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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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  • 76-100 of 5772 signatures
    Number Date Name Location Comments?
    5697 Sat Mar 17 15:15:09 EDT 2012 Katie Piatt Republic, MO Ratify Women!
    5696 Fri Mar 16 23:43:27 EDT 2012 Anonymous Texico, NM
    5695 Fri Mar 16 18:30:29 EDT 2012 susan aufderheide ashland, OR
    5694 Thu Mar 08 15:30:21 EST 2012 Anonymous Beaverton, OR
    5693 Thu Mar 08 11:10:13 EST 2012 Christine Dooley Florence, MA Women are under attack in the United States. We have been objectified for too long - told that our bodies are not the right size, color, or shape and it has taken its toll. We are being told by state governments More....
    5692 Wed Mar 07 23:10:41 EST 2012 Lindsay McGowan Anchorage, AK This is long overdue! Please take action!
    5691 Wed Mar 07 16:37:04 EST 2012 Christina Selby New York, NY
    5690 Sun Mar 04 16:31:16 EST 2012 steve mitchell picayune, MS yes i support CEDAW. full gender equality is the only thing genderwise that makes sense.
    5689 Tue Feb 21 11:48:30 EST 2012 Anna Manuel San Francisco, CA
    5688 Tue Feb 07 10:51:13 EST 2012 Vicki Busby Aubrey, TX
    5687 Fri Feb 03 14:26:21 EST 2012 Anonymous Grove City, OH
    5686 Fri Jan 27 12:59:51 EST 2012 Pearl Marmarin Minneapolis, MN This should have been done long ago. PASS THIS NOW Also needed for inclusion is the END GENDER DISCRIMMINATION IN HEALTH CARE.and MEDICAL RESEARCH.
    5685 Fri Jan 27 06:31:47 EST 2012 Richard Mertz Baltimore, MD I whole-heartedly and enthusiastically support this petition.
    5684 Tue Jan 17 21:22:41 EST 2012 Greta Lindberg North Branch, MN I just turned 18 and all I simply want is to have equality for all women.
    5683 Fri Jan 13 14:29:36 EST 2012 Ellaine Irizarry Astoria , NY How is that we can proudly go into foreign lands to eliminate human rights violations yet we cannot protect our own women. Is it because there is no underlying benefit to be gained from doing so?
    5682 Sat Jan 07 00:42:50 EST 2012 Anonymous Barrington, IL
    5681 Sun Jan 01 10:44:11 EST 2012 Carole Braunstein Tuxedo Park, NY It is really shocking to realize that in the 21st century at least one half of the world's population is still being used and discriminated against. The U.S. government is actually endorsing this mistreatment More....
    5680 Sat Dec 31 14:17:01 EST 2011 Ann Vollmer Durham, NC
    5679 Thu Dec 29 21:30:37 EST 2011 Ava Collopy Portland , OR As a woman in a line of work once considered a men-only profession (writing--intellectualism) I definitely feel very close to issues of employment and wage inequalities.
    5678 Thu Dec 22 13:13:52 EST 2011 Anonymous Cleveland, TN We need much higher more liveable liberal guaranteed, incomes for women everywhere, and for someone to step up, sooner, bravely, and take action against income inequality for all!
    5677 Tue Dec 20 08:32:33 EST 2011 Jane Blanchard Sarasota, FL
    5676 Mon Dec 12 20:06:37 EST 2011 Bonni Axler Land O'Lakes, FL We shouldn't even have to be asking.
    5675 Mon Dec 12 18:27:53 EST 2011 charles pervo avon lake, OH
    5674 Mon Dec 12 18:22:47 EST 2011 Anita Quintanilla Austin, TX Mr. President, PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING.
    5673 Mon Dec 12 18:22:02 EST 2011 Anita Quintanilla Austin, TX Mr. President, PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING.
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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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