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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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  • 26-50 of 5772 signatures
    Number Date Name Location Comments?
    5747 Mon Mar 04 20:40:19 EST 2013 Anonymous Raleigh, NC The majority of N.O.W.'s diverse members supported YOU for President, don't let us down.
    President Barak Obama, YOU have the chance to add, to your commendable legacy, while still in the oval office, More....
    5746 Wed Feb 27 23:38:51 EST 2013 Connie Brown-Caldwell Eyota, MN
    5745 Wed Feb 27 11:24:57 EST 2013 Mary Gartland Charleston , WV
    5744 Wed Feb 27 02:11:07 EST 2013 Stephanie Petruso Cross Lanes, WV Why, if we helped draft this treaty over 30 years ago, has this not been ratified by the United States? We can't promote democracy around the world without supporting equal rights for all.
    5743 Sat Feb 23 12:23:14 EST 2013 Jane Hope Louisville, KY
    5742 Wed Feb 20 17:38:23 EST 2013 Bethanne Nelson Saint Paul, MN
    5741 Sun Feb 17 14:44:07 EST 2013 ann marie roach attica, NY
    5740 Sat Feb 16 13:15:55 EST 2013 Sarah Anderson Kirkland, WA
    5739 Tue Jan 29 10:35:16 EST 2013 Sarah Thomas Miami, FL
    5738 Sat Jan 26 19:41:30 EST 2013 cara finch hadley, MA
    5737 Wed Jan 23 21:23:19 EST 2013 Lesley Wright Dublin, OH
    5736 Sat Jan 19 14:11:21 EST 2013 Shirley Rawls St Augustine, FL
    5735 Thu Jan 17 22:02:14 EST 2013 Bamidele Agada Laurelton, NY
    5734 Thu Jan 17 17:52:38 EST 2013 Catherine Price Missoula, MT
    5733 Thu Jan 17 10:51:41 EST 2013 Tonye Opuiyo Howard Beach, NY
    5732 Thu Jan 17 10:19:31 EST 2013 Tonye Opuiyo Howard Beach, NY
    5731 Mon Jan 14 21:25:24 EST 2013 Brianna Wheatley Severn, MD
    5730 Sat Jan 05 22:24:34 EST 2013 Margarita Strand San Mateo, CA
    5729 Wed Jan 02 03:47:23 EST 2013 Alanna Barrett Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
    5728 Thu Dec 06 08:46:08 EST 2012 Ellen Carson Flagstaff, AZ Please! It is time for ALL to be equal.
    5727 Thu Nov 15 10:51:10 EST 2012 Joel Guerrero phoenix, AZ I feel this is a great way to get your point across. This online petition is a great way to get your word to those who would regularly not hear about it.
    5726 Sat Nov 03 10:02:03 EDT 2012 Lara Strong Albuquerque, NM
    5725 Fri Nov 02 14:40:02 EDT 2012 Jennifer Lepore Cromwell, CT
    5724 Wed Oct 17 02:10:32 EDT 2012 Tawny Baker Port Townsend, WA There is a very serious problem in our country where child victims of sexual and physical abuse are given back to the abuser by a corrupt legal system and the mothers attempting to advocate for their children More....
    5723 Sun Oct 14 22:18:57 EDT 2012 Faith Beauchemin Westland, MI
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    Background:

    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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