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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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  • 126-150 of 5772 signatures
    Number Date Name Location Comments?
    5647 Mon May 23 23:50:05 EDT 2011 Raymond Nash Westminster, MD
    5646 Thu May 12 00:41:36 EDT 2011 ken hardman Akron, OH
    5645 Fri May 06 23:05:56 EDT 2011 Anonymous Cleveland, TN We need our rights and not to be held back regardless of current socio-economic status!
    5644 Thu Apr 28 21:27:17 EDT 2011 Elizabeth Klindt Brockport, NY
    5643 Thu Apr 21 13:44:17 EDT 2011 Sioux City Area NOW IA0200 Sioux City, IA
    5642 Wed Apr 20 19:35:19 EDT 2011 Julie Kin Mays Landing, NJ
    5641 Tue Apr 19 16:18:05 EDT 2011 Willow Caldeira Huntsville, AL
    5640 Sun Apr 17 20:27:33 EDT 2011 Leighann Gillis Yarmouth, ME
    5639 Wed Apr 13 21:35:05 EDT 2011 patrice elmore Levelland, TX
    5638 Sun Apr 10 19:43:47 EDT 2011 Addison Davidove Redlands, CA
    5637 Fri Apr 08 18:58:00 EDT 2011 Maria Gum Koegl Watauga, TX
    5636 Fri Apr 08 15:31:42 EDT 2011 Anonymous Cleveland, TN We need to be able to vote in and RETAIN noncentrist, NONNUCLEAR, Pro-union, environmental, affirmative action, socio-economic justice, if we are allowed to do so in (SE) TENNESSEE! WE need strong More....
    5635 Thu Apr 07 12:49:52 EDT 2011 Tiffany Stout Orangevale, CA
    5634 Tue Apr 05 01:38:46 EDT 2011 Lindsey Sementilli Ann Arbor, MI
    5633 Wed Mar 30 03:04:43 EDT 2011 Jennifer Manders Dubuque, IA
    5632 Sun Mar 20 18:37:48 EDT 2011 Anonymous Kennesaw, GA The US will already be the last industrial nation to ratify CEDAW. Let's not increase our shame by making women wait even longer for equality.
    5631 Mon Mar 14 17:20:12 EDT 2011 Naomi Mercer Arlington, VA
    5630 Thu Mar 10 11:03:50 EST 2011 Kate Hatfield Nashville, TN
    5629 Thu Mar 10 02:29:17 EST 2011 Selma Dizdarevic Prague, ot
    5628 Fri Feb 25 18:03:21 EST 2011 Holly Smith Portland , OR
    5627 Mon Feb 21 15:03:45 EST 2011 Sheree Miller Seattle, WA
    5626 Thu Feb 17 14:56:59 EST 2011 Annamarie Lehman Goshen, IN
    5625 Mon Feb 14 21:45:36 EST 2011 Anonymous Forest Hills, NY It is time for the US to ratify CEDAW. It is shameful that in 2011 the United States of America has not done so already. Ratify CEDAW Now.
    5624 Sun Feb 13 13:21:56 EST 2011 Cheryl Kees Santa Fe, NM
    5623 Sun Feb 13 04:36:48 EST 2011 Jennifer Manders Dubuque, IA
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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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