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The horrifying gang rape and subsequent death of a student in India ignited protests in support of changing laws and cultural views on women. This unspeakable tragedy, coupled with the ongoing atrocities and injustices facing the world's female population, should also remind the United States to finally ratify the United Nations "bill of rights for women."

The U.S. was a primary drafter of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women when President Carter signed it in 1980, but it has inexplicably lingered in the Senate for over 30 years. Only eight countries have failed to ratify the convention, leaving the U.S. in the company of nations that adamantly oppress the rights of women, including Iran, Somalia, and Sudan.

This convention has been an important source of constitutional and cultural changes that support the global advancement of women. The Obama administration must move urgently to ratify this important convention.

Sign Here

Dear President Obama:

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) provides the basis for realizing equality between women and men by securing women's access to equal opportunities in political and public life, including the right to vote and to stand for election, as well as the right to education, healthcare, and employment opportunities.

Nations who ratify the convention agree to take all appropriate measures to ensure that women can enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms. They are also required to submit a report every four years to the convention's committee. This is a valuable, ongoing opportunity to identify shortcomings, track progress, and cultivate a dialog about ways to improve.

CEDAW is the only human rights treaty which affirms the reproductive rights of women and identifies culture and tradition as influential forces shaping gender roles and family relations. It affirms women's rights to acquire, change or retain their nationality and the nationality of their children. Ratifying nations also agree to take appropriate measures against all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of women.

CEDAW has been an important source of constitutional, legislative, and judicial change for the advancement of women abroad.

  • In Bangladesh, it facilitated the improvement gender parity in primary schools.
  • In Kenya, it helped remove barriers to land and inheritance rights for widows and daughters.
  • Afghanistan used it as a basis for a constitutional provision to guarantee men and women equal rights before the law.

U.S. diplomats and Americans who work in international organizations say that the failure to ratify impedes their efforts to advance the rights of girls and women abroad. Ratification would also benefit America, which still struggles with pay equity for women, paid maternity leave, and violence against women.

As you stated in your second inaugural speech in January of 2013, "Our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts." Let ratification of CEDAW be one of your first steps in following through on that historical and heartfelt proclamation.

Petition Signatures

Jan 22, 2017 julian zrnic
Jan 21, 2017 Olivia Latiano
Jan 21, 2017 Sharon Davis
Jan 21, 2017 Bożena Staniszewska
Jan 20, 2017 Elizabeth Peterson
Jan 20, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 20, 2017 Nancy Helgeson
Jan 19, 2017 HOWARD BLOCK
Jan 19, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 19, 2017 Lydia Constantinidis
Jan 19, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 19, 2017 anna myrha
Jan 18, 2017 Melissa Newman
Jan 17, 2017 Pamela Sanseri
Jan 17, 2017 Ellen Ribolla PLEASE!
Jan 17, 2017 M. Browning
Jan 14, 2017 Dalma Bugg
Jan 14, 2017 Libby+Esther berman
Jan 14, 2017 Janine Corday
Jan 13, 2017 Laura Harris
Jan 10, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 7, 2017 Debra Wills
Jan 5, 2017 Brian Le Flem
Jan 3, 2017 Fournier Fernande Nehmen, Sie ihre Verantwortung, bitte. Helfen und handeln Sie menschlich und zügig. Dies ist schon längst überfällig. Zivilisiert? Merci.
Jan 2, 2017 Kathryn Fenn
Jan 1, 2017 Mark Berriman
Dec 29, 2016 cheryl hopkins
Dec 29, 2016 Lora Hamman
Dec 29, 2016 Lynne Pateman
Dec 27, 2016 Howard Cohen
Dec 18, 2016 Bobbee Murr
Dec 18, 2016 Robert Reed
Dec 18, 2016 Libby+Esther Berman
Dec 16, 2016 Rebecca Twaites
Dec 11, 2016 Leann Long
Dec 11, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Dec 11, 2016 Annette Blom
Dec 11, 2016 Carolee Larger
Dec 11, 2016 Bobbi Liberton
Dec 11, 2016 Barbara Wasserman
Dec 11, 2016 Karin Cohen
Dec 11, 2016 Jo Anne Godwin Please ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which support the advancement of women by guaranteeing men and women equal rights before the law. Thanks.
Dec 10, 2016 Diana Noel-Labieniec
Dec 9, 2016 J Exner
Dec 8, 2016 Leslie Slater
Dec 7, 2016 Brenda Hammond
Dec 7, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Dec 4, 2016 Karyn Maier

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