelle Birt Saint Petersburg, FL
    5670 Mon Dec 12 16:32:03 EST 2011 Jaimie Herrick Seminole, FL
    5669 Fri Dec 09 19:03:43 EST 2011 Anonymous New York, NY
    5668 Tue Nov 29 10:52:22 EST 2011 Daphne Thompson Acton, MA Mr. President, it is time. Please do the right thing.
    5667 Sun Nov 27 16:56:37 EST 2011 Victoria Olvera Northridge, CA Please don't make us wait anymore. It is every women's birth right. THANKS.
    5666 Thu Nov 10 09:32:19 EST 2011 Carly Mahon San Diego, CA
    5665 Mon Nov 07 16:03:11 EST 2011 Brooke Christopher Los Angeles, CA
    5664 Mon Nov 07 03:10:52 EST 2011 melissa hennessy New York, NY
    5663 Tue Oct 25 12:06:01 EDT 2011 Leslie Nash Cross Plains, TN Please have this bill ratified.
    5662 Mon Oct 24 23:05:16 EDT 2011 Crystal Grippin Visalia, CA
    5661 Fri Oct 21 02:03:59 EDT 2011 CayceArnettArnett Arnett Kokomo, IN
    5660 Sun Oct 16 16:59:51 EDT 2011 Emily Gorman West Palm Bch, FL
    5659 Sun Oct 16 10:31:30 EDT 2011 Anonymous Cleveland, TN We need a Basic Income Guaranteed for all with no oppressive limitations on assets,etc! Our healthcare insurance needs to be stronger than ever with CLASS preserved for all who need it! We need to be allowed More....
    5658 Fri Sep 23 17:06:45 EDT 2011 Priyanka Gogia Ashburn, VA
    5657 Wed Sep 07 11:46:56 EDT 2011 Kathryn Kopania Holland, PA
    5656 Thu Sep 01 23:11:09 EDT 2011 R19NXE10140C Figueroa Austin, TX
    5655 Tue Aug 30 06:58:28 EDT 2011 Jenelle Holmes Atlanta, GA
    5654 Sat Aug 06 14:27:01 EDT 2011 carrie padgette salina, KS
    5653 Tue Jul 19 17:16:55 EDT 2011 Marlena Arguello New Orleans, LA Let this put an end to human trafficking world wide!
    5652 Sun Jul 03 12:19:08 EDT 2011 Heather Bennett Dallas, TX This is for every girl and woman who needs our help and support
    5651 Thu Jun 23 11:14:15 EDT 2011 R19NXE10140C Figueroa Austin, TX
    5650 Wed Jun 15 14:15:53 EDT 2011 Phoebe Anne Sorgen Berkeley, CA This is LONG overdue. Do it!
    5649 Wed Jun 08 14:20:52 EDT 2011 Anonymous Baileyville, IL It's been a long time coming for women to be equals.
    5648 Tue May 24 01:56:11 EDT 2011 Kellyann Moniz S Hamilton, MA
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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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