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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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  • 51-75 of 5772 signatures
    Number Date Name Location Comments?
    5722 Wed Oct 03 20:18:56 EDT 2012 Anonymous Pike, NH
    5721 Tue Sep 25 17:44:28 EDT 2012 Susan Roberts Fayetteville, AR
    5720 Fri Aug 31 22:32:55 EDT 2012 Anonymous Cleveland, TN We need TN higher education to be allowed,encouraged and fully able to live up to the agreement (under our former democrat TN governor and legislature) to help ensure many more nontraditional More....
    5719 Fri Aug 24 17:19:09 EDT 2012 Sam Damren Rochester, MI
    5718 Wed Aug 15 21:25:38 EDT 2012 Elizabeth Unser Westerville , OH
    5717 Wed Aug 15 13:53:15 EDT 2012 Cheryl Martin Lawrenceville, GA Why isn't this signed? What message are we sending to the world?
    5716 Thu Jul 26 17:49:14 EDT 2012 Sheena Monds Knoxville, TN
    5715 Fri Jul 20 20:12:27 EDT 2012 Marcus Figueroa Austin, TX Cant believe its not signed yet
    5714 Mon Jul 09 23:37:56 EDT 2012 Anonymous Cleveland, TN We need many more noncentrist, environmental, pro-union democrats elected in and retained on all levels of Gov including the US TN 3rd Cong dist, and at least one of Tn's US Senators. Also, we need the More....
    5713 Thu Jun 21 22:55:37 EDT 2012 Marcus Figueroa Austin, TX I want this signed NOW
    5712 Tue Jun 05 14:32:04 EDT 2012 Virginia Maguire Broomfield, CO
    5711 Wed May 30 23:28:48 EDT 2012 Anonymous Cleveland, TN We need someone like Park Overall for Tn's US Senator in DC, and someone that will help with social/economic justice isues, in the TN US 3rd Cong dist, and for our state senator, reps, etc. We need much More....
    5710 Sun May 13 20:08:09 EDT 2012 Anonymous cupertino, CA
    5709 Sun May 13 20:07:34 EDT 2012 Anonymous cupertino, CA
    5708 Sun May 13 03:49:50 EDT 2012 First Pittsburgh NOW PA0210 Wilkinsburg, PA
    5707 Fri May 11 17:19:39 EDT 2012 Katelyn Egan Hudson, NH
    5706 Wed May 02 13:28:44 EDT 2012 Rebecca Chow Phoenix, AZ
    5705 Mon Apr 16 15:11:28 EDT 2012 Amber Williams Livingston, MT
    5704 Mon Apr 16 15:08:44 EDT 2012 Adele Pittendrigh Bozeman, MT
    5703 Mon Apr 16 15:04:30 EDT 2012 Jessica Rhoades Helena, MT
    5702 Mon Apr 16 14:40:19 EDT 2012 J. Troxel Bozeman, MT
    5701 Fri Apr 06 13:00:56 EDT 2012 Althea Zesk Northampton, MA
    5700 Wed Mar 28 17:36:21 EDT 2012 Leslie Phillips Cleveland, OH
    5699 Sun Mar 25 00:30:28 EDT 2012 Kim Buchanan Las Vegas , NV Time to take action and stand for women and the future of women !
    5698 Wed Mar 21 00:44:23 EDT 2012 Margaret Thomson Mc Lean, VA
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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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